I chose the moniker nostredummass for a specific reason. Even back then, the secrecy that shrouds the inner workings of ANY pro sports team can be more than frustrating to those who invest their time, money and emotions on that team. I fit into at least 1 of those categories. So, whether it’s predicting the future of the Alouettes OR attempting to lift the veil in the present…nostredummass intends to stay on the job…come what may.
What came a while before the Saskatchewan game was a trip, an attempt at stopping my fall by putting my arm up, and a 2nd dislocation of that shoulder. For any Montrealers reading these words…BE WARNED…nurses and orderlies at the Hotel Dieu Hospital (hitherto known to me as Hotel HELL) made me wait 5 hours before EVEN administering a 1st attempt at pain killing/management. Not to mention…on one of the hottest days of the year. they refused me water almost the entire time. Muscle cramps on top of a dislocated shoulder=Hotel HELL. After THE 1st drugs wore off in 15 minutes (at 6’2″ 225lbs it generally takes 2x the dosage…try explaining THAT to a doctor), I was wheeled off, once again in AGONY, to take my place among the unfortunates in the hospital hallway. 2 hours later the doctor saw me and administered a drug that was supposed stop the 6-7hr old PAIN…to permit her to “reset” the arm without putting me out. That didn’t work. NOT because I couldn’t take the pain, but because she simply wasn’t strong enough, and the SLIGHTEST show of pain on my part stopped her altogether. I kept saying “do it NOW”. She was unable. The NEXT step was a drug everyone should try at least ONCE IMO. It puts you “out” for a few minutes while they’re free to do what they wish. What I EXPERIENCED is impossible to describe, even to myself. The closest I can come is equating it to the moment in everyone’s life when you are about to die and make that final conscious effort to let go and leave life behind. Somehow that moment of release was very liberating…and the fact I didn’t actually die was a HUGE bonus. NOT dying in Hotel Hell: PRICELESS.
So I may have been a little elated, and a bit numb…certainly in significant pain when I watched the Alouettes DESTROY Saskatchewan the following evening. However, even in my pain-addled state, I couldn’t help wondering about Chris Jones’ defensive strategy.
After all…previous games had exposed the Alouettes’ offensive line as weak, to say the least. Furthermore, Calvillo’s passing strategy consisted of dropping the QB straight back into the pocket…down after down. The Ticats weren’t the ONLY ones to take advantage of THAT predictability. Thirdly…Kevin Glenn is as mobile as a tree stump.
What could possibly have gotten into Chris Jones, giving Alouettes QB’s so much time in the pocket, unchallenged AND unhurried? THEN a possible answer hit me SMACK between the eyes when I read today that Brandon Bridge was released: Popp and Jones cut a deal.
Look…I KNOW that those who regularly conspire in this world have used their power over the media to paint ANYONE who espouses any kind of conspiracy theory as a nutjob. What’s power good for…if you can’t manipulate the public consciousness and destroy your enemies? Still…conspiracies continue at an ever more accelerated pace…brakes off. So HERE’s what I think happened THIS time.
I’ve taken to describing folks with a propensity for manipulation and a taste for power as having reptilian minds. NOT fair to reptiles, I know. But it’s an attempt to portray such impulses as base, belonging to what hopefully will become an embarrassing past history for our species. Jim Popp has a reptilian mind. Before Monday’s game, Popp and Calvillo were in serious hot water. If the Alouettes HADN’T won, it’s safe to say one OR both would have been gone.
While PERHAPS in not as much trouble, Chris Jones MUST be wondering if he has ANY chance at success in Regina, considering Durant’s fragility, and the lack of ANY legitimate successor. So here’s how I think the phone call MIGHT have gone:
Jones: “What do you want Jim? We’re playing you in a few days.”
Popp: “Look Chris, we’re BOTH in some deep shit at 1-3. I think I have an idea that could help us out”
Jones: “I’m listening.”
Popp: “I’ll say it straight out. As defensive coordinator you have the power to STOP your guys from pressuring Glenn…”
Jones: “Why the fuck would I want to do that?”
Popp: “When I was shopping Cato around this winter you made it clear you were interested. You just weren’t going to give up a 1st round pick for him”
Jones: “And I still won’t.”
Popp: “I understand. But I figure if you stifle your defensive rush enough to give Glenn some time in the pocket, our offense might just do something.”
Jones: “And in return?”
Popp: “I’ll put Cato in at the end of the game. He doesn’t fit into our plans anymore. If he messes the bed we’ll release him later during the week. If he doesn’t, we’ll release Bridge..wait for the right time to dump Cato. Either way you’ll get one…maybe two young talented QB’s with skillsets arguably more similar to Durant than Calvillo.”
“You have a deal.”
The fun thing about conspiracy theories is they’re NEVER likely to be resolved either way. It’s also what’s HORRIBLE about them. Make no mistake: conspiracies, be they in politics, sports or ANY other aspect of modern life…whenever 2 or more POWERFUL people have an agenda they can’t accomplish ANY other way…abound and proliferate.
IF Bridge AND/OR Cato end up in Regina…I’ll KNOW I read the tea leafs correctly.