UPDATED: 2008-10-26 02:05:10 MST
Battered and bruised Armour apologizes to fans, teammates
By IAN BUSBY
Although JoJuan Armour doesn't want to reveal details of the incident that raised John Hufnagel's ire, the Calgary Stampeders linebacker wants everyone to know he's sorry.
The five-year CFL veteran apologized yesterday for the altercation Tuesday that prompted the Stamps head coach to leave him at home for a 28-17 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Friday that clinched first place in the West Division.
At the team photo yesterday, Armour was still sporting a black eye and swollen nose, but his pride was more wounded than his face.
"For the fans, I've never been an instigator. I've never been a troublemaker. More than anything, I'm sorry I let them down for my absence," Armour said.
"Thankfully, we have guys on the team who have stepped up and played well. If I could do it all again, I would have done it differently. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"A smarter person wouldn't have been in that situation. I shouldn't have been there."
Armour's injuries didn't keep him from playing against his former team. Hufnagel left him out for disciplinary reasons, and the coach wouldn't say whether Armour would return next Saturday against the B.C. Lions in the regular-season finale at McMahon Stadium.
"I had a chance to talk with JoJuan and he seems genuinely sorry for putting himself and the team in a bad situation," Hufnagel said.
"He apologized and wants to move forward. That's what we're doing.
"We're going to spend some time this week figuring out who is going to play against the Lions."
Although Armour asked Hufnagel Wednesday if he could play, he understands the boss' choice to keep him out.
"He's the coach and that's why he gets paid to make those decisions," Armour said. "Like it or not, I had to respect it. He wants to win too, so he's going to put the best players on the field. It's not that he's making the decision based on nothing.
"He does what he feels is best for the character of the team. No matter how reluctant I was about the decision, it was the best decision."
Armour reportedly told an ex-Ticats teammate he was trying to come to the aid of a woman when he was beat up.
He didn't want to discuss details yesterday, just replying "I was in the wrong place at the wrong time" when asked.
"The story isn't important," Armour said. "The story is we clinched the West and I missed it.
"It was the biggest game of my professional career. I've never been this close to winning a championship, and I wasn't part of the game that clinched us for the first-round bye.
"More than anything, I love the game and to not be part of something I've been doing so long ... I don't know how many years I can do it. People who love the game will understand how much it hurts right now."[url=http://calsun.canoe.ca/Sports/Football/2008/10/26/7208296-sun.html]http://calsun.canoe.ca/Sports/Football/ ... 6-sun.html[/url]