Canadian Football League

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Eskimos down to four Canadian Football League Quarterbacks

Former Boise State quarterback Bart Hendricks has been released by the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League.The club is scheduled to open training camp Sunday in Edmonton.Hendricks, 26, saw
limited action in his two-plus years in Edmonton. He was No. 2 on the depth chart last season,behind Jason Maas, and completed 12-of-24 pass attempts for 164 yards, one interception and no touchdowns.
Maas had 549 attempts for 5,270 yards and 31 touchdowns.The four quarterbacks listed on the Eskimos' roster are Maas (University of Oregon), Ricky Ray (Sacramento State), Khari Jones (U.C. Davis) andJason Johnson (Arizona).
Ray re-signed withEdmonton earlier this month after spending last season with the New York Jets of the NFL.

New Old Canadian Football League Owners

The Canadian Football League's Board of Governors approved the transfer of ownership of the Ottawa Renegades on Friday.
The new partnership structure includes current owner Bill Smith of Orillia, Ont., and American Bernard Glieberman, a former owner of the Ottawa Rough Riders.

"I am very pleased that Bill Smith will continue to provide continuity to the Renegades by maintaining a large ownership stake in the franchise," said Commissioner Tom Wright.
"He is a very accomplished and skilled business leader who is now joined by Bernie Glieberman, an individual with equal talents in this regard. Both owners are avid sports fans and long-time supporters of the Canadian Football League.
"We are excited to be back in Ottawa and delighted to be moving forward with Bill Smith in this venture. This league has come so far in a very few years," said Glieberman.
"It is strong, it is connected with its fans, and it is on the move. My goal and my commitment is to ensure that the Ottawa Renegades move quickly and responsibly into a leadership position on and off the field in this league."
Earlier this month, the Renegades revealed they have lost an estimated $6 million since joining the league three years ago. With no other interested owners looking to take over a team riddled with debt, Glieberman stepped in and began negotiating with the club.
"Bernie brings to this franchise a pledge to the city of Ottawa, to its community partners and to Renegade fans across the country to build the trust and respect so important between team and fan," said commissioner Wright.
Ottawa football fans remember Glieberman and his son Lonie as the eccentric owners of the Rough Riders from 1991 to 1993. During their time in the city, they threatened to relocate the team, fired popular general manager Dan Rambo one day before the start of the season and tried to bring in washed-up NFLer Dexter Manley.
They left the city in 1994 and became part of the league's doomed foray in the United States, establishing an expansion franchise in Shreveport, La. The Shreveport Pirates lasted two seasons.
After the Ottawa Rough Riders folded in 1996, CFL football returned to the nation's capital when the Renegades began play in the 2002 season.

Argos release QB before Canadian Football League Camp

The Toronto Argonauts Football Club is pleased to announce that QB Charlie Peterson has signed with the club.
Peterson boasts a plethora of experience from the Arena Football League and Arena Football 2 League. During his time with the Peoria Pirates of AFL2, the Utah native set a team record for passing touchdowns with 46. A product of Brigham Young University, Peterson last played for the Carolina Cobras of the AFL.
The Toronto Argonauts also announced today that backup QB Scott Krause has been released.
Charlie Peterson
6’3”, 200 lbs
Brigham Young University
Born: May 16, 1977
South Jordan, Utah
1st Year Argo / 1st Year CFL
Acquired: Signed as a free agent with Toronto on May 20, 2005
2004: Appeared in one game for the Carolina Cobras of the AFL…completed one of five passes for 26 yards.
2003: Appeared in 15 games for the Peoria Pirates of Arena Football 2…Completed 249 of 438 passes for 3,387 yards and 74 TD…set a team single season record, connecting with Jack Walker for 46 TD…added 30 yards on the ground and five rushing TD…ranked 10th in the league with a 107.9 passer rating…threw for a season high seven TDs on two occasions…signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Carolina Cobras of the AFL on December 2, 2003.
2002: Appeared in 12 games for the Pensacola Barracudas of the Arena Football 2…threw for 64 touchdowns.
College: 2001 Appeared in 9 games as a senior at QB…completed 48 passes of 67 attempts for 632 yards and five TDs…threw for a season high 284 yards against Hawaii…2000 Earned first career start against Mississippi State…competed 27 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns…started four more games going 2-2 before being sidelined with an ankle injury… finished season 149 for 260 passing for 1,617 yards and six TDs…1999 Saw action in two regular season games…appeared in the Motor City Bowl…complete 4 of 7 passes for 50 yards.
Personal: Attended Bingham High School…also played baseball and basketball…three time letterman in football and basketball…two-time letterman in baseball…has six brothers and three sisters…brother Paul currently plays QB for Boston College…served a Ladder Day Saints mission to Fiji (1996-1998)…Son of Thomas and Catherine…majored in Physical Education in college.
The 2004 Grey Cup Champion Toronto Argonauts are North America's oldest professional football club, having celebrated their 130th anniversary in 2003. The Toronto Argonauts have 15 Grey Cup championships to their credit. To purchase 2005 season tickets and mini-paks or to get more information about ticket packages, please contact the sales team at (416) 341-ARGO. For individual game tickets, please call (416) 872-5000. Full roster details are available at

