'Gades fumble ball for Paopao

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:36 PM ET

So much for all the talk. We kept hearing about how the Renegades players love coach Joe Paopao because he is a "players' coach" (whatever that means).

If the players care so much about Paopao, a guy who gave them jobs, treated them like men and received little in return, you'd think they would have found a way to win a few more games along the way and kept him from being left out to dry.

They certainly didn't seem to be interested in delivering for Paopao, themselves or the uniform based on the outcome Friday night in Hamilton.

If they did, they would have found a way to beat a last-place team with a quarterback making his first CFL start and a rookie running back starting his third.

All the Renegades had on the line was their playoff lives.

The Renegades' 2005 playoff chances now lie several places to the right of a decimal point. Friday night's game was one they had to have and they couldn't get the job done.

As is usually the case, the bull's-eye will be on the coach's back.

Paopao himself knows that.

While there remains a small chance the 6-10 Renegades can make the playoffs, the real intrigue over the last two weeks of the regular season lies in the option negotiated with Paopao by former president Brad Watters.

If the Renegades get eight wins, Paopao's contract is extended for a year.

Based on Friday night's outcome, the Renegades' chances of beating Montreal and Toronto the next two weeks seem unlikely.

The Renegades players haven't done Paopao any favours, but it looks like they're going to do at least one for the Gliebermen: Save them from having to pay Paopao another season's wages.

chris.stevenson@ott.sunpub.com


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