Toronto Argonauts Need A Star Quarterback

Steve ThompsonAnalyst IIIFebruary 17, 2010

There have been a flurry of trades in the CFL lately with the net result being that the Toronto Argonauts are better than they were last year.

But to really turn things around both on and off the field, the Toronto Argonauts need a star quarterback.

The reason for on field speaks for itself.  The Argonauts had the worst record in the CFL last year.  On offense, the running attack with Jamal Robertson was up to par, but the passing attack was horrible.

Kerry Joseph continued to look lost at quarterback since his trade from Saskatchewan, and he is now in his mid-thirties.  Cody Pickett failed to keep the job when it was handed to him on a platter.

But the off field reasons to get a star quarterback are probably more important.

The Argonauts need a star player in the key position to capture the public's eye and revive interest in the team, in a city whose sports fans are obsessed with being "world class" and "big league".

Unfortunately, this obsession is more important than solving some of the evils of the region or even winning.

It's the reason a very bad Buffalo Bills team can sell tickets at high prices and get away with it.  The NFL is perceived as "big league".

It's the reason the city has been scrounging for decades for a World's Fair or an international sports event.  They wanted the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games; they'll settle for the Pan American kind.

This obsession is nothing new in the history of mankind.  Unfortunately, man too often loves a worthless shiny penny that does nothing, than a dull piece of metal that produces.

Henry VIII and Elizabeth I of England made a great point of appearing in public frequently, with as much splendor as possible to keep a hold on the spirits and hearts of the people.

Once the dynasty switched to the drab and retiring Stuarts (with the exception of Charles II), support for the monarchy eroded.  And after Cromwell, there was no return to Puritan austerity.

In French history, the population was more bedazzled by "la glorie" than any tangible gains.

The Toronto Argonauts are in a situation like the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL.  The Kings seldom competed effectively for the Stanley Cup, but as long as they had their star player–Marcel Dionne or Wayne Gretzky–the fans filled the seats.

So a star player with charisma at the key position of quarterback is essential for ticket sales in Toronto.

Probably the best one to ever play the role in Toronto was Joe Theismann.  He had the kind of star power that could rival the Toronto Maple Leafs.  It's no surprise that he ended up as a color commentator on television the last two decades.

Now that the ownership and coach are in place in Toronto, the most essential position to fill is the quarterback. 

One that is better than the ones in Buffalo would do wonders for the team, and for the CFL's image in Toronto as well.