Several prominent CFL figures, including Argonauts coach Michael “Pinball” Clemons and ex-quarterback-turned-broadcaster Danny McManus, have shares in an online gambling service run by Toronto businessmen.
Not that the league will investigate or anything like that. Such an affiliation would, of course, be a major no-no for those associated with any other major professional sports league. In the CFL, however, deals with gambling establishments not only are tolerated but, in some cases, actually promoted by the league itself.
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Bowmans.com, for instance, has a partnership arrangement with the CFL and, through advertising, the league encourages fans to click onto the web site and wager on its games.
•The Winnipeg Blue Bombers covet NFL quarterback Dante Culpepper, but forget about it. Culpepper soon will join the Jacksonville Jaguars … CFL commissioner Mark Cohon has met, or is on the verge of meeting, Ottawa’s mayor and the consensus now is that a franchise will resurface in Canada’s capital for the 2009 season. And the group involving former Rough Rider Bill Palmer and his son, ex-quarterback-turned-broadcaster Jesse Palmer, is being encouraged by Cohon to renew its bid. … The CFL’s painfully dull exhibition season will end soon, thankfully, and the regular season (yes!) opens June 28 with an exceptional matchup — the B.C. Lions visiting Toronto. Greg Mohns of the Argos‚ front office, insisted on radio this week that aging QB Damon Allen still will be on Toronto’s roster opening night. Frankly, we’re not sure Mohns really knows anything. Need I say more? … By the way, for the thousands of Canadians wondering, my weeklyCFL Reportsfeaturing nuggets, news and predictions -— will return to www.metronews.ca late this month.
•I like Mike Keenan. First met him when he coached the OHL’s Peterborough Petes in the late 1970s. Bumped into him in the studio occasionally when we were both analysts for Sportsnet in recent years. But I cannot for the life of me understand how a guy who can be as aloof and as harsh on star players as Keenan can be hired repeatedly in the NHL. Now Calgary. And the Flames think they’ll be re-signing Jarome Iginla with Keenan coaching? … There are rumblings that free agent Alexei Yashin and his tarnished reputation will be signed soon by the Montreal Canadiens … And there’s no guarantee, you should know, that Bryan Murray will be back to coach the Ottawa Senators. I’m told management is not overwhelmed with him these days, for some reason, and the feeling may be mutual.