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NFL CANADA


Share your thoughts on J.I. Albrecht
Fri, June 15, 2007

The recent story in the Sun on the sad state of retired CFL legend J.I. Albrecht triggered a voluminous response of shock and sympathy.

Albrecht, 76, unable to walk, is confined in a Toronto nursing home where he struggles against the physical ravages of a stroke, heart attack, and the emotional sorrow of his son's suicide and death from cervical cancer of his second wife.

Albrecht's story touches readers



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Hello from sunny California. Although I am Canadian born and bred, I’ve lived in California for 27 years now. While surfing the net I came across your recent article regarding J.I. Albrecht. Thanks for writing such a significant and profoundly moving story about a truly legendary man. J.I. gave me my shot at the pros. In 1976 I was drafted by the Toronto Argonauts. I was not particularly big and was a long shot. I was a member of the legendary 1975 University of Ottawa undefeated Vanier Cup team. No less than 13 of us went on to careers in the CFL and the NFL. Players from that 75 team played in the CFL for a cumulative 90 years. Many of us from that 75 team went on to be CFL all-stars, Hall of Famers & Grey Cup Champions. From that team there were 8 first round draft picks, 1 second round pick, 1 fourth round pick, and 1 sixth round pick in the 1976 CFL draft. I was that sixth round pick, the last to go. If you were a betting man back then the odds were stacked against me ever playing in the CFL. J.I. was a big part of me being drafted. He saw something in me and further; took a shot in the 6th round and drafted me against all odds. The Argos were ripe with Canadian talent that year, both rookies and veterans. By the end of training camp, J.I. tried to sneak me through waivers however; I ended up being picked up by the Ottawa Rough Riders. J.I. called me to express that Toronto wanted me back however; Ottawa was where I played my college ball and had many friends. I chose to go to Ottawa. J.I. held no grudge, on the contrary. He was nice enough to send me the a letter several years later asking for an autographed picture while I was playing in Calgary. I still have the letter. In large part, because of J.I. Albrecht I went on to have a pro career and all these years later I am the proud owner of a Grey Cup ring (1976 Ottawa Rough Riders). I’m sure that I am only the tip of the iceberg. I’m also sure that they were hundreds of young players who over the many decades, like me, were touched in a real and life changing way by J.I. Albrecht. Thanks for reminding me of times long since past and reminding me of how blessed I am to have known "The Fisher of Men".
Doug Falconer, 2007-06-27 19:09:39

Growing up in Montreal it was awesome to cheer for the dynasty he helped create. And when he came to Toronto and recruited Heisman Trophy winner Anthony Davis he generated a lot of international press for the CFL.

I know that he get's comfort and love from his son's and grandchildren and from fan's like me and my family. God bless and get well soon J.I.
G Stone, 2007-06-18 17:37:51

Put him in the Hall of Fame, Now!
gordon, 2007-06-16 07:52:35

As a CFL watcher and Tiger Cat fan for years I remember those Als and Argo teams Mr.Albercht had a hand in. I couldn't stand watching the Cats lose to them. Its always so sad when you hear of how people are doing in their later years especially when they are in this type of condition. It just pains me to see. I can only wish you all the best and hang in there.
Karl, 2007-06-15 17:09:35

Heartbreaking but I'm glad he's getting visitors and mail now that they know his situation. Hope things change for the better for him soon.
Tracy Walton, 2007-06-15 14:01:43

WHAT A GREAT, GREAT PERSONALITY THIS PERSON MUST BE AND IT IS SUCH A SHAME HE SEEMS SO LONELY. IT IS SAD.
RON TURNER, 2007-06-15 12:37:37

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