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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 20, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta Graham Kelly "WHO were the greatest football players to ever play the Canadian game? With the CFL All- Star game just around the comer, what better time to take a look at some of the best players in the history of Canadian football? I must admit at the outset that I am biased in favor of the modern era. I know that to many, the feats of a Tom Casey, a Lionel Conacher or a Joe Kroll will always stand out. Many an old-timer will give you an argument the good old days and how tough it was way back when. I don't believe it. The football player of today is better coached, in better condition, is more experienced, and competes against better ball- players. The game is more complicated now. Today's player is truly professional. The oldtimers played for fun. So I lean to the last 20 years or so in selecting the aUtime all-star team. In my mind, the greatest player in Canadian history is the general manager of the B.C. Lions, Jackie Parker. On my offensive team, I would put Parker at halfback. I am not certain that Parker was the greatest quarterback of them all, but I do know that Canadian ballplayer b Good who played for Saskat- chewan and Toronto in the mid-sixties recounts this tale. When he first arrived at training camp in 1962 fresh out of a Fort William high school, he was being used as a linebacker. During an ex- hibition game against Ed- monton, a player wearing number nine came charging around the end. Bob hustled right up to him, hit him with a vicious tackle and threw him for a loss. He looked down at the gresn-clad figure, and said to himself, "My God! It's Jackie On the very next play, Parker ran at him again. Bob was so awestruck at the thought of the great Jackie Parker that he was frozen in his tracks. Parker breezed right by him. Soon after, Good was playing offense. But the greatest quarter- no one was better all around than the former Eskimo great. I remember one night in 1957 watching a game on tele- vision between Edmonton and Winnipeg. Parker was running all over the place, getting rid of the ball just at the last second. His passes were strictly of the lame duck variety. Someone com- mented about what a lousy "-passer Parker was. That night he set a new league record by completing 21 out of 22. Lousy passer indeed! He also ran for a TD and kicked three field goals. Par- ker could do it all. Jackie was traded to Tor- onto for five or six defensive players, a couple of gas sta- tions, and the old city hall. In his first year in an Argo uniform, with awfully gimpy knees, Parker was playing defensive half. Lovell Cole- man of Calgary burst through the line and was heading down field. With only one man to beat, it looked like pay-dirt for sure. A Calgary b 1 o c k e r brushed Parker, knocking him slightly off-bal- ance. Jackie reached out with one hand and grabbed Cole- man by the shirt front. Lovell was stopped dead in his tracks. back? I'm not sure. An out- standing quarterback must be able to throw the ball well. In fact, this would seem to be the number one requirement of today's professional quar- terback. He must also be able to handle the ball skillfully because deception is still a very important part of the game. A successful pro quar- terback must be a good field general, reading defenses quickly and well, varying his play selection properly, check- ing off intelligently when the neiri arises. An outstanding quarterback must possess leadership abilities. The team must have complete con- fidence in him; they must respect him, and want to. give their all for him. It is also helpful if a quarterback is a good runner, although I would think that running ability would bs the least important of the attributes of a quarter- back. Over the years there have been many fine quarterbacks. Indian Jack Jacobs was the greatest quarterback of the early fifties. In Regina, in 1952, the Bombers were trail- ing the Riders 18 to zip at tf.e end of the third quarter. The Bomber coach, George Traf- ton had been feuding with Jacobs, and sat him on the bench. But it becamse obvi- ous that Joe Zaleski wasn't getting the job done, so the Indian trotted onto the field. By the1 time the final gun sounded, Jacobs and the Bombers won 21-18. Jake