#25

 

 

Raghib "Rocket" Ismail signed with McNall and the CFL's Toronto Argonauts for $3.5 million a year, under a personal services contract; like Wayne Gretzky, he was a speciality item, sent from one country to another to help establish one national game to the other land. Courtesy ESPN 1991 Draft. read more on the "Rocket" and his two seasons in the CFL here...


The recruiting of Joe Theismann in 1971 out from under the Miami Dolphins by Leo Cahill and the Toronto Argonauts is a fascinating look at Canadian Football in the early 1970's. The diminutive Theismann was highly touted coming out of Notre Dame in 1970 having led the Irish to a Cotton Bowl championship. Drafted in the fourth round by Don Shula and the Miami Dolphins, Theismann became frustrated with contract negotiations, Leo Cahil saw an opportunity and pounced to lure Joe north. While Theismann lasted just 3 season with Toronto; he did lead the team to the Grey Cup game in 1971 and brought a great deal of attention to not only the Argos but the entire Canadian Football League. read the story of how Joe came to the Argos from Theismann's own words in his autobiography here...


Along with Joe Theismann, Greg Barton and Jim Stillwagon in the Argonauts recruiting spree of 1971 came the enigmatic Leon McQuay. His unrivaled talent on the football field was matched by his unpredictable temperment off the field. Quoted by Leo Cahill as "the best player he ever recruited" McQuay came out of the University of Tampa after his junior year bringing his special football talents to Toronto. His electrifying play on the field is certainly remembered by Argonaut fans. However, what is most remembered as a lasting image is McQuay's controversial fumble in the 1971 Grey Cup on the wet unforgiving turf of Empire Stadium in Vancouver. The fumble arguably cost the Argos victory that day. From a feature in the Tampa Tribune read more about Leon here...


In 1976 legendary quarterback Russ Jackson began his second season as coach of the Boatmen, after a disappointing 5-10-1 record in 1975 the team was desperate to make a splash and revitalize the offence. To that end former USC standout and World League orphan Anthony Davis a star running back and 1974 Heisman runner-up was signed. Davis rebuffed an offer from the New York Jets and signed a five-year $1 million dollar deal with the Argonauts the first million dollar man in Canadian Football. Davis arrogant demeanor clashed with Jackson and the result was a supreme disappointment on the field for the team and ultimately the fans. He left after just one forgettable season with Toronto and is remembered as one of the most profound flops in the clubs history. Read more about the recruiting and ultimate departure of Anthony here...


Doug Flutie was an Argonaut for two seasons 1996-97. His stay produced back-to-back Grey Cup Championship and one of the most dominant offensive attacks in club history. The 1984 Heisman winner parlayed his success with Toronto into a return to the NFL with the Buffalo Bills in 1998. Flutie has enjoyed a rebirth as a veteran play-caller entering his eight season down south. Although Flutie's stay in Toronto may not have produced the attendance figures the team had hoped, he definitely delivered on the field setting numerous passing records and winning his final 2 Most Outstanding Player awards in the CFL which brought his total to an astounding 6 MOP awards in 8 seasons. Read more about Doug and his dominant two season stay in Toronto here...


Terry Greer was the first player in professional football to top 2,000 yards receiving in a season. Terry eclipsed the mark in 1983 in only 16 games teaming with quarterback Conderedge Holloway to form an unstoppable tandem. The Alabama State product finished the 1983 season with 113 catches for 2,003 yards. He would finish runner-up to Edmonton's Warren Moon for Most Outstanding Player for the year. Terry Greer spent 6 spectacular seasons with the Argonauts before moving on to the National Football League in 1986. Read more about the amazing Terry Greer here...


Tony Adams was another in a long line of high-profile U.S. quarterbacks who did not work out in the CFL. He arrived in Toronto with the Argonauts from the Kansas City Chiefs where he had served as a back-up quarterback amidst great fanfare in 1979. With a strong collegiate background, success in the World League and flashes in the NFL it was seen as a big addition to the "double blue" to end a disappointing decade with a positive year. Adams had the talent but was inconsistent and the club struggled under new coach Forrest Gregg. Adams would be named the Eastern Conference rookie of the year but the club finished a dissapointing 5-11. In 1980 Adams would suffer injury and be relegated to back-up when healthy he wouldn't finish the season in Toronto. Another disappointing end for a high profie signee. Read more about Tony here...


