November 4, 2008
Fantastic four voted all-stars
By JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA
The Eskimos have four chances to break their slump.
Four members of the last- place squad in the West Division -- Kamau Peterson, Jason Goss, Dario Romero and Patrick Kabongo -- have been voted to the CFL West Division all-star team by a panel that included the western half of the Football Reporters of Canada.
The Esks didn't have a single player named to the CFL-wide all-star team last year, a statistic that matched their 5-12-1 2007 record.
Peterson should make the league-wide all-star list during the next round of voting considering he finished the regular-season ranked third in the CFL in receiving with 1,317 yards and 101 catches.
But he's not too concerned with individual honours.
"The all-star nod (in the West) is secondary to everything," said Peterson, after the all-star players were announced yesterday.
"It is nice to be recognized but it is not something I play for.
"I am focused on getting to Winnipeg and hopefully we can put out a good showing."
With five interceptions --including two for touchdowns -- Goss will definitely receive several votes in the next round of balloting.
In 16 games this year, Romero registered six sacks and four tackles for a loss.
Kabongo didn't miss a start and handled the move to guard from tackle with relative ease.
All four players are first-time West Division all-stars.
SHANNON'S SWAN SONG?
Shannon Garrett could be facing the final game of his football career on Saturday.
The Edmonton Eskimos veteran outside linebacker is about to play the 245th game of his 14-year CFL career in the East Division semifinal in Winnipeg.
At 36, the import admits he could walk away from the sport at the end of this season.
"It's 50-50," he said.
"I haven't made my decision yet."
Garrett won't say it, but it sure seems like he's leaning toward retiring.
But the Mississippi native is too smart to make any decisions before the gun sounds on the final game of the year -- be it this weekend or later in the Edmonton playoff run.
Garrett has been a valuable cog in the Esks' defence for three seasons after taking over the SAM-linebacker role when Steven Marsh didn't return from knee surgery after the 2005 Grey Cup.
In a team-bonding exercise, the Eskimos had a players-only dinner last night at a local Italian restaurant in advance of Saturday's playoff game in Winnipeg.
"We have been through a lot this season. It is to celebrate what we have been through, what we are about to go through," said Peterson.
Winnipeg's weather for Saturday calls for a high of minus three with variable cloud and a north wind at 20 kmh ... With this crossover playoff game starting at noon in Winnipeg (11 a.m. MT), the Esks have officially moved their practice sessions this week to 11 a.m. from the regular 2:30 p.m. start. The players voted for the practice time change to get used to the early start time ... While the game will be played on artificial turf, the Esks will likely have at least one practice on a grass field this week because it will be easier on legs.