threw a TD pass that travel- led nearly one hundred yards in the air. Sam Etcheveny, the great passer of the Alouettes, was the best there was in the East. On one memorable aft- ernoon, Sam the Rifle went bock in the end-zone to punt on a third down from, the one. But he electrified the crowd with a long bomb to Red O'Quinn for a touchdown, and the longest pass and run play on record. It took guts, imag- ination, and nerve to pull that one off. Bernie Faloney, who led both Edmonton and Hamilton to Grey Cup wins, as well as quarter-backing Montreal and B.C. would have to be con- sidered of the greats be- cause of his uncanny ball handling, fine field leader- ship, and good passing. Kenny Ploen of Winnipeg, a winner all the way, was the best I ever saw at bringing his team out from the shadow of his goalposts to mid-field. Whatever Bud Grant asked him to do, Ploen delivered. Russ Jackson of Ottawa had all the attributes of a suc- cessful pivot. And, like Ploen, Russ was a winner too. Often overlooked when re- ferring to the great quarter- backs is little number 23 of the Saskatchewan Rougnrid- ers. Ron Lancaster holds practically all the league rec- ords for passing, has had an amazing won lost record with the Jolly Green Giants and four Grey Cup appear- ances to his credit. Tliers have been many great quarterbacks. Next week, I want to choose one of those, and select the rest of the all-time all-Star team. 30, If73 THE LETHMIDOI NBtAlO f) New challenge for Secretariat CHICAGO (AP) -Secretar- iat, Triple Crown champion, will make his next start at Ar- lington Park on June 30 in an invitational race, it was an- nounced Tuesday. Preliminary arrangements for the match race with Linda's Chief and Our Native, rated the next best three year olds in the country, were completed by Lu- c i e n Laurin, Secretariat's trainer, and Jack Loome and Jack Meyers, president and racing secretary, respectively, of Arlington Park. It has become a real family affair at Houston Howe regrets he's not same old Gordie HOUSTON (AP) Gordie Howe has signed a million-dol- lar contract and fulfilled an old dream of playing on the same team with his sons. Now there is only one regret. "My only regret Is I'm sorry I'm not the Gordie Howe I was 10 years ago to fulfil the goals the Aeros have in store for the National Hockey League Hall of Famer said Tuesday after signing a four- year contract with Houston of the World Hockey Association. "It's not too often an individ- ual gets a second chance and that's what the Aeros have given me. A chance to play with my sons." Howe's sons, Marty and Mark, signed four-year con- tracts for each two weeks ago. WRIST NO PROBLEM Howe, 45, retired from Detroit Red Wings as a player two years ago and becam-a a vice- president in the organization. A wrist injury figured in his re- tirement but Howe said that won't be a problem. "Although my golf score doesn't indicate it, the wrist is fine. It doesn't hurt even when I hit a bad shot. I'm sure it might hurt a little if it gets in the way of somebody's chest. But I can't change habits now." Howe's contract Is for four years and he can play as long as he wants, but most of the talk is about playing one year and then retiring to an adminis- trative position. "I'd be foolish to jump in and say how long I could play. But regardless of the time I play, it will be 100 per cent." PLAYED WITH HOWE Aeros' Coach Bill Dineen, a teammate of Howe's on ;wo Stanley Cup teams at De- troit, said it would seem strange coaching a Hall of Famer like Howe. But Howe said: "I went to be treated just like one of the boys. Bill is the boss and whatever he says goes. He may have a certain strategy and I won't interfere with it." Howe's contract calls for a bonus and spread over four years, and he said it "puts our financial goals ahead about six to 10 years." "The only way to say thank ou is by winning. m Howe was asked about being compared with Winnipeg's Jcbby Hull; the other former NHL super star who defected to he WHA. 