Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Hamilton's History a Thing of the Past

It comes almost on queue. Nearly every time Hamilton signs a marquee player, as they did last week by signing Andy Fantuz, someone will inevitably bring up the names of Jason Mass, Casey Printers and Kenton Keith, the three biggest busts in recent Tiger-Cat history.

It is undeniable that these three (among some others) were spectacular failures during their time with the Tiger-Cats. They all came to the team with plenty of hype, but failed to live up to even a scintilla of that hype.

But, with the exception of Keith, it was a completely different front office that acquired these players. Current VP of Football Operations Bob O'Billovich took the job at the tail end of 2007, when Maas had already been jettisoned to Montreal and Printers was already in house. And while bringing in Keith proved to be a mistake, it was one of the few errors the front office has made since Obie's arrival. The list of players brought in since are unlikely to be called a bust by anyone. The list includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Kevin Glenn
  • Dave Stala
  • Otis Floyd
  • Markeith Knowlton
  • Arland Bruce
  • Jamall Johnson
  • Justin Medlock
  • Rey Williams
  • Alex Gauthier
  • Dan Goodspeed
  • Jason Jimenez
  • Avon Cobourne
  • Stevie Baggs
Every one of those players, at one time or another, performed at a high level while wearing a Tiger-Cat uniform. Their respective achievements speak for themselves. Markeith Knowlton was the 2010 Most Outstanding Defensive Player; Kevin Glenn broke many of Danny McManus' passing records in 2010; Arland Bruce provided the team with star-level production at Receiver, something that had not been seen since Darren Flutie retired; Dave Stala has not missed a game since his arrival (he missed plenty with the Alouettes), and has been one of the most reliable pass catchers in the entire league; Jamall Johnson is a perennial All-Star and ranks among the league leaders in tackles; Justin Medlock is, arguably, the best Kicker in the CFL; Stevie Baggs was a terror following his return from the NFL in 2010. I could go one, but you get the point.

Hamilton, like every team in every sport, has a history of bad moves. But it seems that Hamilton is the only team whose history gets thrown out as a storyline following every transaction. It's not that Hamilton hasn't made mistakes, they have, but that is only one half of the story. Without bringing up the names I listed, the story is incomplete.

What category Henry Burris, Martell Mallett and Andy Fantuz fall into won't be known for some time, but the belief that the Tiger-Cats spend big money only to be disappointed is a thing of the past.

1 comment:

  1. You just know that the "I told you so"s, will start chirping at the first instance of adversity.

    Sad thing is, it will likely come from some supposed Ticat fans first.