November 22, 2012
Foley made right move signing with Argos
By TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Ricky Foley acknowledged he second-guessed his decision to sign with the Argonauts two years ago.
Foley’s nagging reflection came at the 2011 Grey Cup, when his former team, the B.C. Lions, beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Vancouver to win the Canadian Football League’s championship game.
“I thought that maybe I should have stayed in B.C.,” Foley said on Thursday after the Argos practised at the Rogers Centre.
“I would have had a championship ring, and we (the Argos) did not even make the playoffs.
“It was super tough.”
Foley couldn’t bring himself to watch the game a year ago, let alone go to B.C. Place to attend, even though he had gone west to support Argos teammate and close friend Andre Durie, who was being awarded the Jake Gaudaur Veterans’ Trophy.
A 30-year-old native of Courtice, Ont., Foley had put his signature on a contract with the Argos in September 2010, when many across the league thought he would head back to the Lions after failing to stick with the National Football League’s New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks.
Jim Barker convinced Foley to sign with Toronto partly because of the fact the 100th Grey Cup would be contested at the Rogers Centre. And there was the idea of being part of a rebuilding team, as well as getting the Argos back to a respectable level.
Foley is headed for free agency in February and there’s no telling what his future in the CFL holds. But despite his doubts a year ago, he’s glad he is an Argonaut.
“Seeing my family on the field in Montreal right after the game (this past Sunday), it was pretty emotional,” Foley said.
“I made the right decision. We’re here now and it’s the Cup.”
At the half
Reporters will never get to see defensive lineman Ejiro Kuale’s pre-game speeches in the Argos locker room, but they’re something to behold, several of his teammates confirmed. “He talks about being a beast, basically,” Jeff Johnson said. “Coming out here (on to the field), there is nothing human about us and you are an animal and you just let it loose. You just see the fire burning in his eyes and it gets you going.” Kuale’s speeches, which started last year, come from the heart. “It’s a sport where you can be violent and it is legal,” Kuale said. “So I just look at it as we are going to war. Before you go into battle, you need a speech to get the men ready, and that’s what I do.” And what does Kuale have in mind for Sunday? “Something no one ever heard before,” Kuale said. “It is going to get the team right.” ... Quarterback Ricky Ray recalled a Kuale sermon this season that was so charged up that Kuale flipped over a table that had drinks on it. Hot coffee landed on Ray’s foot, and he was fine, but he made sure to give Kuale a little more room in the future ... Not many of the Argos who were on the 2007 team remain, but for those who do, there’s some vindication in playing in the Grey Cup. Five years ago, the Argos lost in the East final against Winnipeg, a result that shut them out of participating in the Cup on home turf. “I came to watch, unfortunately,” centre Jeff Keeping, one of the holdovers, said. “It was a neat experience to see the Rogers Centre packed and the atmosphere, and hoping in the back of your head you would get to experience it. Still, it was heartbreaking.” ... The result on Sunday will give the winning side in another area. The Argos and Stamps have played each other 83 times, with both teams earning a 41-41-1 record. In two Grey Cup clashes with each other, each team has won once (Stamps in 1971, Argos in 1991) ... Argos players have appeared in 23 Cup games, led by former Montreal Alouette Etienne Boulay with four. The Stampeders have combined for 21, with Anwar Stewart playing in seven.
Watching intently this week has been former Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice, who has been doing analyst work for TSN. LaPolice, fired by the Bombers in August, said he is still disappointed in the Bombers’ decision to let him go, but has been taking advantage of his free time. “I’ve been able to re-do my playbook, and how many chances do you get the extra time to do that?” LaPolice said. “I spent two hours on huddle mechanics. You never have a chance to do that when you are a head coach.” LaPolice went home to New Hampshire to cool his heels before returning to Winnipeg. He is under contract with the Bombers through next season ... Among quarterbacks with at least 40 passing attempts in the Grey Cup, Ray, who will play in his fourth Cup, has the highest completion percentage at 65.9%. His passer rating of 103.2 is third, behind only Russ Jackson (118.4) and Roy Dewalt (105.4) ... The Argos’ Swayze Waters and the Stampeders’ Rene Paredes will make their Grey Cup debuts, marking the first time in 25 years both kickers in the game have done so at the same time.