August 2016 – Popping Off with Mr. UnPoppular

They say animals are at their MOST dangerous when cornered. I don’t know about that but…  Jim Popp is losing his shit. THIS MUCH is clear.

According to RDS, at Sunday’s team meeting Popp said that he could “release players and replace them with others ONLY making the CFL minimum salary.” Much as he did with Mitchell Whyte (currently playing for the Ottawa RedBlacks) and Dominique Ellis, (currently playing for the Hamilton TigerCats). Popp went on to say that the discarded players would have no choice but to turn to “illicit activities” to make a living.

First off…I’d like to personally thank whatever Alouettes player offered up the rarest of gifts: a window into what goes on behind closed doors.

Secondly…I’ve said from the start of the season, THIS Alouettes team, regardless of who’s at quarterback, is as good (on the field) as any in the league. The fact that 2 players, released because they “weren’t good enough” for the Alouettes, ended up playing for the defending Eastern Champs AND the runnerup, respectively…proves the level of talent on this team…if nothing else.

Where this team falls WOEFULLY short is in the coaching ranks…MOST notably Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator.

No one is sure what “illicit activities” ex-coaches get up to when they’ve been fired for incompetence…but as long as the Alouettes aren’t saddled with them I’m fine with it.

Here’s a little audio recording of RDS’s report:

I met Matthiew Proulx at the Dollarama a few years back, “illicitly” buying some cheap-assed peanut butter and whatnot. Proulx struck me as someone who shoots pretty straight, told me YEARS before it became obvious that McPherson, despite being well liked by his teammates, should get the hell out of Montreal before he wasted his career and talent away. If I’d listened to Proulx at the time, maybe I wouldn’t have personally BEGGED McPherson to stay in Montreal…something I regret to this day. Sorry AD.

Proulx’s comments are worth translating:

“I should say that we’re always hoping to see the value…how a coach is going to react when his team is going badly. Given the situation with the Alouettes, how he’s going to be a good leader, rally the troops, and I have to say that there are a LOT of things said in that dressing room. It’s not always clean. It’s not always nice. But sometimes you need to hear the truth. But if what we hear is true, and what we hear he said is the truth, then I find it altogether unacceptable. On the one hand it demonstrates what Popp might actually think of his players, OFF the football field and not on. But not only that, it’s really not the message you want to be sending. I understand wanting to threaten your players…trying to light a fire under them. But you have to motivate them. If you do (what Popp did) you’re doing nothing to rally or motivate your players to perform better. So to me it’s just a failure all the way down the line and a really unacceptable thing to do. Apparently he apologized. So a step in the right direction. But once you’ve lost that locker-room, it’s very hard to get it back.”

What came next wasn’t exactly a surprise, just INFINITELY depressing to have one’s worst fears confirmed. Asked if Popp will be able to hang on for the rest of the season, Proulx was candid:

“Well listen…staying for the rest of the season…probably. I don’t know how we can possibly change the way things stand right now. With Popp as General manager, Director of Operations and Head Coach  and especially since he’s the one that brought everyone in, I don’t know who would WANT to take control of the situation. I don’t see what we could really do to get out of this. The other thing is…as far as getting the locker-room back is concerned, I don’t know. As a head coach, Popp’s CV isn’t exactly eloquent. And unfortunately, with situations like these, he seems once again to NEVER take responsibility for anything that goes on, and shifts the blame to others. And that looks VERY bad.”

So there you have it. Jim Popp blaming his shiftless crew of potential criminals…but for whom he’d be the greatest football guy since…his daddy, I guess.

Ugh…I need a shower.

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