Former Mizzou star grabs shovel during CFL brawl


Posted on September 26, 2009 at 9:11 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 10:37 AM

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- This play went way beyond a shovel pass.

Steamed over a practice brawl, a Canadian Football League lineman stomped off the field, then stormed back moments later brandishing a real shovel.

As Edmonton Eskimos defensive tackle Xzavie Jackson marched toward teammate Aaron Fiacconi on Thursday, general manager Danny Maciocia stepped into his path. The GM gently put his hand on Jackson's chest and gestured toward the shovel.

"I just said, 'What are you planning on doing with that? Do you realize the repercussions?"' Maciocia said Friday. "I'm almost sure he had already come to that conclusion."

"I don't think he would have carried out an incident where he would have swung a shovel and tried to strike someone," he said.

The bizarre fight began when Fiacconi, the starting center and a CFL veteran, was working out at three-quarters speed while Jackson, a spot starter and practice-squad player, was going at a faster tempo.

After a bit of banging, Fiacconi began punching Jackson. No teammates intervened and Jackson, a former Missouri star who had stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals, thundered away.

As Jackson yelled and whipped off his practice jersey, he walked past a nearby dumpster. He spotted a long-handled metal shovel, grabbed it and headed back at Fiacconi.

Jackson rejoined the Eskimos at practice Friday, sporting sunglasses and a bandage over a swollen eye.

"I'm very disappointed," he said. "That's not me. That's not my character. I know I could've made a better choice. I've apologized to my teammates and that's all."

Fiacconi accepted the apology.

"We've made our peace," he said. "In the end, I doubt he would have done something with the implement."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)