After three years starting as an offensive lineman with the Ottawa Redblacks, J Micheal Deane didn t want to hear he was going to be a backup and that his paycheque would reflect that. So, instead, he went home, signing with the Toronto Argonauts earlier this week.
It was weird, said the 30-year-old Deane, who started at left guard, beside SirVincent Rogers for much of 2016 in the Redblacks charge to a Grey Cup. They didn t think I would start, they wanted to pay me as a backup. I d have to earn my way back up. After six years in the league, I didn t want to be a backup, I wanted an opportunity. I thought I should be paid as a starter. I wasn t asking for top dollar. Things fell as they fell. In the end, they couldn t afford to pay the contract I would have been comfortable to accept. There s no bitterness, though. Deane says he loves Ottawa, loves his former teammates. But he s excited about an opportunity to play in the city where he got his football start.
Them looking at me to be a backup was a big wow, but they have some younger guys they want to step up, said Deane. I believe Matthew Albright is ready. I ve been telling this guy since we joined the Redblacks that he would be doing amazing things in this league. I m going to be watching every Redblacks game this year, not just for film study, but also to see how these guys are doing as an offensive line. I m sad to leave. I m still connected to those guys, I still have mad love for them.
I try not to hold grudges. I had a great time in Ottawa. It s just business. It s going to be great to go out and play against guys I consider my friends my family. I m still in contact with SirVincent and Jon Gott, I m going to be back in Ottawa in May and I would love to hang out with the guys one last time before it s back to business.
In Ottawa, we went from the worst team to the second best to winning the Grey Cup … the 2016 was a storybook season. You could write a novel, make a movie about it; that s how great it was. It felt great to touch that many souls and make that many people happy.
I just want to play ball. It would have been great to get a massive paycheque. Toronto put together a contract that I was comfortable in signing. It s not much more than I could have gotten in Ottawa, but there s a bit more security in the way they structured it.
I ve got a bunch of friends in Toronto, they re excited to have me come back. I can t wait to play in the city.
Once he became a free agent on Feb. 14, Deane heard from Montreal, Hamilton, Toronto and Saskatchewan. The process was frustrating at times.
They were interested and they d back off, they were interested and they d back off, said Deane. It was kind of stressful. Things started picking up with Toronto, they were really interested. I know a lot of people in Toronto, being able to play in the city where I started playing football it s going to be great.
I m really excited. I was talking to some of the players. I m happy I m going to be part of it. Maybe I m in for another storybook season, that d be great. So, now, it s back to his roots. Deane had the Grey Cup in his hands late in February and took it to a signing day for the Metro Toronto Wildcats at a Boston Pizza. He also visited Selwyn Elementary School and Newtonbrook Secondary with the Cup. When he gets a chance to interact with kids, Deane has a message: Stay in school, get an education. Any athletes hoping go off to university and get a scholarship, get your grades up Do well on the SAT and send film out. I remember being told, No matter how good you are, no school s going to touch you unless you have good grades. Once you get into school, graduate.
I tell them, Football is a blink in your life, but that (graduation) paper will last forever.
Nicknamed The Gentle Giant in high school, Deane hopes to make a difference: The world is at is it can be a mean, dark place. I don t want to add to that. I want to be a light, lend a helping hand, influence somebody to do better.
But when I get out onto the football field, it s a whole different demeanour, it has to be. I can t be gentle out there when everybody s trying to take your head off.
That s good news for the Argos and their football fans.
Nova Scotia s Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) have cleared Halifax Regional Police (HRP) of any wrongdoing after a man was found unconscious in one of the department s cells last summer.READ MORE: SiRT investigating after man found unconscious in Halifax jail cellAccording to a report released Thursday by SiRT, police arrested a 47-year-old man around 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 22, 2016. The man was taken into custody on the grounds of the Nova Scotia Hospital for being intoxicated in a public place after he was observed acting oddly and aggressively towards an employee and security guards at the hospital.The man was taken to HRP headquarters and placed in a cell at 10:25 p.m. The report says a routine check by officers found the man unconscious 17 minutes later, after he attempted to hang himself with his sweater.SiRT says their investigation revealed that while the man was acting oddly, he was not overly intoxicated and gave no indication he was depressed or considering taking his own life.As as result, SiRT says that the officers responsible for the care of the man followed reasonable procedures and performed the usual prisoner checks in accordance with their standard practice and that there are no grounds to consider any charges against police.The report says that the man s condition initially was very dire and although he has now recovered significantly, he continues to suffer from a serious brain injury.The Serious Incident Response Team is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia.Follow @NatashaPace
- ^ SiRT investigating after man found unconscious in Halifax jail cell (globalnews.ca)
A bill proposing to bolster the powers American border guards yield in Canada including the ability to strip search and detain Canadians could lead to legal challenges against the federal government, immigration experts are warning.Part of a bilateral agreement with the U.S., the bill, when passed, will grant American customs agents the right to carry weapons within Canada, perform body searches and detain but not arrest them.READ MORE: Canada border bill passed through U.S. SenateIt will also allow U.S. agents to force a Canadian in a preclearance area, who has decided not to travel to the U.S., to stay in the area for questioning. Right now, that same traveller has the right to simply turn around and leave the area without action or consequence.WATCH: Public safety minister says it s the passport that determines status, not the NEXUS card