Montreal Hypocrits

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But for a few, crucial minutes, Don Matthews might be singing a different tune these days.

Back in February, when Ricky Williams was suspended for the season by the NFL for a fourth drug violation, the Montreal Alouettes attempted to put him on their negotiation list, only to learn that the Argonauts had beaten them to the punch by a matter of minutes.

Now, instead of being thrilled to have an NFL star to promote in the 2006 season, Matthews is spewing the sourest of grapes. Now he says he's embarrassed for the CFL.

So, let's unravel this bit of hypocritical Don-think.

[b]Ricky in Montreal: Good.

Ricky in Toronto: Bad.[/b]

It's not that Matthews and Montreal general manager Jim Popp don't have some valid arguments. Why doesn't the CFL honour the sanctity of NFL drug suspensions? Good point. And it is extremely curious how a guy with a contract in one league can be signed to a contract in another league when both leagues are bound to honour the contracts of the other.

But it happened, presumably by tacit understanding throughout the league that Williams' presence is good for business. Even Montreal owner Robert Wetenhall, in a note to Argo owners Howard Sokolowski and David Cynamon last month, seems to agree with that view.

Now, having reached that quiet consensus behind closed doors and with the deal done, it's apparently open season on the Argos.

HEATED RIVALRIES

"It sure seems like the rivalries are going to be heated this year," Argo president Keith Pelley said.

Matthews and the Als aren't the only or the first CFL teams to slag the Argos from afar, now that Williams is a fixture in their backfield for the 2006 season. Hugh Campbell of the Edmonton Eskimos was up on his sanctimonious high horse last week. And there have been similar mutterings emanating from Hamilton.
Hmmm. Hamilton and Edmonton. Weren't they the co-conspirators in that smelliest of trades last season? The one that sent Troy Davis and Canadian offensive lineman Dan Comiskey to the Eskimos for receiver Brock Ralph and defensive back Tay Cody. And, oh yeah, wasn't there an addendum a couple of months later? Jason Maas, a high-end quarterback in his prime, for aging Danny McManus, as we recall. Meanwhile, the Eskies had the services of both Maas and Davis all the way to the Grey Cup. Talk about flirting with the league's integrity. No circumvention of the rules there. No, sir.

At least Matthews didn't attack Williams on moral grounds. But then, how could he? Aren't the Alouettes the team which signed troubled running back Lawrence Phillips a few years back, despite his multiple convictions for domestic violence that had driven him out of the NFL? This lovely role model is now in jail on an attempted murder charge.

"Don is Don," Pelley said. "He has been a colourful personality in our league for many years and always has a strong opinion.

"We know we made the right decision with Ricky, and we are now focusing on our home opener against the Tiger-Cats at Rogers Centre on June 17."

There are teams who have embraced the notion of having an NFL rushing champ, still in his prime, gracing the big CFL gridiron. He will sell tickets wherever he goes. It doesn't mean he's going to dominate games. In fact, if I'm a defensive coordinator in this league, Williams' presence will be a huge motivation tool to be used against Toronto.

The British Columbia Lions, for example, are using Williams and the Argos as the focus for ticket sales for their June 30 meeting in Vancouver and are expecting a crowd of 44,000.

Argos coach Michael Clemons just shrugs his shoulders at the continuing backlash from around the league.

"One thing we're not very good at, as a league, is playing together as a team," he said yesterday. "We don't seem to understand that, first, we are one team."

And that team's motto seems to be "Every Man For Himself."

pinball sumerizes whats wrong with this league perfectly at the end...'its every man for himself.'

In that case, Ricky should play one game for ALL CFL team members.....

he kinda is...every time he visits a stadium, the attendance should go up...like BC is getting 44K for that game....which would be higher than any game they had last season.

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PURE AS MUD

That Jason Maas deal by the Ticats last year had more wrinkles than a Shar Pei puppy.

Onterrio (The Whizinator) Smith has not sprouted two heads. But the NFL isn't taking any chances. He's banned. So Winnipeg signed him.

The Roughriders kept a guy charged with spreading HIV.

The Alouettes didn't mind a little marijuana when it came up in Quincy Carter's resume.

So, spare the moral outrage over Ricky Williams and the Argos. He's as much the rule in this league as he is the exception to the rule. Every team wants two things: They want to win and they want to make money. End of story.

But for a few, crucial minutes, Don Matthews might be singing a different tune these days.

