Not that they were looking for one, but the Argonauts yesterday were provided with a nice metaphor for their season from hell.
Before his teammates took to the field for their final full practice, Dominique Dorsey shuffled into the locker room, sat on a blue plastic chair and began putting a bandage on his injured left knee. It made sense that the Argos' best player, the team's nominee for the CFL's most outstanding player and outstanding special teams player, has not suited up in its past four games because he is hurt and will miss the curtain-closer tomorrow night against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
"I don't know what to think," Dorsey said of being recognized for individual accomplishments in a year that has been all bad for the team as a whole.
"Overall, I felt like I performed OK, so I am satisfied with that. (The losing) has been hard to see, especially with the position I was put in, being called upon to make plays. Our spirit is not high, but we are still together."
Dorsey won't have a crack at the most outstanding player award -- that's probably the domain of Montreal Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo or Calgary Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris -- but he has the inside track on the special teams award. Despite missing the past month, Dorsey has 2,892 combined yards, 373 more than the man in second, Ian Smart of the B.C. Lions.
Though there were congratulations in the locker room at Erindale as news of the award nominations spread, the general feeling was not one of joy. With a date in sight against former teammate Michael Bishop, who declined an interview request yesterday, the Argos are 4-13 heading into their season finale.
Slotback Andre Talbot was rewarded for recording personal highs with 70 receptions and 823 yards in being nominated as the team's most outstanding Canadian, but there was nothing for him to celebrate.
"It's an honour, but it's not a consolation prize that I am happy with as far as the season goes," Talbot, a native of Toronto, said. "We had big hopes that we would be in the Grey Cup and we're not even in the playoffs. "This is the end of an era for this Argos team this year. Now we move forward and build a new era."
Other Argos nominees include linebacker Willie Pile (most outstanding defensive player), guard Taylor Robertson (most outstanding offensive lineman) and defensive back Kenny Heatly (most outstanding rookie).
Pile, in his second year in the league, has established himself as one of the players to build around if management decides to revamp the defence in the off-season.
Pile is fourth in the East Division with 70 tackles and expects changes to come.
"The way it's looking," Pile said. "This could be one of the last times I step on the field with a lot of these guys."
But Pile was eagerly anticipating the idea of trying to shut down Bishop.
"It's a great opportunity for him to lead his team going into the playoffs, but hopefully he will be going in with a loss," Pile said. "Guys have gone elsewhere and done some good things. It's just a testament to how wacky the season really was for us as an organization."