June 2016 – The Spring of our Discontent

With apologies to the Immortal Bard: Something is rotten in this state of DENIAL.

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, professional sports is often about LYING…plain and simple. After spending the bulk of his career “riding the pines” and being promised he was the “quarterback of the future”, Adrian McPherson could be excused for thinking he just escaped a DEEPLY abusive relationship in Montreal. And yet, you barely heard a peep in protest from the NOW veteran pivot.

Which is what made last week’s events so unusual. Dominique Ellis was released and Mitchell White balked at being demoted and being asked to take a 30K salary cut. While it’s true that defensive backs can be as replaceable as ball carriers, it was White’s response to the moves that caught the attention of Alouettes supporters:

Something’s going on. It’s a very unstable situation currently in that organization. That’s why I wanted a one-year deal.

Players can be excused for not wanting a reputation as a troublemaker. Publicly exposing the inner workings, squabbles and tensions on a professional team can mean your career. And yet Dominique Ellis said much the same thing upon HIS release.

Whether it’s the manic, nosebleed ascension of Calvillo, from receivers coach to quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator in a span of 2 weeks last season. OR it’s the MULTITUDE of flaws that SCREAMS “what the FUCK is a douche like Popp doing pretending he’s a Head Coach!!!???”. OR perhaps the fact that Noel Thorpe, having FINALLY had his fill of the dysfunctional circus in this city…tried to bolt only to spend this season back in Montreal, in virtual CHAINS. Something seems “not quite right” with the Montreal Alouettes.

Preseason is about candycanes and promises. Rookies with blazing speed (Martese Jackson) and the new guy who’ll take the league’s HEAD OFF (Jared Koster). So when two established defensive backs are essentially CUT with bullshit explanations about how the rookies “won the job” it’s OBVIOUS to EVERYONE Popp overextended with contracts for BIG Stars like Duron Carter, Adams Jr. and Vaughn Martin AND is pathologically INCAPABLE of admitting the truth, to ANYONE about ANYTHING. No sweets can erase bitter bile of being deceived by someone you’re meant to trust.

It’s this TOXIC combination of absolute power, impunity from ANY repercussions and DECADES of bullshit that has corrupted the focus of GM Jim Popp, and everyone and everything else below him…including HeadCoach (sic) Jim Popp.

As this season unfolds and the folly of this team manifests itself: the GM who would be KING, the ex-quarterback who sadly was NEVER given the chance to grow into his new career, the slaveboy who was once a defensive coordinator…the opportunities for UTTER collapse abound.

That’s NOT to say THIS Alouettes team CAN’T win or WON’T win. THIS is the CFL. Trust me. Anything can happen.

So while Jim Popp is technically correct: at the start of the season EVERY team has an equal chance of success…it’s hardly an informed, professional analysis. With apologies to the Immortal Bard: Something is rotten in this state of DENIAL.

Dominique Ellis and Mitchell White are trying to tell us something. If unicorns and magic rainbows fail to materialize, let’s pray we’ll have the clarity and wisdom to figure out EXACTLY what they were trying to say. Then we just have to prevent Popp from brainwashing Bob Wetenhall into giving him YET ANOTHER shot at absolute POWER. Maybe get Vaughn Martin and Alan-Michael Cash to sit on him for a spell while we have a heart to heart with the bossman.

Regardless of the scenario…hopefully we won’t have burnt through ANOTHER Alouettes season before we figure it all out.


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