Calgary running back Jon Cornish has been the subject of plenty of CFL discussion lately, and probably not for reasons he'd like. Cornish is still leading the league with 947 rushing yards and having an incredible season, but the talk since Sunday's loss to Saskatchewan has focused partly on how the Riders lived up to head coach Corey Chamblin's guarantee and held Cornish under 100 rushing yards (he had 67 on 12 carries, an average of 5.6 yards per carry) and even more concerningly, on Cornish's actions on the sideline. Cornish was accused of mooning Saskatchewan fans, swearing at them, spiking the ball and refusing to shake hands with certain Riders. He's since apologized on Twitter for the first three (and said the fourth was a mistake), but reportedly will be disciplined by the Stampeders for his actions.
What's interesting about "Moongate" in particular is that Cornish initially went with the "That's no moon" strategy, telling Ian Busby it was just an equipment adjustment, something Cornish also proclaimed on Twitter Sunday night. However, Calgary head coach John Hufnagel wasn't buying it. From George Johnson of The Calgary Herald:
Clearly coach John Hufnagel, after being informed of the situation Monday morning, felt differently.
"He pulled his pants down a little during the game,'' said a clearly miffed Hufnagel to start off his customary day-after-game media availability at McMahon Stadium.
The wardobe malfunction apparently happened on the sideline with the Calgary offence off the field.
Cornish then apologized to the media in attendance at practice:
"That incicent was a mistake on my part,'' said Cornish, trotted out to address the situation. "I definitely just took it one step too far, or maybe a few steps too far. It reflects poorly on the organization.
"First of all I want to apologize to coach Huf, all the coaches, my teammates, all the Stampeder fans, the Stampeder organization and the Rider fans. They don't desever that.
"It was a bad call on my part. It was an extreme lack of judgment.''
It's probably a positive thing that Hufnagel and the Stampeders addressed this. Rivalries are great, but players mooning fans (equipment adjustment or no equipment adjustment)'s beneath the league, and although we aren't going to go all Joe Buck and call it a "disgusting act," Cornish should be better than that. He seems to realize that, and his apologies both on Twitter and to media members are a good move. Now, hopefully it won't happen again and we can get back to discussing how incredible it is that Cornish is on track to become the first Canadian to lead the CFL in rushing since Orville Lee in 1988 (and well on pace to record more yards than the 1,075 Lee posted that season) rather than arguing over if certain actions are or are not a moon.