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Thanks, Damon

There are so many Damon Allen memories to choose from. The initial joy in seeing some skinny little kid come into the game for the Eskimos in the '87 Grey Cup, and the ensuing horror as he dismantled the Argos' defence. The glorious one-year stewardship of the late and lamented Memphis Mad Dogs (R.I.P.). The resurgence in B.C., and the next one in Toronto. The shattering of assorted records. And of course, the '04 Grey Cup - one of the all-time clutch performances, considering the guy played about 800% better that game than he had the rest of the season.

What sticks in our heads, though - because we're all about the anecdote - is a little incident at a Labour Day Classic that Damon wasn't even playing in.

It was sometime during his tenure in B.C., and because of some quirk in the schedule the Lions had arrived for the Argos' next home game before Labour Day was even done. Evidently unenthralled with whatever there was to do in Toronto at the time, they opted to cruise down the QEW to take in the action at Ivor Wynne. They may also have been drawn to the area by the annual Burlington Ribfest - truly the finest ribfest of its kind - but we digress.

Point is, we're sitting in our seats enjoying the game, when a dude in a Hawaiian shirt turns up in the aisle in front of us. He's shaking a few hands, chatting up a couple of people - and just as we realize that it's a certain legendary quarterback, the local Hamiltonian working security turns up to tell him to move along because he's blocking the aisle.

This was a quintessential CFL moment - one of the league's most prominent players not being recognized at a football stadium. But it said something about Damon, not just the league. The guy was so small and unassuming, you wouldn't have pegged him for a football star; you'd have thought he was just some regular dude 9-5ing it somewhere. And there was no pulling rank; more polite than a lot of Ivor Wynne patrons would've been, he took the hint and went back to wherever he was sitting.

Whatever ego Damon has - and one isn't entirely unwarranted when you're wearing four Grey Cup rings - we'll remember him as an ordinary guy in a league full of them. He just happened to be an ordinary guy who threw for 72,000 yards.

Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 12:33PM by Registered CommenterA-Rad in | Comments1 Comment

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Reader Comments (1)

I shake my head in disbelief, but really it shouldn't surprise me.
June 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBob.C

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