Will Canadian QB Danny Brannagan Get a Chance To Dispel Myth?

Steve ThompsonAnalyst IIIMarch 16, 2010

Danny Brannagan, the Vanier Cup-winning quarterback of the Queen's Golden Gaels, becomes the latest Canadian to try and dispel an unwritten rule that has been in the CFL since the last playing days of legendary Ottawa quarterback Russ Jackson that a Canadian quarterback can't do a competent job in the CFL.

The question is: Will he be given a real chance to prove it?

Brannagan signed a three-year entry-level contract with head coach Jim Barker's Toronto Argonauts.

For the Argonauts it can be construed as a move to try and sell more tickets. After cleaning house of last year's ineffective quarterbacks, the Argonauts have not signed anyone at that position to make fans sit up and take notice.

The most recent to be signed was the third-string pivot of last year's horrible Buffalo Bills team who has been deemed CFL material.

There was no Tim Tebow signing that might have captured the public's imagination. So why not sign Brannagan, the best quarterback in CIS football? At least it would generate more than an uh-huh.

Brannagan's story shows that lack of respect the CFL (and NFL) has for native Canadians at that position. Had he not been signed, Brannagan was going to start his career as an accountant in Hamilton.

Brannagan led Queens to a 7-1 record last year and a victory in the Vanier Cup. He'd had another outstanding season the year before. Certainly he merited a look by every CFL team that was struggling at quarterback and possibly by some NFL teams too.

But will he be given a real chance at quarterback? It won't be good if he ends up playing wide receiver, defensive back, or running back.

Barker gave all the right answers, saying that he would not have signed him if he did not believe he had a chance to be the team's starting pivot.

He'll certainly have all his CIS quarterback brethren and a large segment of the Canadian public pulling for him.

But it's also important that he earns the job on merit, that it's not being handed to him on a platter for the sake of doing it. It is essential that he is the real thing.

The last Canadian quarterback to start was the forgotten Giulio Caravatta who played for the BC Lions back in 1996.

So Brannagan will be under the microscope when training camp starts, and not only because of his own personal ambitions.

He'll be carrying the hopes and dreams of every Canadian quarterback on his back who will be hoping that after their CIS careers are over, there will be a future for them at that position in some league somewhere.