Football: Surla-Dunk fallout a comedy of manners

In the interest of equal time, the Guelph Mercury has an editorial chastising Western linebacker John Surla for his comments about Gryphons QB Justin Dunk earlier this week.

Although some of us laughed it off, it's worth passing on as we fret about the death of civility:
"Where Dunk’s remarks (like anyone needs a reminder — Ed.) came in the heat of a tight and emotional homecoming game and after he had just scored, Surla seems to have coolly and simply opted for the low road in commenting about Dunk to a Free Press reporter.

"In the story, he calls Dunk 'ignorant,' questions Dunk’s sportsmanship, and vows to trash talk Dunk during Saturday’s game—perhaps even during the playoff match’s opening coin flip.

"He should be embarrassed. Western should be too."
All of us are prone to being oversensitive and have our hot buttons — guilty as charged — but this seems to be taking it too far. It is just words, coming from a self-possessed young man who maybe hasn't developed the filter that makes us older people dull and wishy-washy by times. (I would differentiate between what comes from a 20-something player and a professional writer.)

The upshot is Western coach Greg Marshall, who is from Guelph, spoke to The Merc's Greg Layson and distanced himself from Surla's comments. That should be good enough.
"What did upset me was the fact John chose to say those things. I was disappointed with what he said. It doesn’t reflect our team or how we feel. I’ve never condoned trash talking. I believe in football, you should have that respect.

“(Guelph head coach) Kyle (Walters) would probably agree with me that as much as it is bulletin board material both ways, the game is won on the field by executing the game plan. You do your talking by making plays on the field during the game."

As a matter of general principle, running an editorial about sports is a bad idea, except when the issue affects the lives of non-sports-watchers (i.e., when taxpayer money might be used to build a stadium). To some extent, if you love football, you have to love the coupla-screws-loose crazies every good team needs. It's part of the package. Surla's words were pretty harmless. No one was put in physical risk and he threw some spice into the soup. Isn't the jaded media always complaining about athletes who offer vanilla quotes?

(Just to explain, tongue-in-cheek, the stance with editorials. Any self-hating sports geek knows sports is too insignificant in the grand scheme to rate such attention and besides, people who haven't dedicated their life to memorizing baseball statistics aren't going to tell me about sports, ha-ha.)

Sportsmanship seems to be lacking (Guelph Mercury)
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  1. This is the kind of thing that makes CIS football more exciting. It happens in every other sport just because its university based why shouldn't we have this in CIS football?

  2. Is Guelph-Mercury a campus newspaper?
    Seriously, what a pile of self righteous crap!
    Dunk has a well earned reputation for his particular brand of "sportsmanship", dating back long before the "F---- Western" incident.
    This rag claims, in a paternalistic tone that "Since his return, Dunk has kept his emotions in check and dealt with a variety of on field disappointments and adversity with sportsmanship"
    Like the kind of "sportsmanship" he displayed in Ottawa, where after being chased like a rabbit all night long he got into it with it with a Gee Gee on the sideline and promptly got nailed with an unsportsmanlike penalty?
    Dunk sat out the rest of the game after much for learning his lesson.
    By no means am I condoning what Surla did.
    That was a stupid and unneccessary ploy.
    But for the Guelph-Mercury to even attempt to somehow make Surla's comments seem worse than the original incident involving Dunk is just pathetic.
    Playing the "in the heat of the moment" card?
    Please, give me a break.