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Gizmo Williams

Henry “Gizmo” Williams, football player, motivational speaker (born 31 May 1962 in Memphis, Tennessee, United States). Gizmo Williams is considered the greatest return specialist in the history of the Canadian Football League (CFL). In 14 seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos (now Edmonton Elks) between 1986 and 2000, Williams set more than 20 CFL records, several of which still stand, including most punt returns (1,003); most yards on punt returns (11,134 yards); and most touchdowns on punt returns (26). He won the Grey Cup with Edmonton in 1987 and 1993 and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

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Birth of Football Player Damon Allen

Quarterback Damon Allen was born in San Diego, California. He set several CFL records in his 23 seasons in the league, winning Grey Cups with the BC Lions (2000), the Toronto Argonauts (2004), and what is now the Edmonton Elks (1987, 1993). Allen was the first CFL quarterback to rush for more than 10,000 career yards. In 2007, he became the all-time passing leader in professional football history, with 72,381 yards. He has been inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

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Norman Kwong

Norman “Normie” Lim Kwong (né Lim Kwong Yew), CM, AOE, football player, executive, businessman, lieutenant-governor of Alberta 2005–10 (born 24 October 1929 in Calgary, AB; died 3 September 2016 in Calgary). Nicknamed “the China Clipper,” Norman Kwong was the first Chinese Canadian to play professional football. In his 13 years as a halfback in the Canadian Football League (CFL), Kwong won four Grey Cups and set 30 league records. He was twice named the CFL’s most outstanding Canadian player and received the 1955 Lionel Conacher Award as Canada’s male athlete of the year. He served as president and general manager of the Calgary Stampeders (1988–92) and part owner of the Calgary Flames (1980–94) before becoming the first Chinese Canadian to serve as lieutenant-governor of Alberta. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

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Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are a professional team in the Canadian Football League (CFL). The franchise dates back to the formation of the Hamilton Football Club (the Tigers) in November 1869. The Tigers and another Hamilton football team, the Wildcats, amalgamated as the Tiger-Cats for the 1950 season and played in the Inter-provincial Rugby Football Union (IRFU). The IRFU became the Eastern Conference of the CFL in 1960. Since the early 20th century, the Tigers and Tiger-Cats have been associated with a tough, physical brand of football that reflects the blue-collar roots of Hamilton as an industrial city. The team’s iconic cheer, “Oskie Wee Wee, Oskie Waa Waa, Holy Mackinaw, Tigers… Eat ’em Raw!” is well known throughout Canada and dates back to the early 20th century. The Tiger-Cats have won the Grey Cup 13 times, including five times as the Tigers.

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Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

Laurent “Dr. Kill” Duvernay-Tardif, CQ, football player, doctor (born 11 February 1991 in Saint-Jean-Baptiste, QC). Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is an offensive lineman with the New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL). He was the 10th player ever drafted into the NFL from Canadian college and university football, and is the first Quebec-born football player to win a Super Bowl championship. Duvernay-Tardif is also the first active NFL player to become a doctor. He opted out of the 2020 season to work at a Montreal long-term care facility during the COVID-19 pandemic. He was made a Chevalier of the Ordre national du Québec in 2019. In 2020, he was named a Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated, as well as co-winner (with soccer player Alphonso Davies) of the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year.

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Grey Cup

The Grey Cup is a trophy produced by Birks Jewellers that has been part of Canadian sports since 1909, when it was donated by Governor General Earl Grey for the Canadian football championship. The original conditions stated that the "cup must remain always under purely amateur conditions," although there is good reason to believe that this was at the urging of P. D. Ross of the Ottawa Journal rather than Lord Grey. The name "Grey Cup" has since been used to refer both to the trophy and the event.

