Inside the CFL: Celebrating a milestone
By Ted Michaels, CFL Columnist
Hamilton, ON (Sports Network) - Fifty years of anything requires a celebration.
For the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Hamilton, it means honoring the past.
Last week, at the Hall of Fame, a brand new, commemorative, 50th Anniversary Inductee Biography Book was unveiled.
The book is comprised of the 264 Hall of Fame Members that have been inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in the past 50 years of its existence, and the names of the members of the Football Reporters of Canada that have been inducted into the Media Wing of the Hall of Fame.
Mark DeNobile, the executive director of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum, told Inside the CFL, how the book came about.
"We knew the 50th anniversary of the Hall was coming up in 2013. We started about two years ago, thinking 'what could we do to epitomize all the Hall of Famers.' So we talked about what the book would look like; the design, the look and the feel, and this is the end result. We're very excited about it."
The Pro Football Hall of Fame logo is prominent at the back of the book, and the partnership between the two halls, didn't happen by accident.
"I met Dave Motts, the VP of Marketing/sponsorship for the Pro Football Hall of Fame back in 2008. I also met with Stephen Perry (President and Executive Director) and Joe Horrigan (VP of Communications/exhibits), about various issues," said DeNobile.
"That relationship has been great, in fact Stephen and Joe came to the induction weekend in Winnipeg last year."
DeNobile pointed out, those meetings may lead to possibly freshening up Induction Weekend, which in 2013, will be held in Edmonton. The gala dinner will be held Thursday, October 3, with the Hall of Fame game, featuring the Edmonton Eskimos hosting the Montreal Alouettes, will be played Saturday, October 5.
"There's little things that we can take away, like, how do we induct our members, how we vote on possible inductees. We have two Hall of Famers on our voting committee where the Pro Football Hall of Fame doesn't."
An interested observer at the book unveiling was one of the 2013 Inductees, former Toronto Argonaut and Calgary Stampeder offensive lineman Dan Ferrone.
Ferrone noted the importance of the Hall of Fame and the need to continue promoting it.
"It's something that people take for granted. Who's going to be the record keeper? This is such a big part of Canada, and the heritage of Canadians. This allows Canadians to understand the history and how it got to where it is today. I intend to bring my grandchildren at least five times a year," he laughed.
Ferrone will be inducted, along with fellow offensive lineman Miles Gorrell, former Eskimo receiver Bryan Frey and Hamilton Tiger-Cat receiver Earl Winfield as well as former referee John (Jake) Ireland and Don Loney (posthumously) in the builders category. He added, with the big weekend coming up, he's getting a lot of people asking him about his induction speech.
"I have thought about it constantly, I just haven't put it down on paper yet. It's a combination of a lot of things. It's an opportunity to thank a lot of people."
Part of the Hall of Fame ceremonies, involve the unveiling of the busts. Ferrone has no illusions when it comes to his.
"No matter what, it's going to look better than the real thing," he chortled.
When the Hamilton Tiger-Cats hosted the Calgary Stampeders Saturday night, an interested spectator at the game, was former Buffalo Bills receiver and special teams ace, Steve Tasker, whose son Luke, was playing his first game as a member of the Tiger-Cats.
The game was one-sided, with Calgary taking a 17-0 lead on three Henry Burris interceptions, en route to a 35-11 win.
Luke Tasker had four catches for 53 yards, all of those after the turnovers.
"He was in for almost every offensive snap, and the first four times he was targeted, one was incomplete, and three were intercepted; one was a tipped interception and the other two were bad throws. He gave up more interceptions than he had receptions for a stretch of the game." Tasker told Inside the CFL.
It was Tasker's first live look at a CFL game, and he left the game impressed.
"You forget how fast-moving and exciting it is. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the experience. I was really excited to see my son play for the first time as a professional."
Which begs the question; how would he have fared playing on the bigger CFL field?
"I know I would have taken more oxygen," he laughed.
Ted Michaels is the host of the Fifth Quarter on AM900 CHML.
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09/29 18:06:46 ET