Friday, May 27, 2005

Bishop to miss Canadian Football League season as Grand Rapids Press reports

The Grand Rapids Rampage ended the 2005 Arena Football League season with back-to-back victories -- both against playoff teams -- and won three of their last four games.
Grand Rapids finished with four wins, which typically doesn't cause much excitement, but when you're coming off a one-win season like the Rampage had in 2004, with a team that wasn't competitive more than a handful of times, there's reason to be optimistic.
This has to go down as a successful season for first-year Rampage coach Sparky McEwen, who went through 70 players and fired two coaches to get to this point.

McEwen was the team's offensive and defensive coordinator, guiding an offense that was two touchdowns better than last season.
The offense averaged 47.6 points per game. The defense, which was last in the 17-team league in points allowed after the first eight games (64.3 points), finished last, giving up an average of 58.2, but there was improvement in the last eight games, when the defense allowed 52.3 points per game.
Mid-term grades were poor across the board for the Rampage for one obvious reason -- they had one win. Winning three of their final eight games improves their overall grade from a D to a D+, but the second half of the season, the Rampage put in C- work.
"This one (last week's 71-65 season finale win over the Los Angeles Avengers) was for our fans, who stuck with us through thick and thin," McEwen said. "We started slow and they could had stopped supporting us. Now they have something to be proud of going into free agency.
"We're going to do everything we can to continue to upgrade this football team."
The Rampage set a number of individual, team and AFL records starting with quarterback Michael Bishop, who rushed for 36 yards last Saturday, becoming the AFL single-season rushing leader with 459 yards.
As a team, Grand Rapids rushed for 766 yards, another AFL and franchise record averaging 4.7 yards per carry (an AFL record).
Rampage defensive specialist Damon Mason finished with 133 tackles (an AFL and franchise record) and had more pass break-ups (34) than any other player.
Mason and Bishop aren't under contract with the Rampage for 2006, a situation McEwen hopes to change by June 30. After that date, no team can re-sign players on their roster. If they haven't signed by June 30, McEwen will have to wait until Sept. 1 before he can negotiate with his current players.
There was no player in the AFL more exciting than Bishop, who has a strong arm and is a powerful runner. He is the most athletic player at his position.
Bishop, who has decided not to play in the Canadian Football League this season, still has a lot to learn to make the Rampage a playoff contender, but for now he's focusing on the AFL.
"I want to make Grand Rapids my AFL home," said Bishop. "I want to sign here and I'm going to make sure we get a contract done as soon as possible because I don't want to wait around."
If the Rampage are to return to being a playoff team and contending for the Central Division title, they will do so by re-signing key players and winning the free agent sweepstakes.
Hiring coaching help
McEwen will hire a defensive coordinator. He won't wear both hats again. He's already hard at work putting together contracts for players like Bishop, Mason, fullback/linebackers Travis McDonald and Travis Reece, and he's compiling a list of free agents throughout the league.
Attracting quality free agent linemen to Grand Rapids is another priority.
There will be pressure on the Rampage to take the excitement they created at the end of this season and produce at the beginning of next season.
It's a challenge McEwen looks forward to.
THE RAMPAGE HAD a slight increase in attendance for the 2005 season. In eight home games, the Rampage sold 174 more tickets than the previous season. In 2004, 59,753 fans attended games at Van Andel Arena, compared to 59,927 in 2005. "Given our 2004 season and the fact we lost 500 season-ticket holders for the 2005 season, to have attendance stable for this season is a nice consolation," said Bob Sack, DP Fox senior vice president of sales and marketing. DP Fox owns the Rampage franchise.
RAMPAGE KICKER PETER MARTINEZ was named to the AFL's All-Rookie Team on Tuesday. He's the seventh player in Grand Rapid's eight-year history to receive the honor. The former Western Kentucky standout also is the third Rampage kicker to be named to the squad. The other two were Remy Hamilton and Brian Gowins. Martinez finished fifth among kickers in scoring with 139 points. He made the second-most field goals (18) and had the most attempts (44), with his long for the season coming from 54-yards. Martinez connected on 85 of 95 point-after kicks.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Printers to miss Canadian Football League pre-season games

