Knee-D to know

Edmonton Eskimos' A.J. Gass used a fan website to comment on an incident with Hamilton Tiger-Cats'...

Edmonton Eskimos' A.J. Gass used a fan website to comment on an incident with Hamilton Tiger-Cats' Brock Ralph on the weekend. (Edmonton Sun/Jason Franson)

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:06 AM ET

A.J. Gass has admitted to the world he made a mistake.

In another clear example of hindsight being 20-20, Gass has now realized he was wrong to retaliate and kick Ticat receiver Brock Ralph on the final play last Saturday night in Hamilton.

The nasty incident happened just seconds after Ralph dove at the knees of defensive end Adam Braidwood.

Thankfully for the Esks, Gass has only been fined an undisclosed amount by the CFL and will not be suspended for Friday's Edmonton-Hamilton rematch at Commonwealth Stadium.

The CFL isn't revealing if Ralph has been fined, but expect that to happen today.

However, in a very rare move in professional sports, Gass decided to admit his wrongdoing on the Internet.

The nine-year member of the Green and Gold wrote a short statement and then posted it on the Eskimos' fan Website.

"My worst play as a pro," he wrote under the alias esks77.

"In hindsight, I should have filed it away and taken his head off next game."

The posting -- which appeared on esksfans.com on Sunday afternoon after Gass arrived home -- has attracted a lot of attention.

As of yesterday afternoon, the statement had been viewed 3,018 times and received 101 replies. "I just wanted to let (fans) know my mindset," he said yesterday.

And when he faced the media before yesterday's practice, he elaborated on his regret.

"You do a lot of crazy things in the heat of the moment of the game," said the fiery middle linebacker. "I regret my actions for sure. Every time you fly off the handle, you regret losing that control.

"I always pride myself on being calm and level-headed and to be able to think in pressure situations.

"In that split-second I didn't.

"And now I am looking forward to moving on."

Make no mistake, Gass is not apologizing for the boot to Ralph. And the incident is still very fresh in his mind.

"To kick a guy when he's down is a disrespectful act," he remarked. "But to also shoot at a guy's knee when the game is clearly in hand ..."

"As much as I hate to say this, at least Nik Lewis had a purpose," Gass continued, referring to Lewis making a low block on Kelly Wiltshire two weeks ago, which likely ended his career. "His purpose was to spring a running back. There is no other purpose at the end of the game to shoot at a guy's knee (like Ralph did) ... other than to intend to hurt."

For his part, Ralph is also regretful.

"What I want Edmonton to hear is that my intent wasn't to hurt anybody," said Ralph from his Hamilton-area home yesterday. "If I could do it over again, I would probably do some things differently."

Ralph refused to comment on Gass kicking him on the turf, but does admit he isn't looking to retaliate outside the rules of the game on Friday night.

Gass claims he has the same mindset. But he also hopes Ralph comes through his neighbourhood.

"I just hope he dares to cross the middle (of the field)," shot the linebacker, who would love to punish Ralph like any other player.

"I am going to make it a minefield.

"If you come across the middle, you are probably going to get blown up."

Head coach Danny Maciocia is breathing a sigh of relief that Gass wasn't suspended, but isn't a fan of his linebacker's actions.

"I thought he went about it the wrong way," said the coach.

"Some of our guys got carried away -- particularly A.J."

But Maciocia -- like everyone involved in the melee -- doesn't expect retaliation outside the rules of the game.


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