Greatest Canadian Bomber Player

Pretty sure Andrew Harris is right up there. Maybe #1 in the minds of many - including myself - but there are also those who think the following are still ahead of Harris:

  1. Chris 'Bluto' Walby
  2. Joe Pop (Poplawski)

While there's an argument for Walby, a CFL Hall of Fame OT they played different positions. No arguments exist for Poplawksi other than playing 98% of of CFL career for the Bombers and played it well before retiring rather early due to taking on a variety of injuries.
The better comparison, but only harbored by old-timers like me is Gerry "Kid Dynamite" James who started with the Bombers as a precocious 17 yr old fresh out of Kelvin High School who had a nice 12 yr CFL career, combined w/ a legit stint as a hard-checking & gritty NHL forward for NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs.

I'm also putting this out because this is on a CFL league thread that A. Harris ranks as one of the greatest Canadians to ever play our northern game; right up there with a variety of players, including the exquisite man Russ Jackson
and Jon Cornish.
The real question is where does Harris rank in the pantheon of all-time greats, American & Canadian. That would be the more interesting argument, one I'm not prepared to complete today!

I would have to say Harris overall, although he played much of his career in BC. No one shows up like him in big games. Loved Joe Pop too. James was before my time.


Is 5 seasons enough to be considered the greatest? You could argue it's only been 4 and a 1/2 as well.

In order to me a great player for a specific team you have to be "born and raised" in that organization.. Walby, Poplawski nor Harris were. You might have to go with Trevor Kennard

No greatest Canadian can ever be a cheater.

Ben Johnson wasn't our greatest runner either.

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I see you too are getting ready for the cryfest coming your way. Just keep those drunk fans away from our players.

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Simply put.

Will be his legacy.

Good for him. Well deserved.


I don’t know about that. Ben Johnson just happened to be the one who got caught. In his day everyone was taking something. The US Olympic committee famously paid off people to bury or spin more than one positive test from Carl Lewis. He was arguably worse than Ben because he continued to lie about it and diss Ben. At least Ben admitted it. Unfortunately for his legacy he didn’t need to do those horrid and embarrassing “I’m a Cheetah too” commercials. Sort of the “Ed Wood” of athlete commercials.

Bob Cameron


Walby gets my vote.
A Top 10 All-Time Bomber player imo.

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Like Gerry James, Harris was born & bred in Winnipeg. Attended and starred at a local high school (Oak Park) while James attended Kelvin.
Harris was not courted by Canadian or American colleges, instead choosing to play Canadian junior football in BC. James played neither Junior nor College.

If memory serves both Trev Kennard & Joe Pop were born in Alberta, before playing CIS football. Joe was initially an Eskimo (now Elk) before hopping aboard w/ The Good Guys in the 1980s. Kennard, while a fine man and tremendous kicker was barely 5'5", one of the shortest kickers in CFL lore. He also was not particularly accurate - perhaps a career FG percentage around 68%

John Bonk - Centre - CFL Hall of Famer - played in 204 consecutive games for Winnipeg between 1973 and 1985 - a long solid career in the no glory offensive trenches - Hails originally from Hamilton On.


I never thought Kennerd was very good and his range was limited. If your accuracy stats are correct then even more reason for him not to make this list. Troy Westwood, while not overly awesome himself, was better than Kennerd. In my opinion the best Canadian kicker the Bombers ever had, and the best punter in CFL history, was Jon Ryan.

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I guess if cheating bothers you so much, you'll have to cheer for a different club, right?

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Cameron was the best kicker in CFL history. Jonny Puntface (Ryan) had the strongest leg (thats why the NFL scooped him up) but Ryan too often would outkick his coverage and have long returns put against him. Cameron knew so much trickery about punting - and was really good at everything from pooch kicks, angle to coffin corner kicks and could also boom the odd kick 55 to 70 yds. Boris Bede might be the best all round kicker of the current era; although Rene Parades & the mighty mite from Ottawa could both put up arguments. But neither of them do both jobs well. Bede does.

