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JuicyLesson 286 : Wanted Dread or Alive …Fear and Loathing … The War to End All Wars … And Amongst Our “Beloved” Alouette Football Team; Special Treatment for Chad? …

Reggae with Mr. P. Tosh and “Wanted: Dread or Alive”, from the album of the same name.

Tuesday was August 5th, 2014. One hundred years ago, the first shots were fired in that “Great War”, the “War to End All Wars”, World War I.


On that day, one hundred years ago, the Serbs, Germans, British, French, Russians and Austro-Hungarians entered the fightingimagewhich would end with the armsitice signed on 11/11/1918 at 11:00 AM, which is why we choose November 11th to memorialize the fighting men and women who were involved in any and all wars since that time in 1918, when, supposedly, a new, long era of peace was to begin.


But that was not the case. For in 1939, less than 20 years later, the torch of war was again lit in Europe when Germany took action on its border with Poland which threatened that area of land referred to as the Polish Corridor, created as a result of the WWI peace settlement and which divided East Prussia from the rest of Germany, leading to Great Britain’s declaration of war against the German-Italian-Japanese Axis powers, so called because its leaders, were convinced that the Axis would emerge from this world war victorious and thus, these three nations would provide the “axis” around which the rest of the world revolved and evolved. According to Hitler and his cohorts, Mussolini the Italian tyrant and Hirohito, the Japanese Emperor, anyway; thank the Lord on high that that never happened and that they were mistaken.

Otherwise, who knows what our contemporary world would look like. Would there be any Jews – those of the non-clandestine variety at any rate – still living? Suffice to say, if the United States had not been drawn into that war when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour in Hawaii in 1941, that conflict could have and would have ended quite differently than the way it did.


There is no peace, either internally or externally, within the international community. Since 1945, there have been numerous conflicts, disputes, wars, terrorist attacks, all causing destruction, bloodshed and loss of life, varying in scale. Not to mention the unimaginable grief suffered by those faimlies – ouitside the realm of those “true believers” in the Islamic world, image
discussed within these very pages very recently, like yesterday (Tuesday), on the day before that (Monday) and on the day before than (Sunday’s); the latter group chooses to glorify the suicides of their believers and to offer praise to Allah for having been given the opportunity to sacrifice themselves as well as their children … for what?

What was that again – anyway, back on track now except to say the following:

This is being composed at around 10:00 on the morning of Wednesday, the 6th of August. It is extrmeely rare for me to write for my JuicyLessons blog at this time of day but the pot tea I just finished has chosen to attack me quite soon after its having been consumed. So I am feeling philosophical, musing away, as well as really trying to give our look at World War I, specifically, but at other conflicts since that time as well, the respect they deserve.

NOW it’s back on track time, I swear. We were talking what I refer to as the unimaginable grief which comes with losing a son, a daughter, and, not to the same extent, with the loss of one’s parents, siblings, and/or cousins. There was actually an American woman who lost five sons in World War II I believe it was, but that war was fought for good reason – basically to prevent world take-over by three megalomaniacal tyrants and their cohorts in crime. At least that’s the way that conflict must be viewed by that mother and others in situations resulting from the loss of children in battle.


Now for a change of tack

Zurkowsky: Frustration starting to show among Alouettes

With Reggie Jones of the Ottawa Redblacks defending, Alouettes wide receiver Chad Johnson starts out on a pass route in the first half of a pre-season CFL game at Molson Stadium in Montreal, on Friday, June 19, 2014.
Photograph by: John Kenney , The Gazette

MONTREAL — Tom Higgins probably thought it was an innocuous comment at the time. Last Thursday, after initially hesitating, the Alouettes’ head coach admitted Chad Johnson receives preferential treatment — but didn’t elaborate at the time.

But now, as the Als’ losses continue to mount and the team appears incapable of scoring touchdowns, it’s becoming clear that tension and turmoil exist. During last Friday’s defeat against Toronto, receiver Duron Carter and guard Ryan Bomben got into a shouting match. Linebacker Chip Cox also could be seen yelling at teammates.

“Concerning? Yes. You get heated arguments when frustration sets in,” Higgins said following Tuesday’s practice at Stade Hébert. “I get it. We have no dissension if we’re 4-1. But we’re 1-4. All the ugly parts come out of the organization and what you deal with.

