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Damon Allen has a Hall of a choice

There’s no question Damon Allen is a lock for the CFL Hall of Fameafter 23 seasons, more than 72,000 passing yards, nearly 400 touchdownpasses and almost 12,000 yards rushing.


There’s no question Damon Allen is a lock for the CFL Hall of Fame after 23 seasons, more than 72,000 passing yards, nearly 400 touchdown passes and almost 12,000 yards rushing.

However, the big question remains: What jersey will Allen wear into the Hall? Some will say an Eskimos jersey is most appropriate since Allen began his career in Edmonton and led the Esks to a pair of Grey Cups, capturing the MVP award on both occasions.

Others will say B.C. makes the most sense, as Allen spent more seasons (seven) in a Lions’ uniform than any other. In fact, Allen is still the franchise leader in passing yards and touchdown passes on the West Coast. But Allen never felt properly embraced by either fans or media for his accomplishments in Vancouver, so he will most likely enter the Hall as an Argonaut.

Though past the age of 40, Allen captured his only CFL Most Outstanding Player Award with the Argos and was the best player on the field in Toronto’s 2004 Grey Cup victory over B.C. Pro football’s all-time leading passer is also very tight with Argos’ GM Adam Rita and CEO Pinball Clemons, and will most likely stay on with the Boatmen in some capacity.

>> CFL rookie camps open today across the country, including in Abbotsford, where more than 30 Lions’ hopefuls will buckle up their chin straps until Sunday when the Leos’ veteran players report to main camp.

Returning players in B.C. know training camp with Wally Buono is no joke, as Buono has cut veterans like Antonio Warren and Shad Criss in recent years in favour of rookies that impressed during camp. In fact, B.C. freshmen have been named CFL Rookie of the Year in seven of the last 10 seasons, including last year’s winner, Cam Wake.

>> Twelve new members will be inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame tonight, including five outstanding athletes.

Former Sabres, Red Wings and Oilers forward Danny Gare gets the nod for his 731 points in 13 seasons, as does tennis star Helen Kelesi, who was ranked as high as No. 13 in the world. Rugby legend Gareth Rees goes in after appearing in an unprecedented four World Cups for Canada, while mountain biking’s Alison Sydor adds the honour to her silver medal at the 1996 Olympics and three straight World Championship wins. Sublime soccer star Domenic Mobilio will be inducted posthumously for a career that saw him score 170 goals for the Whitecaps and 86ers, the second highest total in North American history.

>> Want to weigh in? E-mail me at scott.rintoul@metronews.ca.

 
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