Wow – Canada!

Canada through the eyes of world literature

The CFL Doesn’t Count, Right?

Hey, did you know Peter King now has his own shiny new website where he can talk about the NFL all he wants? Well, he does. It’s called The MMQB (not to be confused with the website devoted to office furnishings), and this is from his Tuesday, September 3 “Mailbag” column:

BRIAN BROHM LIVES! “On the Bonus Baby QBs part of MMQB, you listed Brian Brohm as “On The Street”. While, yes, he’s out of the NFL, he’s actually with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL, plying his trade and continuing his dream, and who knows, like Jeff Garcia, Doug Flutie and Dave Dickinson, maybe makes it back to the NFL. I can see how someone might say “that’s just semantics”, but it’s not like he’s given up the dream and is selling insurance, or, like JaMarcus Russell after getting released by the Raiders, holed up in his mansion and feeding his face.”

—Kevin

Important point, Kevin. Thanks for making it.

Unlike the writers of many similar “letters” columns, King doesn’t tell us where his correspondents hail from, but my first thought was, Kevin must be from Canada. Followed immediately by, In fact, he must be from Hamilton. Who but a Hamiltonian would know the name of the Tiger-Cats starting quarterback? (I certainly didn’t – and the quarterback is the most visible position. It’s not like we’re talking about the backup right guard or something.)

Is it just me, or does King’s seven-word reply seem a little dismissive? It’s not exactly a heartfelt mea culpa. A reader has proven that King – again – has no idea what he’s talking about, and he brushes it off with a “thanks for pointing that out”.

Here we see a major American sports journalist’s total ignorance when it comes to Canada – and more than that, the fact that his ignorance has no ramifications whatsoever. King doesn’t even seem to feel bad that he equated being a starting quarterback in the CFL (which some might say is (almost) success) with being “on the street.” Why not? Because he knows no one (other than “Kevin”) will really care. CFL, on the street – same difference, right? It’s not like it’s a real league.

I can’t take too much offence at this, since I don’t actually follow the CFL myself, but I have to admit I expect a slightly higher standard from major sports journalists. At the very least, doesn’t King have minions to check his facts for him before he goes to print?

While we’re at it, we might as well close the circle on Brian Brohm and the CFL; in one of those coincidences that proves the universe is not random after all, but in fact governed by a supreme being with a perverse sense of humour, Brohm also came up this week in Bill Barnwell’s “NFL Contenders” column at Grantland. This is from the section on the Green Bay Packers:

Worst-Case Scenario: Rodgers is attacked by his stalker in the Cheesehead from the insurance commercials and misses two-thirds of the season, forcing the Packers to start Seneca Wallace. And then, when B.J. Raji accidentally drops his boom box on Wallace, the Packers have no quarterbacks on the roster and are forced to turn to Br … Brian Brohm, their former second-round pick who was last seen in the CFL. What, who did you think I was talking about?

We’ll ignore the Brett Favre joke. Barnwell is exhibiting a fairly typical attitude of smirking superiority toward the CFL – the phrase “last seen in the CFL” suggests our northern league is a career black hole into which unsuccessful NFL players disappear, never to be seen again – but at least he’s aware that it exists and knows Brohm is playing there. I’d say that puts him a few rungs higher up the journalism ladder than King, anyway.

Incidentally, that’s a lot of big-time American press coverage for the Tiger-Cats starter; probably more than he gets in The Spectator. I hope he can handle it.

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