UPDATE: It was supposed to be a joke! See below.
Stephen Garcia, who has just joined the Montreal Alouettes (which I think is a French bird of some sort), has made it very easy to make jokes about how CFL players are not as tough as their American counterparts. Garcia, a free agent from the University of South Carolina signed by the so-called Als last week to serve as their fourth-string quarterback, was apparently super-psyched about sitting on the Montreal sidelines. So much so that he couldn’t contain his desire to flash a Nixon-style peace sign upon disembarking from the team bus, somehow managing to injure himself in the process.
I am not really sure what could have possibly gone wrong here. Perhaps the driver didn’t notice him standing at the bus doors and closed them on his fingers. Maybe a bear popped out from behind the bus (I am under the impression there are a lot of bears up there in the Great White North) and mauled his fingers. Either way, the team is not elaborating on the circumstances of the incident.
For those of you who follow college football, you may remember Garcia was suspended by the Gamecocks midway through his senior campaign for violating alcohol- and drug-related guidelines. Prior to his final dismissal from the team, Garcia had been suspended from the team on five separate occasions. That being said, it must be quite the personal triumph for him to be finally signed to a professional football team, no matter what position on the depth chart he finds himself. Too bad the fresh start was marred by this impossible-sounding injury. Unless it was a cover-up for an injury caused by handling the wrong end of a joint or getting cut on a beer can, in which case, I guess people never change.
UPDATE: Apparently the reporter for the Montreal Gazette, who originally posted the story, took a joke as fact, and the injury was not caused by flashing the peace sign. WJBF is reporting that Montreal Alouttes Director of Communications Charles Rooke is denying the new QB injured his fingers giving a peace sign. The reporter subsequently responded to WJBF:
The reporter from the Montreal Gazette who wrote the original story tells WJBF Sports that a high-ranking team official did tell him the story of the injury. The reporter says he didn’t name the official, figuring he was joking. He says that CFL rosters are limited, and that teams all hide players with bogus injuries. He also said he’d take this one with a grain of salt, but “who knows? The guy’s the fourth-string QB. For me, it’s a non-issue.”
Man, I was really hoping for a bear to be involved in the story. But considering we still don’t know the true cause of the injury, I suppose there’s still hope yet!
[Image Source: Montreal Alouettes Official Site]