“They don’t like the fact their head coach has no hair … or he’s too old. You get it when you’re struggling,” Higgins added. “We won’t hear any of this with a good performance.”

Don Matthews, above, has returned to the Als for a second consecutive year as a consultant. Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press

But are the Als capable of such? And will it come this Friday, at home, against Edmonton? There’s no reason to believe Montreal is about to suddenly turn its season around, given the fact it has gone two full games without a touchdown.

And now, fingers are starting to be pointed at some of the team’s receivers — in particular Carter and Johnson. One source told The Gazette Als players consider Carter, who has played only two games this season, selfish. Another source wondered why the 36-year-old Johnson, who has caught only four passes this season, but is averaging 19.5 yards per reception, remains in a starting role?


The latter source, a player who shall remain anonymous, said Johnson has displayed a lack of effort, accusing him of not knowing the playbook.

“We’re trying to win here. This isn’t some slap-d— vacation league,” the player said. “Put the best players on the field that want to play.

“One position (receiver) has free reign to do whatever they want and aren’t accountable to anything. It doesn’t matter what they do or how they perform.”


On Tuesday, Higgins again admitted Johnson, the former NFL standout with the Cincinnati Bengals who came out of retirement to play in the Canadian Football League, is treated differently. Higgins compared Johnson to veteran Toronto quarterback Ricky Ray, who has reached an unparalleled status and remains unchallenged at training camp.

But Higgins also was quick to admit, if another player didn’t have Johnson’s credentials — and had caught only four passes — he might not have the same luxury. In other words, he probably would have been benched by now.

“The expectation’s here, and anywhere he has been, that there’s a big-play capable person. He has higher expectations than any receiver that has come in,” Higgins said. “A coach that has history or understands an athlete, gives him the benefit of the doubt because, in the back of his mind, he can catch, make plays and has done this or that. Compare that to a young man who hasn’t done anything, although they might have the same skill set.
“We try to treat everyone fairly,” Higgins added. “We’re playing the guys, right now, that give us the best chance to win. It’s just the way it is and you deal with it.”

Nonetheless, whether he cares to admit it or not, Higgins must realize, deep down, every player’s not being accountable. That was the theme he preached coming out of the bye week in the schedule last week.

And again, although he would never admit it, Higgins’s hands are probably tied and he has no choice but to play Johnson. Whether he has been given that edict by general manager Jim Popp, or president Mark Weightman for that matter, Johnson will remain in the starting lineup because he sells tickets.


The Als don’t come close to selling out Molson Stadium but, those who do attend, clearly come to see Johnson and take photos of him. Management realized the phenomenon he would create when it signed him. And, as long as Johnson remains popular with the clientele, it masks how bad this team truly appears to be.

Higgins admitted there could be dissension toward Johnson, should the other players believe he’s being treated differently.

“It depends on how it’s looked at, treated and talked about,” Higgins said. “But before our team meetings, everyone gets talked to as a full unit and we air a lot of things at that time. Some (players) might be called out — although they’re told before so they’re not surprised.


“We have some talented receivers, but it’s hard to showcase them when we’re not playing well or moving the ball. We’re struggling to get the ball close to receivers.”

Johnson for his part — at least when he speaks to the media — has never made it about himself and has done everything possible to divert attention away from himself, even not coming to a road stadium the day before the game, although media has requested his presence.

Johnson denied he’s held to a different standard. “In what way? He (Higgins) didn’t elaborate to me, so I don’t know how to answer that.

“I do all the work everyone else does.”

Johnson has been used extensively at field wide-receiver, the longest throw for a quarterback, but has been moved inside, to slotback, during workouts this week while remaining on the strong-side.

“Chad’s still a talented receiver,” said receivers coach Erik Campbell. “We have to give him more shots, more opportunities, to see what he can do.

“He’s a great guy. He works well in the classroom and on the field.”

Twitter: HerbZurkowsky1
© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

We require peace.

May we acquire harmony.

A demain.

1 Comment

  • Matthew Friedman says:

    The horror of war and the individual suffering caused cannot be topped by the first world war. Look at the war drawings of Otto Grun. Apparently nothing has been learned. This appears to be the nature of human beings. It seems there is always an evil force pushing the agenda with the acquiescence of the common man who seems to never see it.

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