'Quarterback controversy' doesn't exist with Eskimos

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

Call it a pet peeve, but "quarterback controversy" is one of the most over-used terms in sports.

Frankly, it's often a fantasy or fabrication - a catch-all phrase used by those looking for trouble where there is none.

When a team has two quarterbacks capable of starting, in the minds of many it means there must be a "quarterback controversy."

Well, not necessarily.

Often a more accurate description would be, well, "depth."

If one quarterback says, "I'm getting screwed. I'm better than the other guy," and the other says, "Why's he running his mouth? He can't carry my jockstrap," then, yes, that's a "quarterback controversy."

If both guys say, "I want to be No. 1, but I'll be ready to go whenever I'm called upon. I really want what's best for the team," then, no, that's not a "quarterback controversy."

The B.C. Lions have a problem brewing between Dave Dickenson and Casey Printers, although the tension is as much about money (Dickenson makes $400,000 and 2004 MVP Printers makes about $65,000) as it is about playing time. Printers has gone public with his discontent.

The Edmonton Eskimos, meanwhile, don't have a "quarterback controversy" with Jason Maas and Ricky Ray.

Ray is No. 1. Period.

He made that perfectly clear in a 41-16 dismantling of the Ottawa Renegades Friday.

Maas is No. 2.

That, at least for now, isn't a problem.

Ray and Maas are team guys first.

They like, and respect, each other.

And, unless I haven't been paying attention, neither has uttered a discouraging word.

There is no "quarterback controversy."

IT SAYS HERE: Hats off to Prince George city council for giving the thumbs down to the Gong Show known as Battle of the Hockey Enforcers.

The on-again-off-again event, in which washed-up tough guys beat each other up for money in front of freaks with a thirst for bare-knuckles blood-letting, was scheduled for Aug. 27, but was voted down by a margin of 5-3.

A question: Which three members of council thought mindless brawling was a good idea?

TAKE THIS, AND THAT TOO: It was clear from Friday's turnout at St. Pius X Catholic Church that devoted husband and father Bill LaForge touched many people in his 53 years. A lot of grown men wept that day, and that says a lot about how much Buffalo Bill and his passion for hockey will be missed ... former Kamloops Junior Oiler Darryl Reaugh flew in from Texas to attend LaForge's funeral ... Expect Chris (Happy) Davie, the athletic therapist for the Edmonton Road Runners last season, to show up as an assistant to Ken Lowe on the Oilers staff next season ... Team 1260 bigmouth SpongeBob Stauffer comes off as a hard-ass on the air, but he's got a heart of gold. When he thought nobody was looking, Stauffer cut CFRN's Bryan Mudryk a cheque for $200 for his charity golf tournament in aid of cancer research - Stauffer didn't even tee it up.

WHILE I'M AT IT: A high-five to Esks' PR man Jamie (The Mangler) Cartmell.

When some clown, no doubt fuelled by stupidity and beer, came out of the stands Friday and made a bee-line for the field in the fourth quarter, Sweet Jimmie C, still recovering from a broken collar bone, laid the smack down.

Cartmell put the bozo on his backside. 


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