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Damon Allen

Damon Allen, football player (born 29 July 1963 in San Diego, California). Quarterback Damon Allen set several league records in his 23 seasons in the Canadian Football League. He played for seven teams and won Grey Cups with the Edmonton Eskimos (now Edmonton Elks; 1987, 1993), the BC Lions (2000) and the Toronto Argonauts (2004). Allen is one of only five players to be named a Grey Cup MVP three times. He was the first CFL quarterback to rush for more than 10,000 career yards. In 2007, he became the all-time passing leader in professional football history, with 72,381 yards (he currently ranks fourth). He has been inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

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Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are a football team in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the Blue Bombers have alternated between the league’s West Division and East Division. They have been part of the West Division since 2014. Since its founding in 1930, the team has won 12 Grey Cup championships. In 2019, the team won its first Grey Cup since 1990 when it defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 33–12. After the 2020 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Blue Bombers defeated Hamilton in the 2021 Grey Cup by a score of 33–25. It marked the team’s first back-to-back championship since 1962, and the first in the CFL since the Montreal Alouettes in 2010.

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Lui Passaglia

Lui Passaglia, football player (born 7 June 1954 in Vancouver, BC). Lui Passaglia is regarded as one of the best kickers in Canadian Football League (CFL) history. He played 25 straight seasons with the BC Lions (1976–2000) and won three Grey Cups (1985, 1994, 2000). He holds both the CFL and professional football record for most points scored (3,991). He is also the CFL’s all-time leader in seasons, games played (408), field goals made (875) and converts made (1,045). He has been inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum, the BC Football Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. His No. 5 has been retired by the Lions, with whom he works as a community relations ambassador.

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Bob McKeown

Robert Duff McKeown, CM, journalist, documentary filmmaker, football player (born 10 October 1950, in Ottawa, ON). Bob McKeown played centre for the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1971 to 1975, winning the Grey Cup in 1973. After retiring from football in 1975, he pursued a career in journalism. He has co-hosted CBC TV’s The Fifth Estate since 2002 (and previously from 1981 to 1990). He also worked as a correspondent for CBS News (1990­–95) and for NBC’s Dateline (1995–2002). His many honours include two Gemini Awards and two Emmy Awards. He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2021.

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Edmonton Elks

The Edmonton Elks (formerly the Edmonton Football Team, or EE Football Team, and the Edmonton Eskimos) is a community-owned football team that plays in the West Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL). In the CFL’s modern era (post-Second World War), the team has won the second-most Grey Cup championships (14). This included three victories in a row from 1954 to 1956 and an unprecedented five straight championships from 1978 to 1982. The club also holds the North American professional sports record for reaching the playoffs in 34 consecutive seasons (1972–2005). Notable alumni include former Alberta premiers Peter Lougheed and Don Getty, former lieutenant-governor of Alberta Norman Kwong, former Edmonton mayor Bill Smith, and former NFL star Warren Moon.

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Lionel Conacher

Lionel Pretoria Conacher, multi-sport athlete, politician (born 24 May 1900 in Toronto, Ontario; died 26 May 1954 in Ottawa, Ontario). Deserving of his nickname, “the big train”, Lionel Conacher was Canada’s greatest all-round athlete. He was named Canada’s Athlete of the Half Century in 1950. He also served as an MPP and as Ontario athletic commissioner, as well as a federal Member of Parliament. One of only three players to win both a Stanley Cup and a Grey Cup, Conacher was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (1955), the Canadian Football Hall of Fame (1963), the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame (1966) the Hockey Hall of Fame (1994) and Canada’s Walk of Fame (2022). The award for Canada’s male athlete of the year is named in his honour.

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Tony Golab

Anthony Charles “Tony” Golab, CM, football player (born 17 January 1919 in Windsor, Ontario;  died 16 October 2016 in Ottawa, Ontario). Known as the “golden boy” of Canadian football, Tony Golab was a hard-charging, versatile player with the Ottawa Rough Riders. He played with the team from 1939 to 1941 and again from 1945 to 1950, serving as an RCAF flight lieutenant and pilot during the Second World War. Golab played offence and defence for Ottawa, where his spirited style made him a fan favourite. He appeared in four Grey Cup games, winning in 1940, and was named Canada’s male athlete of the year (now known as the Lionel Conacher Award) in 1941. He is a member of the Order of Canada, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.