Jimmy Cunningham - Receiver/Returner - 1997-00 - Howard
Jimmy "The Jet" Cunningham was an explosive dynamo in the CFL over 6 seasons. He burst onto the scene with the Toronto Argonauts in 1995 joining the club at midseason. In his first professional game the Labour Day Classic versus Hamilton Cunningham returned a punt 97 yards for a touchdown. The Houston native in only 6 games would bring back 3 punts for majors and nearly 1,200 all purpose yards in a 3rd of a season.
Cunningham would stay with Toronto for a magical 1996 season. The arrival of Doug Flutie and Robert Drummond to Toronto would lead to a 15-3 record. Cunningham had his best pro season with 800 receiving yards to go with 976 punt return yards and 2 touchdowns as well as 693 on kickoff returns. Cunningham was named a league All-Star in 1996. He capped the year with a 80 yard punt return touchdown in the Argonauts Grey Cup victory over Edmonton. He led the league in 1996 with 2,638 combined yards. The Grey Cup victory would be his last game as an Argonaut. In the 1997 off-season Cunningham signed with the Buffalo Bills but suffered an injury in training camp. Once he had recovered he was released by Buffalo in October and signed with the B.C. Lions in time to dress for the teams final regular season game. He would score a receiving touchdown in the game and add another in the Lions playoff loss to Montreal. In the Alouettes return to Molson Stadium for that playoff game Cunningham would lead both sides with 150 receiving yards in the loss.
Injuries would limit Cunningham to just 4 games in 1998 but he would play a full 18 in 1999 and again be named a league all-star. He would score 3 receiving touchdowns, 2 on punt returns and the only kickoff return TD of his career.
In 2000, Cunningham would again post strong totals with 726 receiving yards. He was the clubs leading punt and kick return leader again following 1999. The Lions would surprise and advance to the 2000 Grey Cup versus Montreal. Cunningham would again deliver on the big stage with 2 receiving touchdowns in the Lions upset Grey Cup victory. It was the 2nd Grey Cup of Cunningham's career and would cap his time in the CFL. In 2001, Cunningham would spend time in the XFL with the San Francisco Demons joining other CFL stars such as Travis Moore and Kelvin Anderson in the Bay City.
An electrifying talent Jimmy "The Jet" Cunnigham spent 6 season thrilling fans in 2 CFL cities. He was a 2-time Grey Cup champion who always shone when the spotlight was it's brightest.
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