Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 7)

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Responses to major incidents off of the field are beginning to define leagues as there is more pressure than ever to get these decisions right.

There has always been a look to athletes as role models with their lives becoming goals for the generations watching them.

In the past, those lives were never really seen though as fans only ever saw what they did on the field and what they said in interviews.

Athletes were always able to portray what they wanted to the public and live their lives separate from the spotlight.

That has changed in a major way as now athletes are a part of the celebrity world and their lives are now open for everyone to see.

It is both a good and a bad thing as the privacy of players is no longer there with many of them not able to do or say anything without being criticized.

It can lead to a lack of personality as players no longer want to say anything that isn’t just a boring common answer for fear that they will get in trouble from someone who doesn’t like what they said.

It can also leave many players under pressure at all times with their lives off of the field under almost as much scrutiny as on-field.

It isn’t all bad though as players are held responsible for the things that they do and they can no longer get away with anything.

In the past athletes could do almost anything and get away with it as people would always be around to protect them and nobody cared about their personal lives as long as they performed.

They don’t have that protection anymore and people do care that they are good people along with being good players.

When it comes to minor things they often find themselves having to apologize and make it right but more importantly they are no longer able to hide major transgressions.

The issues seem to never stop now as more and more players are getting in trouble for much more than just saying the wrong thing.

Although it is not entirely new it does seem that more athletes are involved in legal battles than ever before.

In an era where being silent is no longer acceptable more athletes are becoming the focus of criminal charges and serious off-field issues.

The CFL is no stranger to these issues as the league has not had the same amount of issues as other leagues but they have had to make some major decisions in recent years.

The league is looking to learn from the mistakes of the other major leagues around it as they take a certain approach to these major issues.

This week was an example of that as one of the biggest stars in the league was officially charged with voyeurism stemming from an incident in 2016.

Jerome Messam has been one of the best running backs in the league of years and the fact that he is Canadian has helped his cause.football-sidebar

This year the Saskatchewan Roughriders were hoping to take advantage of that consistency that he brings to stabilize their running game.

So far this year it hasn’t been as great as they had hoped with only 205 yards from the former Most Outstanding Canadian.

Things took a turn as the Roughriders lost their Canadian running back after he was charged for voyeurism.

The charges came from an incident where he allegedly filmed a woman while having sex without her knowledge.

The charge was taken seriously by the CFL and the Roughriders with Messam essentially ending his career.

The Riders released Messam after the charges were announced and the CFL as a league stated that they would not accept any contracts for the running back.

Messam essentially has no place to play and will not have a place to play anytime soon meaning his career is over.

The CFL took what became more than an accusation as a serious issue and took a strong stance almost immediately.

Of course, he could also be found not guilty leading to some issues with the league’s decision but if he were to be proven innocent the CFL would very likely allow teams to sign him again.

This type of response is what many would like to see in other leagues but the CFL is taking a different approach.

They are taking a stand and making quick decisions regardless of the potential outcome from the courts.

They are taking a stand that other leagues are worried to do but it is one that needs to be taken and this time around it seems like the right step to take.

 

Fourth Down

Kicking for the Win

The Ottawa REDBLACKS began a long stand in the east as they looked to begin to make some serious progress towards the eastern division title. The first game was against the Hamilton Ti-Cats and their offence struggled in an important game that could be the difference in the fight to be first. That didn’t mean they were completely out of it though as they did just enough to get it into the range of their rookie kicker, Lewis Ward. The REDBLACKS took the game 21-15 with all 21 of their points coming off of the foot of Ward. With seven field goals, Ward was the difference in getting them this important win.

Headed in a New Direction

The Toronto Argonauts signed James Franklin to be the future of the quarterback position in the city when Ricky Ray eventually retired. His time came sooner than most expected when Ray went down with what will likely be a career-ending injury. Under Franklin, the offence has not necessarily fired though as they struggled in the last few weeks. Against Winnipeg, the Argos put up 34 points over two weeks including a 14 point performance in Week 7. The struggles have led Marc Trestman to try something else as they announced that McLeod Bethel-Thompson would be taking over under centre getting the start in Week 8.

First Team Reps

The headlines will consistently be taken over by Johnny Manziel and this week was no different. After a trade to the Montreal Alouettes, the thought was that Manziel was going to be getting some major reps very soon. It was expected that he would play in Week7 even though he wasn’t going to get the start. The game came and the Edmonton Eskimos ran over the Alouettes leading Mike Sherman to keep Manziel on the bench. People are still waiting to see Johnny Football play but as practices begin for Week 8 the possibility is more likely. It was revealed that so far this week Manziel has been taking first-team reps leading many to believe that Week 8 might be his first start or at least his first significant playing time.

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