Argos' story overshadowed by Babcock move, conference crasher; Foley complains

Head coach Mike Babcock answers questions during a Hockey Canada news conference in Calgary, Alberta, in this file photo taken August 25, 2013. The Toronto Maple Leafs won the Mike Babcock sweepstakes on Wednesday by beating out a handful of teams that tried to land the highly-coveted head coach who spent the last 10 NHL seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. REUTERS/Todd Korol/Files (REUTERS)

The Toronto Argonauts just can't get a break. On Wednesday, the most significant news they've had in recent years, their acquisition (effective Dec. 31) by Bell and MLSE chairman Larry Tanenbaum, was overshadowed by the story that broke almost immediately afterwards of Mike Babcock being named head coach of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs (also owned by MLSE). In fact, it was so overshadowed that a reporter, David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail, specifically went to the Argonauts' press conference to ask Tanenbaum and Tim Leiweke (MLSE's president and CEO) about the Babcock rumours (video can be found here if it doesn't load for you):

That was far from the only upstaging of the Argonauts on the day, but it was the most noticeable. The Babcock hiring is huge news in Toronto, and that's minimized the attention the Argos have received. That caused at least one Argonauts' player, Ricky Foley, to complain on Twitter about the timing of the Babcock announcement and about the rest of the city's sports teams:

Who knew Ricky Foley was really Don Cherry? (And he might not want to play the foreigners card too much, considering that 42-man active CFL rosters typically have 22 Americans and 19 Canadians.)  But the sentiment is understandable; it has to be frustrating to be continually overlooked in the Toronto sports marketplace, even when you find success (as Foley did with the Argonauts when they won the 2012 Grey Cup). There were plenty of other CFL fans miffed about the Babcock announcement's timing, too:

What makes this weirder is that the Argos and Leafs are now mostly under the same corporate banner; the Argos' new owners, Bell and Larry Tanenbaum, are two of the three partners in MLSE. Did the Leafs do this on purpose? Unlikely; it's very difficult for teams to control when stories break these days, and this one was only confirmed by the team after plenty of reports had it. Could Bell and Tanenbaum have intervened to force more of a separation of the news here? Perhaps, but it may not have been easy; this stuff is always a function of what leaks out when. So, it may not have been any big conspiracy. The Babcock hire still definitely overshadowed the Argos' news, though, and that's unfortunate for CFL fans.

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