Argos should consider Tillman

STEVE SIMMONS, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 11:33 AM ET

The Toronto Argonauts won their last Grey Cup with a convicted cocaine seller at slotback, a banned pot smoker at offensive tackle and a substance abuser kicked out of the NFL at wide receiver -- and just about everybody celebrated the championship.

So why not bring in Eric Tillman, disgraced and embarrassed in Saskatchewan, as the next general manager of the horrific Argos?

Why not provide a second chance for a franchise that had its most recent success in part because the Argos were either desperate or open-minded enough to look the other way when it came to talent?

Now, the Argos are indeed desperate. They have fallen from public favour. Their ownership, if it does exist, has ostensibly disappeared. The search for a head coach gets so little attention it's stupefying. The talk of who will play quarterback or catch the ball is basically non-existent.

Strange as it sounds, Tillman would buy them some football respect and provide headlines and discussion, both good and bad. Should they or shouldn't they? Will they or won't they?

It's better to be talked about than forgotten. It's something to consider.

This and that

A quick Brian Burke report card. His team stinks. His friend, the coach, can't get the Maple Leafs to kill penalties or play anything resembling team defence. His big acquisition, Phil Kessel, has gone soft and sour. He won't be drafting Taylor Hall in June or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins the year after. And his college free-agent signings are nowhere to be found while David McNab, who signed Andy McDonald and Dustin Penner for Anaheim, has come up with another good one for his former team in Dan Sexton. Outside of goalie Jonas Gustavsson, who has had two heart procedures and a groin injury in his rookie season, little has gone right in Burke's world and, knowing him, that has to driving him to absolute frustration ... Ron Wilson called out Kessel this week then played him on a line with Rickard Wallin, the 162nd leading centre in the NHL, and with rookie Viktor Stalberg on the other wing. That's just dumb. If anybody should be calling someone out, it should be Kessel wondering what his coach is doing. Also foolish: Wasting Niklas Hagman on a line with Jamal Mayers and Colton Orr ... Give some credit to Central Scouting: On its 2008 final draft list, it had Tyler Myers listed ahead of both Luke Schenn and Alex Pietrangelo. Pietrangelo, back in junior, was taken fourth. Schenn, who looks like a future 4-5-6 defenceman, was taken fifth. Myers, Schenn's junior partner, will be 1-2 in the Calder Trophy voting this year and already is close to a top-10 NHL defenceman, was not taken until 12th by the Buffalo Sabres.

Hear and there

Among the many tattoos on Gilbert Arenas' body are those of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, both of whom were killed by gunfire ... By the way, Arenas is represented in contract negotiations by his agent, Gilbert Arenas ... That was weak of NBA commissioner David Stern, waiting until Arenas mocked his gun troubles, before suspending him. The suspension should have been immediate, pending investigation ... Taken down: The 6-foot likeness of Arenas outside the Verizon Center in Washington ... Under previous Blue Jays ownership, Paul Beeston waved the flag and was basically in charge of the Argos. Now, under current ownership, he's in charge of the fruitless Bills In Toronto series. It's a difficult place to put a Canadian patriot ... When Carrie Underwood marries Mike Fisher, does she become Carrie Fisher? ... If the ex-Bomber, Mike Riley, ends up replacing Pete Carroll at USC, he certainly will be inheriting some kind of recruiting mess (can you say probation?) ... Good for the Pro Football Hall of Fame voters: When they pared down their list for voting Super Bowl week, they eliminated the creepy Art Modell in the process.

Scene and heard

Roberto Alomar is the best baseball player I've ever seen on a daily basis, leaving him out of the Hall of Fame this year is a disgrace and the shrug -- oh, he'll get in next year attitude -- is just as disgraceful. If there is no question, there is no question. If it happened with a Steve Yzerman or a player that obvious in hockey, there would be way more screaming ... An e-mailer on Alomar said he came within "spitting distance" of getting in ... Didn't think Jim Rice should have been voted in last year. Didn't think Andre Dawson should have been this year. And if there were one game to pitch and Bert Blyleven was against Jack Morris, I'd take Morris any day. Blyleven was all about statistics: Morris was at his best when it mattered most ... John Olerud, who could be in the nice guy Hall of Fame, is eligible for the baseball hall next year, but really, doesn't stand any chance of election ... Sunday fact: Failed Argo Jarrett Payton has signed a contract to play for the Chicago Slaughter of the Continental Indoor Football League ... Important trivia: Matt Kemp is dating Rihanna and vice-versa ... There hasn't been much good news for the Jays this off-season, but if Dustin McGowan is right in saying he'll be ready for the start of spring training, well, that's a little something to be excited about.

And another thing

The gold medal in Canada drought that has been pounded into our heads by annoying Olympic commercials could end on the first day of medal competition at the Vancouver Olympics. The betting here is that either short- track speedskater, Charles Hamelin, or moguls skier, Jennifer Heil, wins Canada's first gold medal in Vancouver. And here's hoping neither of them read this ... No matter how they spin it, it can't be good that figure skater Patrick Chan has split with his coach with just five weeks to go to Vancouver ... This is one weird NHL season. The Olympics end on Feb. 28. The NHL's trade deadline is March 3. Teams will be trading, having barely played or practised for weeks ... Tip of the hat to Jim McKenny, the ex-Leaf who is done with Citytv after 25 years and managed to bring a sense of levity to just about everything he did. It was, after all, just sports and Howie treated it that way... Happy birthday to Frank Mahovlich (72), Willie McCovey (72), George Foreman (61), Janet Jones-Gretzky (49), Ronnie Hawkins (75) and Jamal Robertson (33) ... There are 82,307 people following Chris Bosh on Twitter which puts me only 82,066 behind him .... And hey, whatever became of Alexander Suglobov?

STEVE.SIMMONS@SUNMEDIA. CA


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