"Back in February, when Ricky Williams was suspended for the season by the NFL for a fourth drug violation, the Montreal Alouettes attempted to put him on their negotiation list, only to learn that the Argonauts had beaten them to the punch by a matter of minutes."

That's a bit misleading. He may have been suspended in February but Argos (and Als' attempt) putting him on neg list happened in Late April. The sage went for about a mth before the signing.

Oh, so now if anyone has the temerity to question, criticize or attack the signing, then they're all hypocrites?

I also recall reading that had the Williams proposed signing gone before the BOG for approval, it wouldn't have passed.

Argos better be careful in adopting any kind of persecution complex over this. They couldn't have been so naive that this would have gone under the radar or that they wouldn't have come in for some grief. Maybe it's been more than they envisioned, but still, they should lay off the "Whoa is us!" stance

after he was suspended, he and the dolphins appealed…when that was refused in april, then the argos added him to thier neg.list…beating out the als.

once on thier neg list, the argos became the only CFL team aloud to talk contract with him, and it took them a month to get dolhons permission and sign him.

then u’ve read wrong, cuz all the BOGs gave thier blessing, with the exception of hamilton and montreal ( montreal eventually agreed )

The Roughriders kept a guy charged with spreading HIV.

The Riders did not keep him. He was released by the team until his legal problems are sorted out. Even if he is proven not guilty, I highly doubt that he will be back with the team.

That has zero relevance to RW situation.

but...the riders knew he had HIV and was playing a sport where the athletes bleed often.

The Riders took this matter to their lawyers and to the CFL. Their hands were tied on the matter and could not release the player or disclose his medical information.

As far as contacting HIV by playing football, a study done by the NFL found a very low risk (1 in 85 million) of getting HIV from playing football.

I think that Sun article is excellent news. For once, a Toronto media defends the Argos instead of being the one which bashes them.

If other teams can become "the ennemy" in the Toronto reporters' eyes, maybe they'll stop being the Argos' main threat.

I don't mind that other cities reporters take hits on our squad. That's what pumps rivalries.

Let's all bash one another on the papers' front pages, and soon, every bandwagonner in this country will tune up for a CFL game!

Right on !

I'll get it started:

Argos suck, Bombers suck, Alouettes suck, Riders suck, Stamps suck, Eskies suck, Lions suck... Big time

:D

My turn ! My turn! ...

Ticats are a fraud ! They make bogus trades ! They eat in other people's garbage. They're a team made of residues !

Argos have no moral. They say no to violence but they throw helmets in the crowd ! They say no to drugs and they hire an addict ! They say nothing is bigger than themselves but the Wiggles can steal their home on a playoffs game night !

Ottawa... uhhh... err... Ottawa... uhhh... You are so.... uhhh... not there. Absenteism... errr... is not a nice human value.

Winnipeg, why the heck couldn't you stay in the Western division? It's no surprise the Western fans keeps on saying our division is the weakest when they keep dumping they garbage in here. Try no to make the league ashamed with your bunch of backups QBs, absent linebackers, rookie coaches and overweighted runners! You're a dran freak show!

Spread the news: vous sucez tous !

Et toi aussi mon ami!

:D

.....you are on such a roll Third, why stop at the Eastern Division?...

That's a great point. I remember a former Stamps owner (i believe it was Larry Rickman - someone please correct me if I'm wrong about that) when hiring Doug Flutie, proposed all teams chipping in to pay his salary. On the surface that seems preposterous, but when you think about it all teams do benefit from the guy in the league, in so far as gate receipts and TV revenue.

And don't some NFL teams designate a player as a "franchise player" that allows them to spend more money on their salary that they couldn't with the cap? By doing this, I would assume this translates to better season ticket and walk up sales for certain teams.

The Roughriders boost ticket sales every year in cities like calgary and edmonton, probably vancouver as well. why not give us a cheque each year then.

Myself along with many others here and elswhere, don’t need the “big NFL names” to have us buy tickets but the fact is that some markets seem to need this, which is very unfortunate. And this is reality in some markets where football or any sport isn’t dominate. Look at the Blue Jays for example, they spent more money this year and their attendance is up as they brought in some big names. The way it is in Toronto where the fans are the fickly, dickly type. Maybe Vancouver is in the same boat? MLB needs a salary cap, without this, it creates the idea that such and such a market isn’t hell bent on winning, which really isn’t necessarily the case. This partly drove the Expos into extinction or to go down south.

uhh it would be illegal to deny a person employment just because they are HIV positive!