A memory checking inquiry - Rivers

I received a Ti-Cat souvenier hat that is enscribed “LB COACH? on one side and “RIVERS? on the other. On the underside of the bill is the autograph “Thanks for everything? signed by what looks to be “ Coach Ali? or “Phi? and finishing with “/97?.

I can’t find any reference to a coach named Rivers, and nothing shows up in the 1997 rosters or the sweater numbers 97 to a player named Rivers.

Anyone got any ideas?

That's a real tough one. I've checked my usual places for info to no avail unfortunately.

I see that Dennis McPhee was the LB coach that season & during that time period?

Perhaps contacting Leo Ezerins with the CFL Alumni Association? Or I see that Mike Morreale was on that team, maybe contacting him via Twitter or the team?

A very interesting mystery that I wish I could help to resolve. Very interested to find out the answer(s)!!!

Best Wishes!

Did Dennis McPhee ever go by the nickname "Phee" or "Phi"?

No idea what "Rivers" might refer to.

The “Phe? nickname could make sense. The autograph is with a felt marker, and there is no “dot? over the last letter, so could well be a letter ‘e’ with the loop filled in.

I have been trying to attach a picture, but can’t make it work. Thanks for your input.

8)Dennis McPhee's nickname has always been, "Deke".

That's what I have heard as well. Thanks for confirmation Tipper.

Don’t know if I am seeing what is written on the cap, or seeing what I want it to be, but the “Deke? would fit. The autograph would be, “Thanks for Everything Coach Deke/97?. The ‘k’ in ‘Thanks’ looks to match what would be the ‘k’ in ‘Deke’. I think The embossed lettering for “LB COACH? and “RIVERS? was added after the hat was sold, because it goes right through the tag. Maybe the guy who bought it?

Anyway, thanks again to everyone who offered suggestions and possible solutions.

Coach McPhee has always had the nickname "Deke" as in Deke Rivers (a character in the Elvis movie Loving You)