He hasn't thrown a pass yet but Casey Printers, last year's CFL MVP, is willing to concede the B.C. Lions starting quarterback position to teammate Dave Dickenson.
For now anyway.
Printers said Wednesday he hasn't fully recovered from off-season surgery for a toe injury that throbbed for the last part of the 2004 campaign.
Until he's fully healthy, Printers plans to practise in just one of the two-a-day sessions during training camp and doesn't expect to play in either of the team's pre-season games.
Related Info
Dickenson and Printers
''Since I'm not going to be able to participate in the pre-season games, then it's fair to say Dave is going to be the starting quarterback,'' said Printers, 23, as he and Dickenson spoke to the media at the Lions practice facility.

Printers, who threw a league-leading 35 touchdown passes in his sophomore season last year, won't rush his return.
''Right now I'm not 100 per cent,'' said the six-foot-two, 208-pound native of DeSote, Tex.
''If I'm not 100 per cent I'm not going to put myself at risk and put this team at risk.''
Dickenson, 32, who was the CFL's MVP in 2003, was surprised by Printers' announcement.
''That caught me off guard, I didn't know that,'' said Dickenson, who missed part of the 2004 season due to knee surgery.
''I'm just going to be ready and practise as much as I can and be as well prepared as possible for the season.''
Having two of the best quarterbacks in the league was both a blessing and a curse for Lions coach and general manager Wally Buono last season.
He was blessed that Printers led the Lions to eight consecutive wins when Dickenson was injured.
When Dickenson returned healthy, Buono was cursed with the pressure of trying to keep both players happy and the constant questions over who would start.
Printers was left on the sidelines during B.C.'s 27-19 loss to Toronto in the Grey Cup. He later complained that during the season he often felt like any mistake would result in him being replaced by Dickenson.
With Vancouver hosting this year's Grey Cup, Buono said the Lions will need both quarterbacks to repeat as West champions.
''It's not a matter of one guy is going to lead us to the promised land,'' said Buono.
''It's a long, gruelling season. The more depth you have at that position, the stronger you're going to be as a football team. They are both professionals and they both will put their personal agenda aside.''
The Lions finished first in the West last season with a 13-5 record. Printers completed 325 of 494 passes (65.8 per cent) for 5,088 yards. He guided a Lions offence that led the CFL in scoring (544 points), passing (351.9 yards a game) and total yards (429.2 yards).
This could be the last year both Dickenson and Printers play for the same team.
''Will this situation go on forever?'' said Buono.
''It can't.''
Dickenson is entering the third season of a four-year, $1.7-million deal.
Printers, who earned about $65,000 last season, has this year and an option left on his contract. He has been negotiating with the Lions for a four-year deal which would pay him close to the over $400,000 a year Ricky Ray is earning in Edmonton.
Printers said he's disappointed that both his agent and Buono have discussed his contract in the media. He said he will refuse to comment on his contract once training camp opens Sunday.
If Printers doesn't get a new deal, he may look at the NFL after the season.
Buono said signing Printers is a priority and the Lions have made a substantial offer. Buono also denied reports he's signed a new three-year contract.
''There is nothing that has been finalized,'' he said.
''I'm not going anywhere. I don't want to go anywhere.''

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Former Canadian Football Leagur great elected to Hall Of Fame

