Murphy 'miserable' about finish

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:00 AM ET

He has been the consummate professional in his time with the Renegades, ready to compete, playing hurt, always looking like he gave what he had.

There were no excuses from receiver Yo Murphy when he made a mistake. He was always accountable, always there to answer for what had happened on the field.

The 34-year-old veteran could be preparing for the last game of his pro football career Saturday when the Renegades host the Toronto Argonauts. It's a career that has seen him play in the Grey Cup (with B.C. in '94) and the Super Bowl (with St. Louis in 2002).

Now this. Now this could be it, playing in another last game of the season that means nothing. A guy like Murphy deserves better, but neither life nor football -- especially football -- is fair.

Murphy contemplated retirement last year, but had made the decision before the last game to return.

This year, he doesn't know what he's going to do.

He only knows this isn't the way he envisioned going out. "Last year was bad, but this year feels worse," he said yesterday after practice.

"Knowing we're done ... some days you just feel miserable about it. I was so happy through my career in football. This taste is kind of rough.

"The only time a season ends at the right time is if you win the championship. Other than that, it ends too early or too late."

Murphy was still having trouble getting past the Renegades' loss to the Montreal Alouettes Saturday, which eliminated Ottawa from the playoffs for the fourth straight year of their existence.

"What made that one tough is we had everything to gain. If we win that game, going into this week would be totally different," said Murphy. "It's hard to understand how we could lose like that.

"My dad used to say, 'If you beat on a guy regularly, try pushing on his mom and try the same fight.' They definitely pushed on our mom and we didn't come out swinging."

Murphy will make his decision on his future during his drive back to his home in Tampa after the season.

He said yesterday he still has a passion for the game and can still get open (he has 57 catches for 860 yards and seven touchdowns -- the most among 'Gades receivers -- this year), but at some point the draw of doing something else outweighs the willingness to do the necessary off-season training.

"I don't want to make the trip up here thinking there's stuff I should be doing back home," said Murphy. "It's pro football. You've got to be in it 100%."

He has options. He has his foundation, which does charitable work in southeastern Idaho, where he went to school. He is involved in real estate investments around Tampa with some of his former teammates and he has been offered scouting and coaching jobs with Kansas City Chiefs, the last NFL team for which he played in 2002.

Whatever Murphy decides, his decision will hit home Jan. 1. That's when he normally would begin workouts to get ready for the upcoming season. Most people's New Year's resolution is to hit the gym. Murphy's could be to stay away from it.

The Renegades will be the poorer without him.

SEASON TICKET SNAFU: Renegades season ticket holders should be getting a revised invoice for their 2006 renewal after "a programming error" resulted in incorrect information being sent out. "A couple of things were miscalculated," said Renegades president Lonie Glieberman yesterday. "The new invoices are going in the mail (today) and people should have them by Friday." Glieberman said the deadline for renewing season tickets has been extended five days to Dec. 6 as a result of the incorrect invoices.

NOTES: Renegades coach Joe Paopao said receiver David Azzi, suffering from a bruised kidney, went back into the hospital. Azzi got hit in Saturday's game and went to hospital later that night. He showed up for the team photo Monday, but Paopao said he wished Azzi had stayed in hospital ... OL George Hudson (foot) is expected to play Saturday, though he will have most of the week off. Ditto for WR Jason Armstead (toe) ... WR Pat Woodcock (ribs) practised yesterday and could play Saturday ... OL Morris Unatoa is a scratch for the weekend and will be replaced by Jean-Francois Roy.


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