'Gades insulting fans' intelligence with QB talk

ERIN NICKS -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:12 AM ET

What's in a name? In the case of the Renegades, perhaps it's a bit too much.

It takes a lot of effort to maintain headlines in the midst of a Senators training camp, but the Renegades have managed to pull it off, albeit for the wrong reasons.

The team's troubles are common knowledge, and their offensive woes have put QB Kerry Joseph in the crosshairs. Naturally, the names of possible replacements have been bandied about during the past week -- names that any football fan would know ... and scoff at.

Former No. 1 NFL draft pick Tim Couch and Ottawa native Jesse Palmer were out of the gates at the beginning of the week, with the one-time Browns player taking an early backseat to Palmer, for seemingly sentimental reasons.

But apparently there are no poker players among the Renegades' front office, after the team tipped their hand and admitted they would be willing to make Palmer the highest-paid player in the CFL.

Meanwhile, the Alouettes (who own the rights to Palmer) called the team's bluff when they suggested a trade involving a package of players that the Renegades are not willing to part with -- in particular, backup QB Brad Banks.

Who would have thought a former third-string Giants quarterback could cause so much turmoil?

Concurrently, Palmer apparently thinks that the ABC cameras from The Bachelor are still following him. He's been treating the local media like a dim-witted blonde with low self-esteem -- jerking their chains and flaking out on interviews.

There's no need, especially when a simple "no comment" will do. Either that, or have agent Peter Schaffer send out autographed copies of self-help book He's Just Not That Into You to all of us.

So what's a CFL team with quarterback troubles to do? Go from a rose to a thorn, of course. Remember Ryan Leaf? San Diego. Tampa Bay. Dallas. Seattle -- although to be fair, Leaf retired in lieu of reporting to training camp with the Seahawks. He was notoriously mercurial, pouty and was able to make Todd Marinovich look like John Elway.

It took nearly five years for the Chargers to recover from the mistake of taking Leaf in the 1998 NFL draft -- they traded two first-round picks, a second-round pick and Pro Bowler Eric Metcalf to obtain the No. 2 pick. Cryin' Ryan crumbled under the pressure, destroyed locker-room chemistry and missed the entire 1999 season with a shoulder injury. Once he returned, he tore ligaments in his wrist, refused surgery and never fully recuperated.

From a reality-show star to a maniacal bomb with a microscopic QB rating -- it sounds promising.

People are not sold on a name alone -- it's insulting to a fan's intelligence to think otherwise. The average person also knows who Pauly Shore is, but probably has the sense not to shell out for his movies.

Former NFL players that morph into an emotional Chernobyl in the locker room, or are best known for handing out flowers during prime-time? Are these the qualities the 'Gades are looking for?

Give the fans someone with the ability to lead the Renegades to a Grey Cup, and drop the name-dropping.

Who have you got for us next, Lonie? Dimitrius Underwood?

Oh, wait a minute...

NOT SO GREAT, SCOTT: Don't let ESPN's Stuart Scott find out that you missed the pre-game fight between the Eagles and Falcons on Monday Night Football -- he may just question your sanity. The initial scuffle involved Philly LB Jeremiah Trotter and Atlanta CB Kevin Mathis. Both were ejected, with claims of punches being thrown (although during the replay, it seemed about as serious as open-handed slaps). Five minutes later, both teams were ready to square off again, jumping en masse and resembling a bizarre mating ritual. Scott began to spastically overreact, declaring the enormous historical significance of the game ahead. However, the exaggerated buildup led to an obvious letdown -- a by-the-numbers game with slight interest coming from Donovan McNabb being pressed like a panini between two Atlanta defenders.

IN CLOSING: Not-so-obvious look-alikes: Raiders QB Kerry Collins and Scofield's new cellmate, Haywire, on Prison Break ... According to the New York Post, Maple Leafs player Adam Toma attempted to bribe his way into a Toronto nightclub with $1,000. One problem -- there is no Adam Toma on the Maple Leafs' roster. This must be another one of those mysterious players that will assist in landing Toronto a Cup.

erinnicks@yahoo.ca


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