Joe Barnes - Quarterback - 1976-80, 85-86 - Texas Tech
Joe Barnes was a collegiate star with Texas Tech in the early 1970’s. Joe was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 13th round of the 1974 NFL draft. The Bears envisioned Barnes as a running back and after a couple of years he joined the Montreal Alouettes in 1976 to play quarterback. Joe served as back-up to Sonny Wade when arrived but by 1978 he was the teams starting quarterback. His mobility and ability to throw on the run served him well – he enjoyed his best season with Montreal in 1979 with 2,456 yards passing for 13 touchdowns.
In 1981, Barnes was dealt to Saskatchewan he played one season with the Roughriders and from there was traded to Toronto in May of 1982. Joe would back-up Condredge Holloway in 1982 as the club turned things around under Bob O’Billovich advancing to the Grey Cup only to lose to the Edmonton Eskimos.
In 1983 it was more of a platoon between the two quarterbacks and Toronto would again have success advancing to the Grey Cup. Barnes come off the bench to replace an ineffective Holloway and would throw the decisive touchdown pass to Cedric Minter as Toronto ended 31 years of frustration with a long awaited Grey Cup Championship.
The city was ecstatic and Barnes was the hero with his clinching pass. Joe would become an East All-Star in 1984 with Toronto with 3,128 yards passing and 18 touchdowns his best season as a progfessional. Toronto would not repeat as champions and after the season Barnes was dealt to Calgary. In 1985, with Calgary Barnes would play 11 games with good results before he was dealt back to Montreal in midseason. Joe would play 1 final season with Montreal in 1986 – playing in 7 games before retiring.
Barnes had a brief coaching career in the CFL including stints with the expansion Baltimore Stallions.
His career statistics may not jump off the page – but Joe Barnes was a solid CFL quarterback who gave Toronto a great moment in the cities history to break a long championship drought for the cities long suffering sports fans in 1983.
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