'Well, at least I've got more hair than he Howe said. Despite earlier differences, all past unpleasantness is at least publicly forgotten between Howe and the Red Wings. Coach Ted Garvin said In Port Huron, Mich., be hopes Howe's decision to return to the ice works out, but it's bard for even a young man to return to active play after a two-year layoff. Howe is nearly 46. Garvin said he fears there may be some players in the WHA who might try to make a name for themselves by taking "cheap shots" at Howe. Earlier, Red Wing officials said they wouldn't argue with Howe's decision to leave the NHL for the Houston club. "We can never forget his countless great moments with this hockey club and wish Gor- die and his family every suc- cess and the spokesman said. Jimmies stop Lakers Tuesday CALGARY (Special) Cal-1 single and Jesse Cahvez walk- gary Jimmies scored their first j ed to force in the fourth run in victory over a southern divi- j the seventh after the Tigers sion opponent Tuesday night in the Albrta Major Baseball League defeating Lethbridge Lakers 7-2 behind the seven-bit pitching of right-hander Juan Eichelberger. Eichelberger struck out six and waslked three and was nicafed for single runs in the third inning, on singles by Ken Nakama and Rod Taylor and a sacrifice fly by Bob Brown, and in the seventh on singles by Tim Negrello and Nakama. Jimmies belted loser Taylor for three runs in the first inn- ing on a bases-loaded double by Ron Johnston. Dave Morris singled to score a run in the second and the Jimmies added three more in the sixth on four hits, including a two-run double by Eichel- berger and another run-scor- ing single by Morris. Taylor struck out 12 in seven innings before being relieved by Randy Maxwell in the eighth. Morris, Steve Powers and Ron Stephens each had two tits for the winners while Na- kama and Taylor rapped two aits apiece for the Lakers. Meanwhile Edmonton Tigers scored four runs in the seventh inning to defeat Edmonton Blockers 9-5 Tuesday. It was the third win in five meetings between the two :eams and moved the Tigers within two games of the north- ern division leading Red Deer enerals. It brought the Ti- gers' record to six wins and :ight losses and dropped the Blockers to five and 10. Ron Wstamaniuk laced a two-run single off relief pitcher George McCarthy and Dave ISowinskl followed with an RBI Minor baseball Harvie Pocza was touched or just one hit as the Athletics belted the Tigers 11-0 in Lake- side Senior Little League ac- tion Tuesday. Pocza, who also belted his third home run of the year, accounted for 11 Tiger strike- outs. Doug Roberts, the losing pit- cher, doubled off of Pocza in the fourth inning. In Norcrest Senior League ;he Padres dumped the Braves behind the three-hit pitch- ing of Gordon Tokariuk. Alvin Yellowfly was the loser. Kevin Kotkas stroked ftro doubles for the winners while Rocky Wells managed a dou- ble in a losing cause. In Norcrest Little League play the Astros trimmed the Expos 14-3 as Brian Kanewis- cher bested Floyd Mongrief. Jamie Coghlin wielded the big bat for the winners as he stroked two home runs and a double. One of his homers was a grand slam. Kanewischer chipped in with four singles while Tom Nagy added a pair. The Pirates also scored 14 times in downing the Giants 14-8. Rodney Tomita got the win over Warren Keith. Sean Keenan, with a pair of doubles and a single, led the way for the winners. Tomita pounded out a double and two singles. Ken Moore had two doubles for the losers while Mark Szucs managed two singles. The Angels got past the White Sox 5-2 in a game that featured 29 strikeouts in Lake- side Little League action. Allan Gepneris, the winner fanned 15 batters while Robert Kimmitt struck out 14 in a losing cause. Gordon Tait stroked three singles to back Gepneris while the whining pitcher added a double and a single. Golf league LAKESIDE MEN'S Low net Jim Whitelaw, Ace Building; Roch Bruneau, Dorigatti; Conrad Plettel, A and W; John Kostelnik, House of Lethbridge all tied with 34. Low gross Jim Whitelaw, Ace Building 35. Low team net House of Lethbridge, Murray Mills, Cliff Stroh, Les Colwill, John Kos- telnik 149. Flemings ......................85 Ace ....................79 Jubilee......................76 Leo Singers ..................75 Union 76 ..................71 Imperial Sugar Beeters.................69 CJOC Dorigatti................... 47 CHEC .......................66 Pahulje......................66 Frache ......................65 A end W.................... 63 House of Lethbridge............60 Parsons ..................60 The Herald...................60 Owen Frank Walkers...............58 M Enjoy a Carefree Sunflight Holiday mflZHTUn Mexico's most beautiful ;