Chris Schultz is a respected football voice for TSN sports channel. As a player Chris grew up in Burlington and then went to Arizona on a full football scholarship - quite an accomplishment for a Canadian born and raised player in the late 1970's. Chris was a seventh round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in the 1983 NFL entry draft. The 6'8 290lb Offensive Lineman played for the legendary Tom Landry while with Dallas. He spent 3 seasons with the Cowboys. Chris came to the CFL in 1986 with the Toronto Argonauts. He captured a Grey Cup with Toronto in 1991 and retired as a player after the 1994 season. Chris has built a great career as a football commentator - but most fans may not know the great football career Chris had as a player. Read more here...


Mike Vanderjagt is statistically the greatest place-kicker in NFL history. The Oakville native has certainly left a mark in the National Football League. Prior to finding success with the Indiannapolis Colts, Vanderjagt spent 2 seasons with the Toronto Argonauts. As Toronto's kicker/punter and kickoff specialist in 1996 & '97 Mike earned 2 Grey Cup rings converting for the prolific Doug Flutie led offences. Mike was a league all-star in 1997 before signing with the Colts for the 1998 season. Mike played college football at West Virginia, he was also the named the Most Outstanding Canadian of the 1996 Grey Cup. A controversial figure in football, Mike first came to prominence and has now come full circle and returned to the Argonauts in the Canadian Football League. Read more about Mike here...


The attributes of Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons as a Person, Coach and Community leader are well known and widespread. The Dunedin born and raised Clemons has become a Canadian citizen and immersed himself as the ultimate Torontonian. What may be less known are the exploits ‘Pinball’ displayed over 12 seasons as a player in the Canadian Football League with the Toronto Argonauts. Clemons arrived in Toronto in 1989 after being cut by the Kansas City Chiefs. Head Coach Bob O’Billovich gave Clemons the ‘Pinball’ moniker from the way he bounced around running the ball in training camp that year. In 1990 Clemons would become just the third player in the franchises history to be named the league’s Most Outstanding Player (behind Bill Symons and Condredge Holloway). read more about Pinball here...


 

 

 

Terry Metcalf -The versatile Metcalf came to Toronto for the 1978 season. After a contract dispute with the St.Louis Cardinals, Metcalf signed a million dollar "lifetime" contract. "lifetime" lasted 3 seasons. The lone bright spot on some terrible Argo teams; Metcalf got out of his contract after the 1980 season and returned to the NFL with the Washington Redskins. Read more about Terry's tenure and history with the Argos here...


Robert Drummond had 2 outstanding seasons with Toronto in 1996-97. Under the Doug Flutie led offence Drummond excelled, leading the league both years in touchdowns. 2 Grey Cups resulted. Robert had an amazing 9 season career in the CFL capturing the Grey Cup 4 times - Baltimore (95), Toronto (96-97) BC (00). Drummond returned to Toronto in 2002 for his final season in professional football. Read more about Robert here...


Matt Dunigan had already established himself as a great CFL quarterback when he joined Toronto in 1990. Matt had led both Edmonton and B.C. to the Grey Cup game. It was with Toronto in 1991 however, that Dunigan truly cemented his status as a CFL legend. Suffering from a separated shoulder and with frigid conditions in Winnipeg; it was under the guidance of Dunigan that the Argonauts attained victory over Calgary to capture the 1991 Grey Cup. Read more about Matt Dunigan with the Toronto Argonauts here...


Bill Symons won the leagues Most Outstanding Player award in 1968, the next Argonaut to win the award Condredge Holloway in 1982. Holloway still holds a number of career passing records with Toronto. Holloway was on the 1983 championship team and is honoured as an all-time Argo. Teaming with unstoppable Terry Greer, Holloway led a dominant offensive attack in the 1980's. The 'Artfull dodger' from his days with the Tennessee Volunteers Holloway is remembered fondly by Argo fans for his exciting style of play. Read more about Condredge here...


Leo Cahill returned to the Argonauts in 1986 as the clubs General Manager. Prior to the 1987 season Cahill uncovered a running back from little known Holy Cross College. The running back was Gil Fenerty and he went on to win rookie of the year honours in 1987 rushing for nearly 900 yards and 12 touchdowns. Gil 'the thrill' Fenerty played 3 season with the Argonauts before moving on to the New Orleans Saints. During his stay Fenerty electrified Argonaut fans with his explosive ability setting club rushing records. read more about Gil here...


Bill Symons was the first Toronto Argonaut in the clubs history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season. Symons accomplished the feat in 1968. Bill was also the first Toronto Argonaut to be named the leagues Most Outstanding Player that same year. The Colorado product played with Toronto from 1967 until 1973 as a solid backfield contributor read more about Bill here...

 

 

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