What's interesting about Jesse Palmer deciding to join the Montreal Alouettes is whether Palmer, who hasn't played Canadian style football in an awfully long time, will find the brand of ball up north to his liking. Moreover, it's been a long time since he's played regularly, and the hope here is that the Als won't throw him in there immediately but will instead give him a lengthy apprenticeship period to learn the CFL before tossing him into the fire. The timing, at least for the CFL, is perfect for a Canadian QB, and the Als, for their part, are getting closer to needing a new one every day as the excellent Anthony Calvillo moves along deeper into his career. But for this to work is has to be a long-term committment from both the Als and Palmer, and wouldn't it be nice if the CFL one day saw the wisdom of actually giving teams incentive to develop and use Canadian quarterbacks? . . . The other Jesse, as in Lumsden, is still waiting to see if he can catch on with some other NFL squad before heading back to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. That team's new GM, Marcel Desjardins, has already made it clear he doesn't want Lumsden for another short-term deal but wants him to commit to staying at least through next season in the CFL. In what has been a middling type year for the CFL, the addition of two exciting homebrews in Jesses Palmer and Lumsden would be a wonderful shot in the arm . . . Don't know about you, but Football Night in America (what a ripoff of a name!) was decidedly underwhelming out of the gate. I'm thinking already Cris Collinsworth and Jerome Bettis would love to strangle the incredibly annoying, incredibly long-winded Sterling Sharpe. It took the show far, far too long to get to the day's highlights. The funniest part was when the show inexplicably moved from a set behind a desk to lounge chairs, Bettis looked like he could barely fit his wide load keester into the furniture while diminutive Bob Costas took up about half of his . . . That Tiger Woods is not only a fabulous frontrunner, he knows a winning team when he sees one. Still, it had to grate on TV commentator John McEnroe and Andy Roddick's coach, Jimmy Connors, to see the American golf ace in the corner of Swiss star Roger Federer during the U.S. Open men's final on Sunday, rather than that of Roddick, the good old American from Nebraska . . . Knowing Maria Sharapova, she'll immediately figure out a way to commercialize having that piece of the winner's trophy hit her on the head on Saturday after winning the women's final at Flushing Meadows. Look for a TV spot featuring that little misadventure in the next six months . . . You probably remember back in Game 7 of last spring's Eastern Conference final when Buffalo defenceman Brian Campbell incurred a critical minor for shooting the puck over the glass that put the Sabres down two skaters and led to the series winning goal. The whining that ensued over that rule was extraordinary. Impressively, however, when it came to a board of governors meeting in June, the Sabres said they were fine with the existing rule and didn't want it changed . . . Sepp Blatter reveals himself to be the blathering idiot of world soccer on a regular basis. But this idea to bring Zidane and Marco Materazzi together to kiss and make up is a step up in absurdity even for Blatter. Here's the deal. Materazzi said something he shouldn't have. Zidane threw soccer glory away for his country over a piece of name-calling. And the World Cup is over. Period, end of story.