Noel Prefontaine remains a bitter man.
More than month after the kicker/punter blasted the Argos, specifically CEO Michael (Pinball) Clemons, when he was traded to the Edmonton Eskimos, Prefontaine said yesterday in a telephone interview he regrets nothing he said.
"Being traded is part of the business but they made it personal," Prefontaine said from Edmonton. "I have been cut, I have been traded, but the way they handled it was unacceptable. They knew my wife (Tanya) was pregnant (and is due in October). They knew I had two concussions last year.
"I spent 10 seasons there and it took me 20 minutes to clean out my locker. I will never play for Toronto again."
Prefontaine was miffed that Clemons initially did not call him at the time of the May 31 trade, and said he has not spoken to Clemons since the deal, which came about when the Argos lured Mike Vanderjagt back to the organization. Sources have indicated that when Clemons tried calling Prefontaine a few days after the swap, Prefontaine hung up on him before Clemons could say anything.
Whatever the case, Prefontaine had no interest in backing off his previous comments. While many athletes, upon reflection, will say something was said in the heat of the moment, or worse, taken out of context, Prefontaine did not.
"I believe in speaking the truth and I am not going to sugar-coat anything," Prefontaine said. "I dedicated myself to that organization."
The Argos are in Edmonton tomorrow night. Prefontaine acknowledged he is glad the teams won't meet in the regular season after Week 4.
"I can't wait for these two weeks to be over, to be honest," Prefontaine, 34, said. "I think it would be a lot worse if this was resting on my shoulders all season until we played in Toronto, but we get it done early."
Prefontaine has settled in with the Eskimos and leads the CFL with seven field goals. But lining up against the Argos for the first time in his life will throw him for a loop.
"It has already been strange just watching them play on TV and not being on the field with them," Prefontaine said. "But I am not up for this game more than I would be for others. That would send the message to my teammates that I am not prepared in other weeks."