Other great punters I remember - Charlie 'Choo-Choo' Sheppard, Joe Zuger, Hank Ilesic, Sean Fleming, etc.

btw - Troy Westwood took over the kicking chores after Trev Kennard's health gave out. Westwood had more power and range than Kennard, hitting the odd long FG from 54/55 but his completion percentage wasn't much better than Kennard - maybe 68.5 to 70%. In today's CFL those kind of percentages wouldn't even get you a tryout as a ballboy!

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If it weren't for Passaglia I would agree with you. Cameron was however the best punter into the wind. One day in Regina in 1980 the wind blew the punt up and back over his head for minus-8 yards. He vowed after that to be the best into the wind and for the next 20 years he was.

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How could I forget Lui?
He was a true monster foot in Canadian football. And yes, Cameron may as well have been called "The Weatherman" for how he handled various field & weather conditions, including swirling winds, snow & rain.
His nickname was - 'The Acadian Rifle' for his years as a quarterback in Canadian college. Also played til he was 48, vying for the coveted George Blanda Oldest Man award.

I agree with most of what you said and particularly a good analysis of Westwood only being slightly better than Kennerd and neither of them great.

But Cameron over Ryan? And the best into the wind kicker? ( I realize now that someone else posted that part but I will disagree with it here in one post) I would say not even close. Don’t forget that in his last number of years Cameron was lucky to kick it 42 yards. Ryan was by far the best into the wind kicker as he simply kicked it 20-30 yards farther than anyone at the time. At the old Winnipeg Stadium I remember him routinely flying it 60 yards into a gale. No one has kicked it farther since I have been watching CFL (since 1971) and I doubt anyone kicked it farther before 1971. He is a freak of nature, or at least was at that time.

At the time he played we had about 20 of us in a season ticket group, which has now dwindled to 2. In the stands in the old student section (I was apparently a student for some 15 years) we used to have pools on how far he would kick it and how many times a game he would blow it over the returners head. We went nuts when Ryan was kicking into a strong wind and the returner stood about 30 yards away and the ball sailed 30 yards over his head. When he wasn’t against the wind I can’t count how many times I saw him fly it 70 yards and that is why he had a lengthy NFL career. Cameron may have had more skill with pooch kicks and the like but those don’t come up all the time and he certainly wasn’t perfect at them as no one can be. Ryan flipped the field position time and time again every game. That is extremely valuable, particularly in a low scoring bad weather game that tends to occur more in the playoffs. The Bombers also never had to concede a safety, even if they scrimmaged from the one yard line.

I would also say that the other kickers mentioned as being among the best now, including Bede and Paredes, definitely are. Bede has a cannon for a leg as a placekicker. And he has played well. Paredes and Lauther? Not so much in the playoffs. I don’t think any of them can be placed in Medlock’s category just yet. Bede probably has the best chance but he needs to consistently do what Medlock did for many more years. Medlock was simply money on any field goal 55 yards and in, especially in big games. His teammates and the fans just expected him to make every kick, and he usually did. Given the Bombers field goal kicking woes earlier in the season Medlock sure was missed. But the Bombers seem to have adopted a new game plan, which they used against Sask. You can’t miss any field goals if you don’t attempt any!

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I'm going to concede your analysis of Ryan over Cameron. Jonny Puntface (my affectionate nickname for Ryan) had a monster leg - his only flaw was a hanging inability to direction kick - and something that ended his nice NFL career - - - too often Jon would outkick the coverage and have the ignominy of trying to bury himself in the turf on a wild, long return (he didn't want to get mowed over by blockers). Cameron seldom out-kicked the coverage and was usually in the 45 to 51 yd range unless he needed to put the ball out of bounds (pinning opponents deep) or pooch kick when he knew there was a monster returner ready to bust loose. Pooch kicks also utilized when there was a bad snap or Cameron noticed possible blocking pressure from the corner. In such cases he'd gobble up the ball - take a few steps forward (to escape tackers/blockers) and pooch kick the ball 25 to 40 yds downfield (final yardage determined by how the ball bounced after hitting the turf!

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