A Tuesday smorgas-bored…and I don’t want to go to Regina either…
Does anyone else see and appreciate the irony in the Paul LaPolice situation?
I mean, back in 2012, Coach LaPo was sideline steward with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the general manager of the day, Sleepy Joe Mack, told him to get lost. Hoofed his heinie out of Dodge eight games into the season. Yet here we are today and GM Kyle Walters is holding the guy hostage.
Talk about not knowing if you’re coming or going.
We aren’t privy to the why and wherefore behind Winnipeg FC’s refusal to grant LaPolice permission to chin wag with the Saskatchewan Roughriders about their head coaching vacancy, because Walters has been mum on the matter to this point. But a couple of theories have been advanced. To wit:
1) LaPolice, the Bombers offensive coordinator, knows too much. (More irony there; Sleepy Joe didn’t think he knew enough.)
2) It’s too late in the Canadian Football League off-season for Walters to go scrambling for a suitable replacement.
Well, okay, let’s unwrap.
In regards to Point 1, yes, Coach LaPo has insider intel that the Canadian Mafia—Walters, head coach Mike O’Shea, chief cook and biscuit-maker Wade Miller—would prefer to keep to themselves. Allowing the arch-rival on the Flatlands to recruit and hire LaPolice would put that classified information at risk.
In regards to Point 2, cow patties! Great big fresh steamy cow patties!
Allow me to direct your attention to the Toronto Argonauts, bless their ignored souls.
The Boatmen punted general manager Jim Barker on Jan. 24, 2017, and head coach/quarterback whisperer Scott Milanovich pulled the pin three days later.
Thus, the Rowers found themselves up Schitt’s Creek without a paddle. No GM. No head knock. No hope. Right?
Well, it would be a full month before the Argos filled those two voids, with the Jim Popp-Marc Trestman tag team coming on board on the last day of February, yet history reminds us that the Argos were holding the Grey Cup aloft in Nathan Phillips Square in the Republic of Tranna just nine months later.
So if it’s timing that the Canadian Mafia is selling, I’m not buying.
C’mon, man, we’re talking about an offensive coordinator here, not finding a GM and a head coach at the 11th hour. Hard to believe LaPolice is the only guy capable of getting the job done, which, of course, he didn’t get done in the West Division final last November.
Basically, Coach LaPo’s gotten a raw deal from the Bombers for a second time and no one can blame this one on Sleepy Joe Mack’s itchy trigger finger.
Too late to find an O-coordinator? If so, what’s Buck Pierce’s excuse? He was the Winnipeg FC running backs coach for two seasons and he’s been the QB guru for the past three. Has Buck had his eyes closed and his ears plugged the whole time? If he isn’t ready now, when?
Having said all that, Winnipeg FC is under no obligation to mop up the mess that Chris Jones created on the Flatlands. The Roughriders gave their GM, head coach and D-coordinator an escape clause, which he used to flee to the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League, and the Bombers aren’t in the business of doing Gang Green any favors. Still, to hold LaPolice back is bad form and a dreadful optic.
Both LaPolice and Bytown RedBlacks OC Jaime Elizondo want the Riders’ job. They do realize that there’s no quarterback, no receivers and it would mean living most of the year in Regina, right?
Aside from being Scrooge McFootball in matters of coaches climbing ladders, who’s prepared to quibble about the work Walters has done this off-season? Not me. He’s already sweet-talked Justin Medlock, Beastmo Bighill, Stanley Bryant and Jackson Jeffcoat into returning. And, for all we know, he’s the reason QB Matt Nichols has sworn off cheeseburgers and fries. That’s fine work.
I really don’t believe CBS football gab guy Tony Romo can see the future, but if he tells me it isn’t safe to get on an airplane I’m taking a bus. If he tells me an earthquake will strike the West Coast tomorrow, I’m buying a survival kit today. Romo’s work in the American Football Conference final between the K.C. Chiefs and New England Brady/Belichicks was Rod Serling kind of spooky. He knew what Tom Brady would do before Tom Brady knew what he would do. Just call him Tony Nostraromos.
And, finally, does anybody have a clue what’s going on with the Oilers in Edmonton? If so, you can reach GM Peter Chiarelli at allhell’sbrokenloose.com.