Maddox ponders future

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:38 AM ET

He didn't get manure dumped on his lawn like a certain CFL kicker, but Tommy Maddox is living with his own version of crazed fan reaction.

The Steelers backup quarterback has endured the wrath of Pittsburgh loonies after first fumbling then throwing away an overtime loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Just as Saskatchewan Roughriders fans pelted kicker Paul McCallum's home with eggs and dumped manure on his lawn for missing a potential game-winning field goal in the CFL West final, Maddox has been a source of abuse.

It has come in the form of trash dumped on the lawn and trash talking heaped on Maddox himself as well his wife, Jennifer, and their young children.

It got so bad that Jennifer Maddox drove the kids to school every day last week while Tommy pondered moving to another NFL team next season.

"Having your kids deal with it at school and on the bus is a very, very tough deal," Maddox's agent, Vann McElroy said this week. "People quickly forget that the Steelers were nowhere near going to the playoffs (in 2002) and Tommy stepped in and guided them there.

"They forget how he put his body on the line for the city and the Steelers."

Maddox, who was admittedly miserable in replacement of injured Ben Roethlisberger, kept the frustration to himself.

"I want it to go away, that's all," said Maddox, who lost his starter's job to Big Ben when he was injured early last season.

The overboard reaction aside, the Steelers want the memory of the game to go away as well. Maddox turned the ball over four times including twice in overtime of the 23-17 loss to the Jags, dropping Pittsburgh's record to 3-2.

He fumbled with the Steelers in position for a game-winning field goal and his final blunder was a pass that was picked off and returned 41 yards for the winning touchdown.

McElroy admitted that the reaction has prompted his client to consider trying to switch teams.

"When things like this are going on, Tommy needs to think what's best for his family," McElroy said.

"It's one thing to get booed, but when you take it beyond the field, that's when it can be too much."

THE JUICE ISLOOSE

The Buffalo Bills have a new (in)famous fan in the form of the team's disgraced star running back O.J. Simpson.

According to the Buffalo News, the Juice was at the Ralph for back-to-back home wins over the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins the past two weeks.

This past Sunday against the Jets, Simpson was reportedly escorted from the stadium by security after nearby fans poured beer on him.

Simpson, who is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is also enshrined on the Bills Wall of Fame though the team has distanced itself from him since his 1994 murder trial.

NO. 1 STOPPERS

For the third consecutive week, the Dallas Cowboys must face an offence that comes into the game ranked No. 1 in the league.

Last week it was the Giants, two weeks ago the Eagles, and both games resulted in Cowboys wins. Tomorrow the 'Boys travel to Seattle where they are three-point underdogs against the Seahawks, who are averaging 28 points and a league-high 407 yards per game.

"This team scores a lot of points and they come at you in a hurry," Cowboys coach Bill Parcells said. "So talk to me on Monday (about how good the defence is.)"

The Cowboys (4-2) have allowed just 35 points in their past 13 quarters.


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