The upshot of Kingston's own Mike Giffin signing with the Montréal Alouettes being confirmed -- The Whig-Standard had it a while ago -- is that the word "fullback" is barely in his new team's category.
The Als like their versatile backfield men. Dahrran Diedrick and Kerry Carter, each of whom played tailback in college, are fullbacks in their grand scheme. One would also trust their ability to manage young talent a lot better than one would with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who drafted Giffin last spring). The Alouettes also had 17 free agents when teams submitted their lists to the league last month.
Point being, speaking as a follower of Queen's football, there should be some positivity that Giffin is going to get a fair shake from the Als. That did not happen with the dysfunctional Ticats organization last spring, when they told him he was a fullback but didn't bother to try to teach him how to play fullback.
Others can take a crack at what Giffin's chances are of making the one good team in the CFL's East Division. A positive spin is that although some people would say it would be easier to make the roster with Hamilton or Toronto, that's not necessarily the case. It's oftentimes better to go to a team that will let you know where you stand and give you as much of a chance as can be expected to succeed or fail on your own merits. Not every player out of a Canadian school gets the chance to try his luck with another CFL team, since jobs are scarce with only eight teams in the league.
Go get 'em, Giff.
Jesse Sazant, who coaches basketball in the UK, sent along word last night on some former Canadian university players now playing abroad (cross-posted to cisblog.ca):
- Ravens: The uber-guard, Oz Jeanty, is averaging 14.2 points in 36 minutes a game for Nördlingen, which is now in Germany's top league. He's first in the Bundesliga in three-pointers made. Ryan Bell is playing major minutes for Schalke in the Pro A (second tier), averaging 29 per game. He's averaging 5.7 points and 3.2 assists, but as you know, he earns his keep with his defence.
Daron Leonard is playing in the top tier in the Swiss league with Lugano, averaging 2.1 points in 14 minutes.
- Golden Gaels: Former Queen's swingman Simon Mitchell, of Navan, is averaging 6.0 points and a league-high 5.6 assists for the Kent Crusaders in England, a third-tier team.
- Gee-Gees: Former U of O standout Ali Mahmoud has helped Al Riyadi get off to a 3-0 start in Lebanon's top league, averaging 9.7 points.
- Ottawa native Achuil Lual, who of course helped Acadia end Carleton's five-year title reign last March in the national semi-final, is averaging close to double digits in scoring in one of Germany's top leagues.
- Another Gee-Gees note ... they'll play in Winnipeg at the Dec. 28-30 Wesmen Classic. Their first game is vs. Saskatchewan.