Current and All Time Favorite Players

I was thinking about who my all time favorite player is and who piques my interest now.

All Time: Tom Wilkinson: Knocked around quite a bit with the Continental league, then Toronto and B.C. Landed in Edmonton more or less as a walk-on in 1972 and was the catalyst or change there. Short, fat , tobacco chewing ...he was an unlikely looking QB. But totally unselfish, funny and creative he made it to the HOF. Loved the guy.

Current: My fandom for individuals is very low. But the guy that most piques my interest now is Troy Smith,QB in Montreal. Sinopoli in Calgary I pull for too.


As far as likability goes, Pinball Clemons and Marwan Hage definitely come to mind, with Angelo "King Kong" Mosca as the most memorable of all CFL players.

However, Tom Clements still retains the title of most favorite player as he left a forever indelible impression during
my formal indoctrination years as a new fan of the CFL/Cats.

Of course, most of my favourite players of all time were Ticats, with Garney Henley being my all-time favourite. The guy was absolutely amazing to watch - and given that it seemed he was always on the field, there was lots of opportunity to watch him. After him, there were a bunch of other Ticats from that era and more recent years, too numerous to list here.

After them, there are a few players who played for other teams that I loved watching - sometimes even when they were against playing my team. Pinball Clemons tops that list - an amazing performer on field, and a great ambassador of the game off the field. Latter years Calvillo is also definitely up there - you could ever count the Als out of any game with him at the helm.

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how
That scrambler used to make me smile. LOL

I vaguely remember watching George Dixon at Molson Stadium, but my first CFL memories are of the atrocious 1969 Montreal Alouettes; Carol Williams and John Baker were my favourites.

All-time favs started in 1970, with Sonny Wade, Peter Dalla Riva and Gordon Judges. Later in the 70s Junior Ah You, Johnny Rogers, Glen Weir and Nick Arakgi. Since the Als returned, AC, Mike Pringle, Terry Baker and Brandon Whitaker.

On other teams ... nobody (LOL) unless they put on an Als uniform.

All time - OL/K Jack Abendschan.... Sask. Roughriders
Current - QB Darian Durant

Back when kickers were big, slow and square toed; loved those days.

All time favourite player - tie Jackie Parker, Kenny Ploen on offence - Dan Kepley on defence

Current favourite player - Fred Stamps on Offence - Charleston Hughes on defence.

Oh yeah Garney Henley. Watched him when I was a kid and loved him. Kind of forgot about him. So unlikely with that skinny body. Your mention made me do some look backs on him. He was ranked the 6th greatest CFL player back in that TSN poll a few years back. All star almost every year. CFL MVP in 72. Henley for Schenley...remember that? Very underrated legend in a way, And I had no idea that he was a coach and administrator at some CIS universities after retiring. Probably the last of the guys that excelled on both sides of the ball...was defensive and offensive all star. Great, great player.

I'm definitely old enough to remember the Henley for Schenley push. (I'm also old enough to not remember what I had for breakfast this morning, but that's a different story.) I could never understand why he never got the award prior to 1972. Only thing I can think of is that the votes for him were split between offence and defence, so he never got enough on either side to win it. It wasn't until that year when he was finally put on offence exclusively that he won. Coincidence?

He was definitely my favourite player while he was playing, and very few players since then have come close to him - Earl Winfield is one of those few, of course. (Had Chris Williams not bailed on us, he probably would have been up there as well. Sigh.)

UNLESS they were Tommy Joe Coffee
Mighty good and sprightly tight end (in the days when they were key receivers) as well as a fantastic kicker.

*Can you guess whose # is on my jersey?

And our backup kicker from a few years later, Steve Stapler. (Another of the "just below Garney" players in my list of favourites. And yes, Tommy Joe is in that list too. But wasn't it Coffey?)

Thanks to Scott Grant for making all these images available.