Yes…the Saskatchewan Roughriders did defeat the Ottawa Redblacks in Friday night’s game, defeating them by 28 to 13, but unfortunately the win was marred by the aggressive actions taken by one Garrett Marino, a defensive lineman for the Riders.
To further the controversy the act came in the fourth quarter of the game. Marino tackled Jeremiah Masoli, QB for Ottawa, essentially taking his wheels out from under him. Masoli was injured so badly, he needed to be carried off the field by teammates and needed crutches after…and he was clearly in really bad pain, folks. If you saw it, you know.
As for Marino, he didn’t seem to feel any shame or embarrassment for his action in the heat of the moment or following it, because he paraded the field in a manner showing that he had been proud of what he had accomplished, pumping his chest and even raising his helmet to the crowd.
It definitely left a sour taste in the mouths of many; many felt all of it was rather needless. This is a testament to the difference between good, clean motivation and grit in the game of football, and the needless actions that are sometimes mistaken for the latter.
Even Riders head coach, Craig Dickenson was disappointed. He had this to say on the matter:
“After the game I talked to the guys for about three minutes, told them the schedule, didn’t hand out game balls, didn’t do anything that I normally do because we played a great football game and I’ve been here three minutes and this is all we’re talking about and I’ll continue to talk about this for probably 10 more minutes…
It didn’t need to happen, so yeah, I’m disappointed in the team. Do I still love them? Yes, I love each and every one of them. They’re still part of this team and we’re going to move forward, but it was a chance to win with class. That’s not the way I want to see us games.”via The Standard
Despite the incident, Cody Fajardo was all business while speaking to the press…talking about the game of football that the Riders played…concentrating on the high points or rather their ability to not lose momentum:
“You never want to lose the momentum and that’s something that can happen, especially when we felt like we had all the momentum from the second quarter…
You go into halftime and you kind of lose that right? It’s almost like the game starts over. So they go down they score and we felt like as an offence we had to go down and score. I was really proud of the way we executed and responded.”via The Standard (link above)
In the end, perhaps it was Duke Williams—a man that can be very aggressive…even in his words and intent during an interview before a game— that summed it up best. He said:
“We’re better than that . . . I’m not saying it’s a good play, because Masoli got hurt and that’s unacceptable…We don’t condone that, he’s got to go back home to his family. But at the end of the day, that’s my teammate and I’ve got his back no matter what. I’m going tell him right from wrong because that’s my job.”via The Standard (link above)
If you’ll grant me the courtesy, this reminds me of an incident when I was but a young 12 year old kid. Bear with me now…. I was always a fan of the CFL among other sports but as far as the sports that I played and/or practiced, the martial arts were the things that I practiced the longest.
By that age I had practiced for quite some time already, but it was also at that age that I would learn that even in solo sports, where there’s no team involved, a competitor has a responsibility to the other competitors. It was during a class that I was sparring with an older student…twice my age or just shy, and during that session I was a tad too aggressive to overcompensate for my age I felt.
Well, I ended up hurting my classmate, delivering a roundhouse kick to his exposed ribs. I cracked two of his ribs that evening, I found out later.
After class, my Sensei told me to stay long after the other students had gone home. He didn’t make me do 100 push-ups; he didn’t make me run laps in the parking lot and around the building as we sometimes did; he simply sat beside me on the floor of that dojo and said that Steve, the classmate I’d injured, worked as a construction worker, and coming to class was a highlight of his day…and now because of what had happened, he would not only be missing class, but he’d be missing work as well.
I learned a valuable lesson that day…one that I thought of immediately when I saw the tackle by Marino to Masoli: As competitors, we have a responsibility to win, yes, but we have a responsibility to the other competitors as well.
As of this writing, there’s no news on Masoli and how bad the extent of his injury is.
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