Jack Todd: Als' Jamel Richardson needs to act like a pro


MONTREAL — There’s less than a minute to play at the Rogers Centre. The Alouettes, after stinking the joint out in back-to-back games, are about to salt away a 24-12 road victory over the Toronto Argonauts — a win they very much need.

The game is in the bag, basically, but Anthony Calvillo, the quarterback on whom everything depends, still has to take a knee a couple of times. Toronto head coach Scott Milanovich has too much class to pull a Greg Schiano and have his players go after Calvillo — but you don’t want to take a chance, right?

So what is Jamel Richardson doing?

He’s standing up, paying no attention to the play whatsoever, jawing at someone in the Argos backfield. There were several bad things that could have happened in that situation. Like a fumble bouncing Richardson’s way when he wasn’t ready. Or a defender shooting the gap to flatten Calvillo out of spite. Or an unsportsmanlike conduct call on Richardson.

If it were someone else, it might not be worth mentioning. But it’s Richardson, the same guy who threw a very visible fit on the field earlier in the game when Calvillo didn’t throw to him. Who sulked at his locker and offered monosyllabic answers earlier in the week when asked if he was getting the ball enough. Who took a dumb offside penalty earlier.

It was a gritty win for the Als. Apart from a couple of big plays, about the only bright spot on offence was backup running-back Chris Jennings, who did an outstanding job filling in for the injured Victor Anderson, who in turn was replacing the injured Brandon Whitaker.

The “W,” on a day when Calvillo wasn’t sharp, goes to the defence, led by Shea Emry and Kyries Hebert, working against erratic Toronto backup QB Jarious Jackson. It gives the Als a comfortable two-game lead over the Argos with two games to play.

But the Alouettes need their big-play guy to step up and act like a pro. Never in the history of the sport has talking trash won a football game. Richardson running his mouth isn’t going to drive the Als back to another Grey Cup. Richardson running his legs just might.

News item: “FIFA hands Christine Sinclair a four-game suspension.” Seriously. FIFA, the same folks who are so bent they somehow managed to award the men’s World Cup to Qatar, a tiny, repressive oil state whose one qualification for hosting a great international sports spectacle is that it can offer temperatures that would fry an egg in the shade.

FIFA suspending Christine Sinclair is like Al Capone suspending Mother Teresa. There were suspensions aplenty that should have been handed out after Team Canada was robbed at the London Olympics — to Norwegian referee Christina Pedersen, NBC, the IOC and FIFA. Sinclair? She should have received a gold medal for truth-telling.

Lanced, again: I’ve heard from a dozen people telling me I have the right to say “I told you so” in the wake of the latest revelations about Lance Armstrong.

Truth is, I was wrong. It’s so much worse than I thought. There have been plenty of dopers in the sports world, from Barry Bonds to Marion Jones. Armstrong may be the only one who didn’t simply lie and cheat — he also bullied others into lying and cheating.

&&&&& here they are at last, Beatles & Germs, the Top 10 Things We Don’t Miss About NHL Hockey:

10. Foghorn Dreghorn telling us that “TSN has just learned that the Stanley Cup is awarded to the team that wins the NHL playoffs.”

9. Barry Melrose, with or without the mullet.

8. Pierre Gauthier.

7. Leaf fans waving tin-foil Stanley Cups after the team wins two in a row in October.

6. Scott Hartnell’s hair.

5. Brian Burke’s 21,375th interview.

4. Morning skates.

3. “We just have to stay focused and take it one game at a time.”

2. Lobotomized fans watching themselves on the big scoreboard.

&&&& the No. 1 thing we don’t miss about NHL hockey? Don Cherry.

Lies, rumours &&&& vicious innuendo: Your Monday Morning Quarterback got sucked into watching Felix Baumgartner’s remarkable parachute jump from space on Sunday. I’m not sure what the point of the jump was, or even why I watched it — but when he stood up on that platform and jumped, all I could say was “holy $&*#!!! …

Things we’re sick and tired of hearing, number 3,786: “The owners in hockey take all the risk.” Horse patootie! Where did that ever get started in the first place? The owners take precisely none of the risk. These guys are experts at playing with other people’s money. No, it’s the players who take all the risk. They’re always one hit away from the twilight world where Marc Savard and Chris Pronger exist today. I say “exist” because what Savard and Pronger are going through does not count as “living.” …

If you read the comment strings below most any story on the NHL lockout, you get the creepy feeling that about half the fans out there are in a strange love/hate thing with hockey players. More than a few of these comments are downright unbalanced. …

Heartbreaking to see the way the Baltimore Orioles, Oakland A’s and Washington Nationals lost in the baseball playoffs — especially my Nats, who appeared to have it all sewn up. After all the talk about the upstart Orioles, Nationals and Oakland A’s, we’re left with the usual suspects — the last three World Series winners (the Cardinals, Giants and Yankees) and the Detroit Tigers, who lost to the Cards in 2006. …

Every baseball fan, even the Yankee haters like myself, had to feel sick for Derek Jeter after he fractured his ankle Saturday night, ending his post-season. Jeter is headed for the Hall of Fame but this was a detour he didn’t need. …

So Usain Bolt is coming back for Rio after all. Maybe the greatest athlete since Jesse Owens feels he has to silence his critics, from Jacques Rogge to Bruce Jenner. …

The Republicans keep talking about how bad unemployment is in the U.S. — but it can’t be that bad. Pierre Gauthier found a job. …

And this final thought: Jerry Sandusky is the kind of guy who makes you think that maybe drawing and quartering isn’t such a bad idea.

Heroes: Felix Baumgartner, Shea Emry, Kyries Hebert, Chris Jennings, Anwar Stewart, Usain Bolt, Justin Verlander, Raul Ibanez, Russell Martin, CC Sabathia, Derek Jeter, Alex Karras, Krys Barch &&&& Christine Sinclair.

Zeros: Lance Armstrong, FIFA, Penn State, Jamel Richardson, Jeffrey Loria, David Samson, Scott Rolen, Matt Slauson, Daryl Katz, Roger Goodell, Ed Snider, Jeremy Jacobs &&&& Gary Bettman and his $&*#%@, never-ending lockouts!


We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report spam or abuse. We are using Facebook commenting. Visit our FAQ page for more information.
Your voice