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  Thu, January 22, 2004


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MacCulloch stays positive
Still hoping to play again in NBA

By PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

Optimism can take a person a long way. But how much longer can it carry Todd MacCulloch?

MacCulloch turned 28 earlier this month, but whatever celebration he had was tempered.

A rare neurological condition affecting his feet continues to keep the Winnipeg product out of the lineup of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers.

So instead of being in the prime of his career, MacCulloch is nearing the end of his rope.

It was a year ago this month the 7-foot centre, a Shaftesbury High School grad, was struck down by a disorder known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth, which affects his balance, causes his feet to tingle and burn and makes running impossible.

Yesterday, from his home in Philadelphia, he admitted the anniversary came and went without any good news.

"There hasn't really been a whole lot of change," MacCulloch said. "I'm glad things haven't gotten worse, but I can say they haven't gotten significantly better. I shoot around and walk around and stuff, but I haven't done any running activities, still."

Causing even more frustration is the fact doctors aren't sure if it's just the CMT, or some other condition working in conjunction with it.

At the same time, he remains hopeful some test will more clearly identify his problem, so doctors can attack it.

It sounds like there isn't an approach or idea MacCulloch hasn't tried.

In November, he spent 10 days at a Florida holistic health centre, exploring natural forms of healing.

"I loved it. It really opened up my eyes to the world of medicine and natural healing," he said. "I'm a big supporter of that. But that's kind of a long process."

How much longer MacCulloch plans to search for answers is unclear.

He knows he's nearing a crossroads, but so far, he's not giving up the idea of some day playing again.

"I'm optimistic. I know that's an important part of it, too ... so I'm trying to prepare my mind for good things."

STAMPS FIASCO

At first, it appeared the NFL was sticking it to us. Turns out it's probably just another example of mismanagement by the Calgary Stampeders.

You may have heard of the case of Stephen Morley, an offensive lineman who showed a ton of promise with the Stamps last season.

A few weeks back, Morley, going into the option year of his contract -- or so we thought -- signed a deal with the NFL's Green Bay Packers. The Pack thought so highly of the guy, they handed him a signing bonus of about $100,000.

Next thing you know, the Stamps say Morley had previously signed a contract extension, and couldn't take advantage of the CFL-NFL player agreement.

Word around the league is that extension wasn't exactly legit, that Morley was duped.

The problem is, the CFL head office is doing nothing about it.

Stamps new GM Matt Dunigan, showing his class, says he'll put Morley on waivers and ask the other eight teams not to claim him, freeing him to go south.

Bomber GM Brendan Taman says he'll oblige, and everybody else should, too.

"I wouldn't claim the kid," Taman said. "Because that's not right that he doesn't get the chance to go to the NFL."

Of course, Taman wonders, and rightfully so, why the CFL didn't just step in and void the deal with Calgary in the first place.

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN

Did you know that Super Bowl-bound quarterback Jake Delhomme was once in the Blue Bombers plans?

Taman put Delhomme on the Bombers negotiation list a few years back, thinking he'd get tired of bouncing to and from the practice roster of the Saints and try the CFL.

Finally, Taman removed him, and now Delhomme is taking Carolina into the NFL championship.

By the way, Dallas QB Quincy Carter was once on the Bomber neg list, too.

"It just shows you what a guy can do if he gets a chance," Taman said.









Do you like the new-look Raptors heading into the 2013-14 NBA season?
  Yes, new GM made great moves
  No, they will still be a terrible team
  Unsure what to make of it


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