Dear Chris Jones,
Hi, it’s Matthew Cauz here from CFL.ca. I have a very important message for you: Please never change. Don’t listen to everyone that is freaking out about your quarterback rotation or your insistence on playing Duron Carter at corner. Oh sure, at some moments it looks like the CFL on TSN crew wants to fight you, but you’re one of the best things we’ve got right now in the world of Canadian football. You represent one of the most important aspects needed for all sports: the villain!
I mean, you look the part, always dressed in black no matter what the temperature is. You may as well lean into it and go full wrestling heel. Don’t worry about all the critics who write that you are “reputedly a football genius” or that you run a “punt-oriented offence” (hat tip to Rob Vanstone). I hope you haven’t got your feelings hurt by everyone clamouring for you to put Carter back where he naturally belongs on offence.
Wait, who am I talking to? Of course you don’t care what other people think. You won the Grey Cup with Edmonton and then left for Saskatchewan before Mike Reilly had gotten all the confetti out of his beard. You immediately got rid of some of Regina’s favourite players in John Chick and Weston Dressler, so I guess I shouldn’t worry that you’re gonna start to get sensitive when the rest of the football world is having conniptions about what you’re doing and generally questioning your coaching sanity.
All right, so the next step is you really need to lean into this role as the league’s ultimate anti-hero. Every day there is another article about what you’ve done or what you may do next so we need to capitalize. Let’s start with some new fines and/or suspensions. It’s been over a year since you’ve been punished. What gives, have you gone soft on us? At one time you were the Draymond Green/Brad Marchand/New England Patriots of the league. We’ve got to get you back in the bad books so how about during the next Live Mic game involving the Roughriders you start working blue? One moment you’re debating punting on first down just to confuse us in the media and then suddenly you spew forth a stream of obscenities that would make Richard Pryor blush. Or, repeat after me: “Oh hello Randy Ambrosie, you think the Argonauts skirted the rules with their “personal services” contract for Rocket Ismail? Just wait till you see what we have planned for James Wilder Jr. in the off-season. We’re going to take tampering to a whole other level in Week 15 when we travel to Toronto play the Argonauts.”
I demand a press conference where you light up an unfiltered Camel cigarette with extra tar as you explain to reporters that Naaman Roosevelt is going to play linebacker, then casually mention that Geddy Lee was overrated. Please Chris, I need you to stare the media in the eyes as you proclaim that Canadian beer is swill compared to the good stuff you used to drink in Tennessee, and that you’re considering signing Henry Burris to replace Brandon Bridge for every other possession. No more giving the poor guy at least two series before being yanked as you did against Hamilton; you’re going full carousel. Listen, with you guys on a bye week, we have a week to punch up your material.
Remember Chris, you can get away with all this. You want to know why? Because you’re a winner. You have four Grey Cup rings on your often-clenched fist. Everywhere you go your team eventually lifts up the Cup. You took over a 3-15 team two seasons ago and you almost went to the Grey Cup this past year if not for a third down reception by James Wilder Jr. It’s so much easier to get away with this stuff you’ve been experimenting with when you have a background of success, so just go nuts. Play Bridge permanently at receiver once Zach Collaros is healthy, proclaim that John Hufnagel is overrated, or really push the limits and explain that adults should never wear water melons on their heads.
So in conclusion, Chris, I want to thank you for providing us with so much content. Your actions sure do anger up the blood of so many fans and media. You always give us something to talk about. You remind me of that great quote by Jim Gordon about Batman at the end of ‘The Dark Knight’ that I have in no way changed to fit the narrative of this piece:
“Because he’s the hero that the CFL deserves, but not the one Duron Carter needs right now. So we’ll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark Roughrider.”
P.S. Charleston Hughes would make a great slotback. Just saying.