It looks like multiple fines and the threat of suspension to Eskimos head coach Jason Maas has changed the Eskimos minds on wearing a live mic for TSN during games.
On October 10th in Montreal both Maas and quarterback Mike Reilly took their microphones off before their game with the Als, Maas said post game “Neither one of us felt comfortable with it all week. We were told to do it and we were going to do it the whole week, and then when we got to the stadium today, we felt like it wasn’t the right thing to do. We worked too hard to get to this point in our season to do something we both aren’t comfortable with in a big game.”
The Eskimos later that week were fined $20,000 dollars and Maas was personally fined $15,000 and threatened with a suspension by CFL Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge who said in a statement “I want to send a clear signal that this cannot happen again. Should Coach Maas be directed to wear a live microphone again this season or in subsequent seasons, and he again refuses, he will be immediately subjected to the maximum fine allowable and he will be suspended for his team’s next game, even if that next game is a playoff or championship game.”
Eskimos VP of Football and GM Ed Hervey said on Tuesday that the Eskimos have been asked and Maas and Reilly have both agreed to wear the mic. “My recommendation to Jason was let’s all go out here and get it out of the way. We don’t have to agree to like it and our opinions of the live mic have not changed” Hervey added that the Eskimos are doing what’s best for the team a week before the playoffs “We don’t care what everyone else thinks, it’s about the distraction to our football team. Let’s eliminate this, we have much bigger things to focus on”
The Eskimos returned to practice Tuesday as they get set for their final game of the regular season on Saturday at home to the Toronto Argonauts. The Eskimos can still finish in 3rd place in the west and play in Vancouver in the West semi final or they can get the cross over playoff spot to the east and play in Hamilton in the East semi final. If Winnipeg wins on Friday night in Ottawa – the Eskimos go east. If the Bombers lose Friday and the Eskimos win on Saturday – they go west.
Receiver Cory Watson who has missed the last 5 games with a leg injury was back at practice Tuesday, he is currently on the 6 game injured list. Running back John White was not on the field, Shakir Bell worked in his place. Offensive linemen Tony Washngton and Matt O’Donnell were also absent, Washington has missed the last two games. On defence , DE Jason Vega, and DB Brandyn Thompson returned to the field. DE Marcus Howard and DB Pat Watkins did not take part.