Not all of them were guilty, but a number of Renegades were spotted grinning and chatting to former teammates and friends in different coloured jerseys on the Frank Clair Stadium turf immediately following Thursday's loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Those guys should either be sent packing immediately or have their asses kicked severely.
It's sickening to see players shrug off any defeat so easily, let alone one of that magnitude. For the biggest game of the season, many of them never even bothered to show up. And they have the gall to laugh it up in front of people paying $50 for a ticket right after the 31-19 debacle?
It's enough to make you puke.
Instead of socializing with a team that just embarrassed them, they should be quietly changing, showering and leaving the scene of the crime. Do whatever the hell you want after that. Just get out of sight.
The Renegades had 13 days to shoot the breeze with buddies and prepare themselves for the Ticats. They had plenty of time to get ready for a game against a team that had lost its five previous ones, the most recent on its own home field by 38 freaking points.
The Renegades were well rested and refreshed, just back from spending quality time with friends and family over eight days during which coach Joe Paopao said they didn't even have to show up at the stadium.
And that's the way they repay him for the time off?
The Renegades stunk the joint out Thursday. If there is a guy who should be satisfied with his personal performance other than Josh Ranek (nine carries, 75 yards; three receptions, 54 yards), it's not obvious, and even Ranek let a pass fall from his hands.
It's tough to be too critical of him, however, as he remains the one consistent player on an otherwise dismal offence.
The problem with the O-line will finally be addressed, as next week the Renegades plan on playing with the same ratio every other team is using and cease going an import light. In hindsight, Ottawa should have made the move before the offensive line became responsible for the unimaginable lineup of quarterbacks at the doctor's door.
JOSEPH BEAT UP
Kerry Joseph, who came back Thursday from a foot injury that kept him out of the previous 31/2 games, didn't have his usual mobility or speed against the Ticats. He was also spotted limping after a couple of the five sacks collected by Hamilton, but yesterday said the foot was only "a little sore" and that he had not experienced a setback.
Heading into the game, Joseph was the healthiest of all the QBs. Backup Darnell Kennedy has a high ankle sprain the Renegades want to rest for another 2-3 weeks. Brad Banks, it was learned yesterday, has a hairline fracture of his leg and will miss the next 2-4 weeks. And even the fourth stringer, Tyler Paopao, has a torn rotator cuff which will require surgery.
The injury bug spread throughout the roster vs. the Ticats. Cornerback Jonathan Ordway suffered a fractured eye socket and should miss a couple of games. Defensive back Anthony Malbrough hurt his heel and could miss the Aug. 29 visit to Edmonton. And defensive tackle Jerome Haywood, a two-time winner of the CFL defensive lineman of the week award, also has a high ankle sprain and is doubtful for the Eskimos game.
The Renegades, nonetheless, remain confident they can get back on the winning track in Edmonton. It would be a neat trick, given the fact an Ottawa club hasn't won at Commonwealth Stadium since 1927 or thereabouts.
"All that matters is how we feel as a team," said Joseph. "It doesn't matter what anybody outside the locker room thinks. We're halfway through the schedule and we have to pull it together. We have to get the swagger back and play the football we're capable of playing."
Certainly, there's lots to lose if they don't. As hosts of the 2004 Grey Cup game, the Renegades promised a playoff berth this season. Changes will almost certainly be made at the coaching and GM positions if they don't reach that goal, as both Paopao and Eric Tillman are in the final year of their contracts.
In turn, the very philosophy and approach of a team that started impressively at 3-0 and is now 4-5 on the season (and 15-30 in its history) will be scrapped. And who knows how many fans from a dwindling base will roll their eyes and make comparisons to the Rough Riders' days of woe.
They should have devoured the 'Cats. Now, having one win in their past six games (a one-point victory over the lowly Stampeders, one they didn't deserve), they face Montreal and B.C. after the Edmonton game.
Soon, they very easily could be 4-8.
The Hamilton game is behind them, but none of the Renegades should be ready to laugh yet.
Seeing them play with such little emotion, then yuk it up right afterwards, suggests they didn't realize the opportunity (and the 3-0 start) they've completely blown or they just don't give a damn.