Hey, the 101st Grey Cup is barely two weeks away. Time for that overused sports cliché … “Coaches are hired to be fired”.
One of them has already been shown the door in the CFL. Kavis Reed of the Edmonton Eskimos probably knew that it was a strong possibility for him, even as far back as July when he delivered a memorable rant about “consequences.” (Audio)
The Eskimos finished 4 and 14, and coach Kavis was gone.
He won’t have to worry about feeding his family because he will be paid for at least one full season for doing nothing, and chances are he’ll have another job before you know it. This dear old eight team league is about to grow to nine teams as Ottawa comes back with a new franchise, and the coaching ranks are the greatest old boys club we’ve ever seen.
In Winnipeg, Tim Burke will find out before Christmas if he has a job next season. At 3 and 15, the Blue Bombers were even worse than Edmonton. In both cases you have to seriously wonder why the coach is most often the scapegoat who walks the plank.
In Winnipeg and Edmonton the problems were higher up the food chain than coaching. A little less than two years ago Eric Tillman was the General Manager in Edmonton. He hired Kavis Reed as the head coach, but he also signed off on what could be the dumbest trade in Canadian football history. He sent quarterback Ricky Ray to Toronto, getting almost nothing in return.
Four years earlier in Saskatchewan, Tillman was a genius when the Roughriders won the Grey Cup. Even he has trouble remembering why he ever thought the Ricky Ray deal was a good idea. What happened to Eric? He was fired before the playoffs last year, but Kent Austin gave him a job as a ‘consultant’ in Hamilton. Hey, it’s only a game.
I’m Roger Currie