Stephen Garcia: Gallic defamation?
A couple of days ago, we told you about a report from the Montreal Gazette that Stephen Garcia had injured two fingers on his throwing hand while exiting an Alouettes team bus. As a result, Stephen took a lot of good-natured ribbing from us, not to mention national outlets like CBS Sports, USA Today and Sports Illustrated - who all had a good chuckle at his expense. Even the NFL Network couldn't help getting in on the act, either, blogging that:
[W]e almost can't continue this post. This story wasn't embellished to sound wackier than it is. The account of how Garcia was injured came directly from the team.
Keep Garcia in mind the next time you flash the peace sign or give someone bunny ears. You might be endangering yourself and those around you.
Here at SB Nation, Jason Kirk described the injury as the most Stephen Garcia Stephen Garcia item that was ever Stephen Garcia'd (kudos for creating a new verb, but what tense does it fall into?) and Spencer Hall quipped that Stepehen is "going to enjoy life in Montreal." Predictably, some others got a little mean-spirited; e.g., Larry Brown Sports - which wondered aloud if Stephen had been drinking ("Was he drunk? Okay, that’s a cheap shot, but we can’t really rule anything out when it comes to hurting your fingers by throwing your deuce up.").
Hah, hah. Stephen being Stephen. Couldn't help himself. A total humiliation, eh?
But not so fast, my friends. Now word is oozing out of the Great White North that the Peace Sign story isn't true. According to this report from WJBF Augusta it was a hoax perpetrated by someone in the Alouettes' organization who thought it was a funny joke:
The reporter from the Montreal Gazette who wrote the original story tells WJBF Sports that a high-ranking team official did tell him the story of the injury. The reporter says he didn't name the official, figuring he was joking. He says that CFL rosters are limited, and that teams all hide players with bogus injuries. He also said he'd take this one with a grain of salt, but "who knows? The guy's the fourth-string QB. For me, it's a non-issue."
A joke? Morbleu! Sign a guy, and then expose him to international humiliation (in both his new home and his country of birth) ... then double-down on the humiliation by saying it doesn't matter because he's a "fourth-string QB?" If it's roster manipulation pure-and-simple, then couldn't the Als have come up with something better? Seriously? Or was it all a Lark?
So far, at the time of this posting, the Montreal Gazette's "Snap Blog" has not retracted the story. Stephen has been quiet on Twitter so far as I can tell (perhaps the Twitterati can educate us on whether SG5 has a new account that us fuddy-duddy 40-somethings can't keep up with).
UPDATE: Phil Kornblut interviewed Alouettes GM Jim Popp today but did not ask him about the injury ... c'mon, Phil!
UPDATE II: Gamecock Man found this interview with SG5 published on The Meat Locker Sports yesterday where Stephen says the Peace Sign story is a complete fabrication:
“My hand is fine. I have no clue when and who started this rumor. My fingers are fine. I’m not sure how that started, but I literally have never even made a ‘peace-sign’ gesture in my life. I am on the I.R. however due to an ankle injury that I’ve suffered.” Garcia says.