Canadian Football League

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Former Canadian Football League player goes back to his roots

Home is where the heart is and no matter how far Jason Congdon has travelled, a part of his heart has always remained in St. Thomas.
To be more precise, with Arthur Voaden secondary school. Congdon's spawn from his love affair with the school has been a rebirth in the school's once dominant football program, as well as a renewal between the school and its alumnus.
Congdon played three years with the Western Mustangs, finishing in 2001. He was a member of the Canadian Football League Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Montreal Alouettes and Hamilton Ticats. But most importantly he graduated from Voaden in 1994.
Congdon left the pro ranks in 2005 and is now earning his teaching degree at D'Youville College in Buffalo.
He's on a student placement and will be for another few weeks before starting a seven-week gig at Laurier secondary school in London.
This adventure began last year when Congdon stepped in as the team's volunteer coach.
"He kick-started everything," Voaden principal Jim Robertson said. "Years ago, we were a larger school and a football powerhouse. As enrolment went down, so did the size of the team and how competitive we were. We had one team, a mix of junior and senior players. Our football equipment was dated.
"Jason got together with some people he knew in the community and organized a sports reunion dinner. We thought about 200 people would show up. He filled the place with around 500. It raised a phenomenal amount of money for football equipment but it also raised the motivation and the awareness for the program."
The dinner raised $8,500 and was a launching pad for renewing interest in Viking football with alumni, potential players and the community.
The Vikings now have a junior and senior football team, both coached by Congdon. The senior team won their first game of the season Thursday, 14-7 over the Tillsonburg Gemini.
"Our No. 1 priority with the dinner was to reintroduce people to the athletics program and the school," Congdon said. "There is a rich history of success at the school but like everything there are low points. For about seven years, we've been in a valley.
"We wanted people to know we were serious about the program. The No. 1 thing in getting programs turned around, is for people to know whatever they donate is going to a good cause. If they donate money, time, their kids, they need to know we're going to do a good job with it."
That message is getting out. Some 70 players came out to play, many of them never having played before. Congdon's was ready to teach them.
"It's a long road back but the number of kids who have quit is so incredibly small, it's encouraging. We must be doing something right," Congdon said.
Congdon, 31, says he's always had a "soft spot" for Arthur Voaden. Even during his pro playing days, he would find his way back to St. Thomas in the off season, hanging out and playing hockey with teachers from Voaden.
"Voaden did some wonderful things for me and I hope I can do some of the same things for the kids going to school here," he said.
Congdon is selling more than football. He's selling the values that make kids better players and better citizens.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Canadian Football League Week # 18 Picks

Als Vs. Riders

The Als are starting to look like the team that went 7-0 to start the season. The Riders
are a hit and miss team. The question is which will show up. Logic says never go against
a streak. So take the Als by 5

Argos Vs. Eskimos

Another re-match. Many people feel the Eskimos will win this one based on weather
and 34 year old playoff run. Well the Argos are looking to secure a bye in the playoffs.

Argos by 4

Bombers Vs. Ti-Cats
The season series is split 1-1, with both teams winning in each others ballparks.
The difference is the Cats season is over and many new faces will be trying out
for Hamilton in this one.
Bombers by 7

Lions Vs. Stamps
The Stamps are a different team at home. They better be after last weeks showing.
This game is big for the Stamps.
Stamps by 10

Last Week 1-2 Over-all 36-25

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Former Canadian Football League player could face up to 20 years in prison

Former NFL and Calgary Stampeders running back Lawrence Phillips was convicted yesterday of seven counts of assault with a deadly weapon for driving a car at a group of young men, injuring three.
The 31-year-old Phillips drove onto a field near Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum after losing a pickup football game on Aug. 21, 2005. He struck two boys, ages 14 and 15, and a 19-year-old man, and narrowly missed four others between 15 and 24 years old, according to the prosecutor.
The three who were struck sustained "severe bumps and bruises and cuts," Deputy District Attorney Todd Hicks said.
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury deliberated about an hour before finding Phillips guilty, Hicks said.

Phillips faces up to 20 years in state prison. A sentencing date is expected to be set Oct. 19.
The prosecutor told jurors that Phillips became agitated when his team fell behind in the pickup game. He left the field, accused the boys of stealing from him and drove onto the field at a high rate of speed, Hicks said.
Defence lawyer Leslie Ringold argued that the car Phillips was driving first hit the front wheel of a bike and fishtailed

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Golden Gate pulls out of bid process for Canadian Football League expansion

The Canadian Football League's efforts to bring a team back to Ottawa suffered a setback Tuesday when one of the interested parties, Golden Gate Capital Corp., pulled out of the bid process.
The Toronto-based financial services company informed the league of its decision, saying one of its principal investors has serious health problems.
The Golden Gate bid was considered by many CFL insiders to be the leading contender in bringing a franchise back to the Ottawa area by 2008, partly because the bid included influential Ottawa 67's owner Jeff Hunt.
Hunt would have taken control of the business operations of the team if Golden Gate's bid was successful.
The CFL still has two other options. One is beverage maker Frank D'Angelo, president and CEO of Steelback Brewery, and the other is a group of American investors which includes former CFLer Bill Palmer, father of Montreal Alouettes backup quarterback Jesse Palmer.
"We have very strong investor groups under consideration and will continue our process with them to bring a CFL team back to the Ottawa-Gatineau area," said Ted Hellard, the chairman of the CFL's franchise committee. "We remain satisfied with where we currently are and the prospects that we have to consider."
Commissioner Tom Wright said the league wants a sustainable market in the nation's capital and won't rush a decision on bringing back a ninth team to the league.
"We are committed to the Ottawa-Gatineau market, but this needs to be done carefully and prudently to ensure long-term success," he said.
The Renegades were put up for sale in March after CFL owners rejected a proposal by the team's owners, led by Bernie and Lonie Glieberman, calling on the league for a $2-million loan to help fund the season.
In April, the franchise was shut down after the CFL suspended the club's operations, saying it would focus on finding a new owner for the 2007 season.
A few days later, the team's players were divided up among the remaining eight CFL teams.