However, the CFL has been something of a cultural shock for Davis. Although the Canadian game, which is played on a field 12 yards wider than American gridirons, is wide open offensively and thus tailored to his abilities, Davis has discovered that the caliber of play is below what he experienced in the WFL. The CFL dictates that a minimum of 17 players on every 32-man roster must be Canadians, and, well, Canadians play football about as well as Americans play hockey. Besides, there is a minor league aura to the CFL. Coaching staffs consist of no more than a handful of men; unlike the NFL, there are no strength coaches or movie projectionists on the payroll. Many of the teams even practice in late afternoon so their players can hold down full-time jobs. Davis is constantly reminded of the differences between the CFL and the NFL. Last week, for instance, a Canadian journalist, trying to offer Davis the ultimate in encomiums, wrote, "Some day Anthony Davis will be as good as Leo Lewis."
Prompting such praise have been moves like one Davis play in Toronto's victory over Hamilton. He received a pitch from Quarterback Matthew Reed, another former WFL player, then turned the corner and began dashing for the end zone. At the 15 it appeared that Davis would be stopped by a Tiger-Cat defensive back who had a good angle on him, but Davis cut inside, cut outside again to avoid another defender, and, as he did at USC, showboated after crossing the goal line, this time bowing to the crowd.
Unfortunately, Davis went into eclipse after that touchdown, and for the rest of the game he spent most of his time going in motion or jogging downfield as a decoy. "From Anthony's standpoint, I don't think the coaching can get worse," Trope said after the game. "If you polled football fans, I think they'd agree. If you polled the Toronto front office, I think even they'd agree." Indeed, although Toronto is off to its best start since 1973, there are rumors that Jackson, a former All-Canadian League quarterback who last year gave up a job as a high school principal to handle the Argonauts, might soon be fired, despite his rich five-year contract.
So, with the NFL, Tampa Bay, John McKay and, yes, another lucrative signing bonus obviously in mind, Trope notes, "A.D. has an option to get out of this Toronto contract after two years if we wish. If this situation continues, there's no way he will stay with the Argonauts."