"Bernie Custis - Football Pioneer"

I didn't know that about him.... "The first African-American quarterback in pro football history." Glad he's being publicly recognized like this. He's had many accomplishments. I never met him but heard good things from former players he coached.


Good on the Toronto Star to run this story as well. :thup:

[url=http://www.thestar.com/sports/football/cfl/article/1038561--meet-bernie-custis-football-s-first-african-american-quarterback]http://www.thestar.com/sports/football/ ... uarterback[/url]

Bernie's piece tonight was very good. It was just too bad the they broke it short for a family football toss that meant nothing........many people wondered what the Cats were doing by cutting it short in my section. I believe the main term was.......tactless. Was there a reason why souch a pioneer wouldn't be offered a spot on the wall of fame?
Shame on the org for letting a great iconic event pass by without proper & appriopriate fan fair.


I was disappointed that Chuck Ealey and Damon Allen didn’t get to say a few words about how grateful they are to Bernie

for coming to Canada and being so good that our Head Coach from the southern U.S was forced by Tiger Cats fans

to play him at quarterback which ultimately lead to blacks playing quarterbacks in all of professional football today.

Maybe Bernie himself didn't want a huge affair, let's not make assumptions here on this. :roll:

Knowing Bernie from what I've read about it, this could very well be true, I don't know.

Half-time is always very carefully scripted, so whenever we do this kind of honor - it almost always looks like it has been rushed.

Besides us, and the newspapers, TSN also broadcast a piece on the tribute towards the end of the game.

And knowing Bernie (he lives in Hamilton and has been a big supporter of the Ticats ever since playing for us) he would be the last person to criticise anything anyone does for him.

It was a great night for a great player and person Bernie Custis. :thup: :smiley:

8) Doesn't Bernie live in Burlington, not Hamilton, Bob ????

Very touching story. Another reason to be greatful for being Canadian!

X2 I have had the pleasure or meeting Mr. Custis -- a great player in our league and a finer person given all the lives he has touched here.

Oski Wee Wee,


...he would be the last person to criticise anything anyone does for him.

That certainly is my impression Caretaker from what I can tell and you certainly would know much better than myself.

If was not form Bernie Custis and Ron Lancaster

I would started coaching football for kids

I love it and I am grateful to both

Now you are quibbling.

I've always defined the GHA "Greater Hamilton Area" the way the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) is defined, ie very broadly. So of course Burlington is part of Hamilton, as is Guelph, St Catherines, Brantford, Oakville, and most of Southwestern Ontario. :wink:

8) Hmm, ok Bob, at least that's a different way of looking at it :wink:
   Also a big thank you for bringing the TiCats back to Burlington again next Sunday, Aug. 21, for the TigerTown Fan
    Festival and team practice !!    I'm sure it will be received as enthusiatically as the last one in Burlington was.

     Looking forward to seeing you there again     <!-- s:D -->:D<!-- s:D -->

Yes he does and he is a gem of a guy.

Funny but I swear that parts of Stoney Creek which IS Hamilton, is further away FROM Hamilton, than parts of Burlington, which ISN'T part of Hamilton as I understand officially, although no proof I will admit.

Oh yea, winkie in order here :wink:

Here news Piece from the Burlington Post on Burnie

[url=http://www.insidehalton.com/sports/article/1056767--iconoclast-quarterback-educator-custis-broke-the-colour-barrier]http://www.insidehalton.com/sports/arti ... ur-barrier[/url]

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are celebrating Bernie Custis and it’s about time the rest of Canada does too.

It’s one of the great slights in Canadian culture that the name Bernie Custis doesn’t slide effortlessly off the lips of every announcer, every writer, every analyst who has dared chronicle the trajectory of sports history in this country, and the one immediately to the south.

Sixty years ago this month, on Aug. 29th, 1951, Bernie Custis became the first African-American quarterback to earn the job of regular starter for a professional football team. Not just in Canada, but anywhere on the continent.

Custis broke the quarterbacking colour bar just four years after Jackie Robinson became an international hero as the first African-American to play major league baseball.

Yet Custis is relatively unknown outside the Hamilton catch basin. Part of that is because he played only one full season as quarterback — despite making the all-star team. It’s also because we don’t do heroes well in this country and because Custis is more self-effacing than self-promoting. He’s reluctant to don the mantle of pioneer.

“I’ve always been the quiet type,? the 82-year-old Burlington resident says softly.

The Cats will honour Custis’ ground-breaking achievement at half-time during Saturday night’s game against the arch-rival Toronto Argonauts.

I heard on the TSN broadcast that Mr Custis had a bid part in recruiting Jim Brown to Syracuse. Since Jim is my all time favorite athlete/football player and I think the best ever regardless of position, can anybody provide more details about the recruitment and Mr Custis role? Thank you.

Didn't find anything about that ret but if you haven't seen this clip, you might like it:


Bernie was also was a friend to Cookie Gilchrist when he came to Hamilton to play. They were together just a few years back when they attended a Ticat practice. There is a story and some pictures somewhere.