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Former Esk ‘dumbfounded’ by Hall honour

There’s not a lot of flash and dash in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame class of 2009.

There’s not a lot of flash and dash in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame class of 2009.

The guys who usually play second fiddle to the high-paid quarterbacks, receivers and running backs dominated this year’s inductees, which might explain why they all sounded so darned excited yesterday.

“This is the top,” said middle linebacker Alondra Johnson, a three-time all-star and winner of three Grey Cup rings with the Calgary Stampeders in a career that ran from 1989 to 2002. “This is the icing on the cake. It doesn’t get any higher than this as far as (being) a professional athlete.”

Offensive lineman Rudy Phillips, a stalwart with Ottawa and Edmonton in the ’80s, said he was “dumbfounded. I just set back with my mouth open to realize what an honour to even be thought about.”

Defensive lineman Glen Weir, a three-time all-Canadian with the powerful Montreal Alouettes teams of the ’70s, compared being inducted to “being on Cloud 9, floating around the world and everything combined.”

Offensive lineman Jim Mills, who was named all-Canadian three times with the B.C. Lions in the ’80s and ’90s, said he was “quite shocked” when he heard the news.

Also inducted was builder Tony Anselmo, a mainstay with the Stampeders organization since 1973.

The five honourees will officially enter the hall of fame in September at a ceremony in Winnipeg.

 
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