Yooper Pride.
That was the main theme of 34th annual Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet Saturday evening at Iron Mountain.
Four locals were among the 10 inducted -- Bob Figuli, a runner from Bessemer; Rom Gilbert, a football official from Wakefield; Bobby Jurasin, a retired Canadian Football League player from Bessemer; and Larry Tiziani, a golfer from Ironwood.
Seeing it all was Scott Price, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. Price said he was there to work on a story about Detroit Lions coach Steve Mariucci and Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo, both Iron Mountain natives.
Mariucci attended to see his father Ray Mariucci join him in the Hall of Fame.
The other five inductees were: Bill Gappy, Houghton, the winningest basketball coach ever at Michigan Tech; Lowell Johnson, Negaunee, a two-time all-state basketball player; Rick Olds, Iron Mountain, a coach in three sports, including two trips to the state semifinals in basketball; Wil Rasmussen, Negaunee, a member of the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame; and Bill Santilli, Crystal Falls. Santilli scored 24 points in the Trojans' 1975 Class D championship victory. He currently coaches the team.
Hall of Fame member Gene Maki of Wakefield said there was a good turnout from Gogebic County.
Rom Gilbert
Gilbert earned 15 varsity letters in Wakefield before graduating in 1958. That was just the beginning of a long career in football.
He went to Michigan Tech and received letters in football and tennis.
Gilbert worked for 26 years as a football official in the Southeastern Conference. Besides that, he has been a rules analyst for ESPN along with giving clinics for announcers.
He said he was the first "non-southern" to be accepted as an SEC official and was fortunate to be a referee for as long as he was.
He spoke of being proud of being from the U.P. and of making its sports hall of fame. He also reminisced about his coaches back in Wakefield.
Maki, the Wakefield tennis coach then and now, said Gilbert was a busy young man in high school. He said Gilbert lettered in five sports.
Gilbert and partner Dave Cvengros won Michigan-Wisconsin Conference tennis titles each year from 1956-58. They won two U.P. Championships, as well.
"He made time for everything," Maki said.
Maki said whenever he watched Gilbert refereeing on television he was wearing the white cap, signifying head official.
Gilbert said Maki was more than just a tennis coach. He said there was a Friday tennis match that was followed by U.P. track relays in Marquette. Maki drove him there and then back to Stambaugh for the tennis finals the next day.
Gilbert, who lives in Keystone Heights, Fla., ended his speech with a southern: "thanks y'all."
Bobby Jurasin
"Everything you get in the U.P. has got to come the hard way," said Jurasin, a Bessemer native and 1982 graduate of A.D. Johnston High School.
He went from playing football at Bessemer to starting at defensive lineman for four years at Northern Michigan University (1982-1985). He moved on to the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1986 and played for 12 years.
In 1987, he was the team's most outstanding player and most outstanding defensive player. He ended up second in the CFL in career sacks, 142, and career tackles, 411. He was an All-Star three times.
He entered the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1995 and the NMU Sports Hall in 1998.
Looking towards Mariucci, he said, "It's a better game than the NFL if you guys have ever watched it."
Jurasin said many people have blessed him along the way, including his parents and high school coach and U.P. Hall of Fame member Pat Gallinagh.
"I stand in front of you as a humble person, yet a proud yooper," Jurasin said.
He is currently an assistant football coach at NMU.

Former Canadian Football League player turned mentor

Some kids dream about growing up to play football in the National Football League (NFL). Those lucky few who make it, often don’t dream any farther than that. The NFL and many individual teams, including teams sometimes considered “blue collar” like the Green Bay Packers, are working to help players prepare for life after football.
“An NFL player’s career can end at any moment due to injury or being cut, and you have to be prepared,” 28-year-old Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, a defensive end for the Packers told the Business Journal of Milwaukee. “You have to figure out what you are going to do after football while you are still playing because if you wait, you can end up in trouble.”
“I was just concentrating on keeping my spot on the team to earn enough money to pay the bills,” Turner Gill, former football player for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Canadian Football League as well as a minor league baseball player told the Business Journal. “As I look back, I should have taken more time to plan my future.”
Today, Gill has the opportunity to help other players avoid making the same mistakes he did. He is the full-time coach assigned to helping Green Bay Packers players develop off the field.
Recent years have seen an increase of player participation in the Packers player development program. The program was created in 1991 and has expanded over the years to include internships with local businesses, continuing education courses and tuition reimbursement. In addition, the NFL has worked with Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania to develop a curriculum for players interested in starting, building or buying their own business.
Packers players can be found working as interns at Smith Barney’s Green Bay office, track coaches at West De Pere High School and even as a sports reporter for Green Bay’s Channel 26. Through continuing education programs, players have learned to create resumes, interview for jobs and pass the test to get their real estate licenses. The tuition reimbursement program has allowed players to spend up to $15,000 a year for education expenses at accredited universities to complete their bachelor’s or master’s degree.
“When you get injured, it really makes you think about what you are going to do after your football days are over,” Packer offensive lineman Mark Tauscher told the Business Journal. Tauscher is spending the offseason studying history in Europe as he uses the tuition reimbursement program to complete his master’s degree in history at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
“I don’t want to end up as a statistic,” Gbaja-Biamila, one of 30 NFL players attending the Harvard entrepreneur program, told the Business Journal. “When I leave the NFL, I am going to have a lot of my life left to live. I want to make myself a success in the business world.
Gill told the Business Journal that players last an average of three years in the NFL and most do not earn millions of dollars. Edgar Bennett, a former Packer player and player development coach agrees that players need to prepare for life after football.
“Just being a former NFL player will not get you a job,” Bennett told the Business Journal. “Most guys get drafted right out of college and never have to interview or search for a job. We have to teach them how to do that."

