Enough name calling

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:34 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- He is most proud of his honour as the CFL's most outstanding offensive lineman of 2006.

And, quite naturally, he also earned the nod as both a CFL and West Division all-star.

So what really rankles B.C.'s Rob Murphy are repeated allegations that he plays the game with, shall we say, underhanded tactics.

Earlier this season, Murphy was ejected after an exchange of choke-holds with Edmonton's Adam Braidwood, who had accused Murphy of illegal tactics previously.Before last night's game between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Lions at B.C. Place, which was ongoing at press time, Murphy and fellow offensive tackle Jason Jimenez had reportedly been blamed for some untoward manoeuvres by Winnipeg's defensive ends.

"I'm used to it now," Murphy spat before last night's contest. "The problem I have in this league right now is that it's bush league in that people are calling people out in newspapers. It's been a year and a half up here and it doesn't make any sense to me. I've just shut my mouth and done what I've had to do, but still every week someone says something about me.

'ANNOYING'

"I must be doing my job but it's annoying. I mean, what sort of person calls someone out like that? I don't do anything dirty, plain and simple. I just go to the whistle and if people don't like it, well, I'm not going to change anything, so you'd better get used to it."

Actually, the way the 6-foot-5, 305-pound import has played has earned the respect of a number of opposing coaches, including Winnipeg's Doug Berry -- a former O-line coach -- and general managers.

"The reassuring thing here for me this year is that there have been a few coaches and general mangers who have come up to me after a game and have said, 'Forget what the media is labelling you and what the players have said, I love the way you play,'" claimed Murphy, 30.

"As long as I know that the people inside the game know that I'm not doing anything dirty and that I play to the whistle, I would hope that any other CFL coach or any other CFL GM would want me on their team."

As you might imagine, the ex-NFLer doesn't want to pick up a reputation he feels is undeserved.

"I am a little wary that with the monicker this year of being labelled a dirty player that media and people outside the actual football players are now going to say I'm a dirty player," Murphy said. "I equivocate a dirty player as someone who doesn't have the skill or the talent to do the job.

"Last year, no one said boo about me. They just said I was a good, hard player and some guy from Edmonton (Rahim Abdullah) brings this up because he had a rough year against me, and now it's kind of stuck.

"That's the one thing I don't want -- the perception to become a reality in this kind of situation."

SERMON

Lions head coach/GM Wally Buono jumped upon this latest scenario to deliver a sermon from his own mount.

"We, as a league, should be more discriminatory in what we say," he said during his pre-game press conference. "It doesn't help the image of the league or the players or management."

Yet Buono admitted Murphy got called twice for "clubbing" when the incidents would more likely had been overlooked had it not been for such reports.

"The officials have got to be looking for that for that to be called," Buono said.


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