Kevin Sweeney was in
a funk last week because his football career had been put on the back burner. Today, he's worried that it may be finished.
Sweeney, the Montreal Machine's back-up quarterback, separated his right shoulder after directing the team
to the brink of a go-ahead touchdown with 1 minute, 21 seconds left in regulation against the Sacramento Surge in a World
League of American Football game Saturday at Hughes Stadium.
The Machine scored when Michael Proctor, the quarterback
to whom Sweeney lost his job, re-entered and scored on a 14-yard scramble to make it 23-20.
Montreal, which trailed
20-10 midway through the fourth quarter, pulled out a 26-23 win when Bjorn Nittmo kicked a 30-yard field goal with three seconds
left in the overtime period.
It was a bittersweet win for Sweeney, who entered late in the third quarter and was immediately
knocked on his backside by the Surge defense.
X-rays taken after the game revealed a separation of Sweeney's throwing
shoulder, an injury that will end his season and take three to four months to heal, according to Machine physician Gabe Mulder.
Sweeney, the Machine's No. 1 pick in the WLAF quarterback draft, had lost his job to Proctor after
four games and was itching for the chance to prove himself. Now his career, which included a two-year stint with the Dallas
Cowboys, is in serious jeopardy.
Operation will end career
"If I need an operation, I'm not going to play
anymore," said Sweeney, 27, the former Fresno State University star who set an NCAA career record for passing yards in
"It's not worth it for the $25,000 salary. This league isn't something you can hang your hat on. I guess
now I'll have to go out and get a real job."
Sweeney, still dazed after the game, said he couldn't even remember
the devastating but clean hit by Surge linebacker Pete Najarian that crushed the shoulder.
Trailing 20-16 with 3:33
left, Sweeney marched the Machine 93 yards from their 5-yard line in eight plays. On first down at the Surge 26, Sweeney scrambled
to the 2 when he was smothered by defenders.
"I had my eyes closed and didn't even know I had been hit,"
said Sweeney, who completed 4 of 9 passes for 41 yards and rushed three times for 39 yards.
"At least we scored.
I'm content that I accomplished something I can live with. Sometimes you have no control over things, and this was one of
John Nies, picked up by the Surge last week, kicked field goals of 31, 21 and 31 yards, the last
one with six seconds left to tie it at 23.
Nittmo also kicked a 45-yard field goal and Richard Shelton returned a punt
67 yards for a touchdown and a kickoff 97 yards for a score on a reverse play.
Surge running back Victor Floyd, who
rushed 26 times for 69 yards and had a 14-yard touchdown run, scored on a 60-yard pass play to give the Surge a 13-10 lead.
And Carl Parker caught a 19-yard scoring pass that sent the Surge ahead 20-10.
Sacramento figured the lead was safe
against the WLAF's worst offense team. But in a replay of the previous week when they lost
in overtime to Barcelona, the Surge fell apart.
Galaxy 17, Thunder 14 - Tony Baker scored on fourth-and-one and then
added a two-point conversion with 2:07 left as Frankfurt won at Orlando.
Dragons 11, Fire 6 - Lydell Carr rushed for
his seventh touchdown of the season as Barcelona defeated visiting Birmingham.
The Fresno Bee Repeat?
Kevin Sweeney has known professional headaches before, enduring a painful regular-season start for the Dallas