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Former Canadian Football League players Dad wanted man

Terrence Knox, a 21-year-old Chicago police officer, was patrolling South Drexel Avenue on March 9, 1969, when he asked 19-year-old Joseph Pannell why he wasn't in school.
Pannell, AWOL from the Navy, answered the officer by firing a 9 mm handgun, according to authorities, striking Knox three times in the right arm. Pannell was caught and charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery.
But he never stood trial — he jumped bail and disappeared.
This week, Pannell will face a judge.
The longtime fugitive is scheduled to enter a Toronto courthouse Wednesday for an extradition hearing to determine whether he should be returned to Chicago.
His lawyer says the case involves Pannell's civil liberties — threatened in 1960s Chicago — more than it does a criminal act.
Knox, who has retired from the police and now lives in Orland Park, hopes he'll finally see justice done.
"I'm just waiting to hear from the Canadian government, are they going to extradite him or not?" he said.
One of the bullets severed an artery in Knox's arm. A fellow officer stuck his finger in the bullet hole to stop the bleeding. That saved his life, Knox said, but the shooting left the arm partially paralyzed and prevented him from joining the military when he was drafted in 1970.
The arm still hurts.
Pannell — who told investigators at the time he was a member of the Black Panther Party — was freed on bail in 1971 but never showed up in court. Police arrested Pannell again in Chicago in 1973, and he posted bail again. This time, he slipped into obscurity.
Chicago and Canadian authorities said Pannell has lived in Canada since the mid-1970s, mostly under the name of Gary Freeman, first in Montreal and then Toronto.
Under this assumed identity, he lived a quiet life.
For the past 13 years, he has worked at the Toronto Reference Library. He married and raised a son and three daughters with his wife, who also worked at the library, authorities said.
Friends and neighbors in Canada have described Pannell, 55, as the picture of a perfect family man.
The library research assistant kept his children from watching slapstick comedy on TV because he worried it was too violent. Neighbors often saw him jogging in his Toronto suburb with his children. He encouraged them to excel in sports. His son, Mace, won a football scholarship at the University of Toledo and was a wide receiver in the Canadian Football League from 1999 to 2002. His daughter Tempie recently was a star center fielder for her softball team at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y.
Knox, now 57, spent years on his own trying to find Pannell, who also used the aliases of dead people, including Joe Nathan Chapman and Douglas Norberg, court records show.
And Knox campaigned for years to renew official interest in the case. He made a plea to Chicago Police Supt. Phil Cline, and the department's cold-case squad reopened the investigation in November 2003.
"I wanted to come to closure," Knox told reporters at the time. "I'm getting old."
Police tracked Pannell to Toronto with the help of the FBI, Interpol and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In 1983, he was stopped at the Canadian border while trying to sneak a camera into the country under the name Douglas Freeman. He was fined $300 and fingerprinted.
Those prints, kept on file, led police to their fugitive.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested Pannell outside the Toronto Reference Library in July last year, said Sgt. Tony Gollob, unit commander in charge of Canada's immigration task force. Pannell was jailed without bail.
If extradited, he will face aggravated battery and attempted murder charges in Cook County Criminal Court.
Meanwhile, a group called Family and Friends of Gary Freeman have been conducting vigils outside the courthouse in protest.
The Toronto Star in February published an article titled "Cold Case Fueled By Race and Politics." A Toronto Star column by a personal friend of the man known as Freeman — titled "You see a fugitive, I see a friend" — described Pannell as thoughtful and bookish.
Pannell's lawyer, Julian Falconer, said the case hinges on the threat posed to Pannell's civil liberties.
"In 1960s Chicago, Mr. Pannell's fears of a police officer bearing a gun against him were completely reasonable," Falconer said Friday, alluding to an era of riots, war protests and contempt for authority.
Martin Luther King Jr. had been murdered the year before. Fred Hampton, a 22-year-old leader in the Black Panther Party, would be killed in a Chicago police raid that December.
Such arguments upset Knox, who said this ultimately is about victims' rights and justice.
"It's just not for me, it's for all victims," he said.
After the shooting, Knox returned to the police force in 1971, becoming a member of the department's intelligence division before retiring in 1977.
He raised two daughters with his wife of 33 years, worked as head of security at a hospital and became a member of a victims rights task force under Mayor Richard M. Daley. He joined the private sector in 1991.
Knox has, in recent years, campaigned for legislation that would ban anyone accused of a violent crime who jumps bail once from being allowed to post bail again. He expects a bill to be introduced this fall to that effect in the Illinois House.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Football Camp is about to start!

Only one week left until the start of the football camp! Posted by Hello