Dave Hack has been a full-time CFLer for more than seven seasons, but no one aside from his teammates knew he was deaf in one ear until recently.
The Toronto Sun revealed last week that Hack, a Hamilton Tiger-Cats offensive lineman, lost most of the hearing in his right ear as a child. He can hear muffled sounds out of the ear, but that's about it.
Even Ticats head coach Greg Marshall didn't know that Hack, 33, has played with a disability.
"The guys that I hang out with and talk to know," Hack told The Sun. "I will always try and sit to their right-hand side so that I can hear them with my left ear.
"I consciously try to make it so that I'm positioned to where I can hear people."
When Hack was starting out with the Tiger-Cats in the late 1990s, he alternated playing left and right tackle. Unfortunately, playing on the left side of the O-line was a problem.
"I never really said anything," Hack said. "Obviously I wasn't hearing the cadence the same way I did from the right side."
His coaches noticed that he performed better at right tackle, so that's where he stayed -- and became a five-time East Division all-star.
"I've never thought of it as a disability," Hack told The Sun. "As a kid it was never presented to me that way, and I never really thought of it that way. It's just something that I have. It's a bit of a physical issue that a lot of people have and I've dealt with it and here I am.
"It's not a thing that I think necessarily has held me back. It's just something that I have to concentrate more when people are talking."
His quarterback, Danny McManus, said Hack's hearing loss has never caused trouble.
"He's been pretty good at it," McManus said. "You don't really see it as being a problem. He's used to it, he has been able to adapt to it.
"If he doesn't hear in the huddle, he'll wait for me to break the huddle and then he'll ask me again."
HOT, HOT, HOT: Emotions were running high in the wake of Toronto's 48-0 destruction of Hamilton on Saturday.
Ticats defensive co-ordinator Kavis Reed reportedly yelled at Argos offensive co-ordinator Kent Austin as they were going off the field: "That's why you don't have a (bleeping) job!" in reference to Austin not being a CFL head coach.
Reed was hot because he felt the Argos were running up the score.
Said Austin later: "(Reed) needs to get his guys to stop cheap-shotting my players, because as long as they keep coming after our players like that, we're going to keep running the score."
SAD STORY: Alouettes KR Ezra Landry said his home and the barbershop he operated with his father in New Orleans -- neither of which was insured -- are gone in the wake of hurricane Katrina.
"It's a disaster down there that no one wants to experience," Landry told the Montreal Gazette. "My family has to start from square one. But the main thing is everyone's safe and pulled through."
AROUND THE LEAGUE...
- The talk of an undefeated season is really starting to heat up out west. The Lions are 10-0, and they have home-and-home series against four teams -- Montreal, Edmonton, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg -- remaining.
- The Stamps defence, which is playing very well these days, is expected to get back a pair of starters this week in defensive halfbacks Joey Boese and Anthony Malbrough, who have been hurt.
- According to the Edmonton Sun, 59% of poll respondents hate the Eskimos' new yellow jerseys, but the team's merchandise store had one of its best nights in four years on Friday.
- RB Jesse Lumsden probably will make his CFL debut Saturday against the Stampeders. The game is the back half of a double-header at Ivor Wynne which will also feature Lumsden's alma mater, McMaster, taking on Western Ontario.
- Some good news on the injury front: SB Ben Cahoon has reportedly healed faster than expected from his broken arm and wrist and should be in the lineup Saturday in Vancouver against the Lions.
- The situation appears uneasy in the nation's capital once again, now that Joe Paopao's friend, Chris McRobbie, has officially been fired from his player-personnel duties by president Lonie Glieberman and VP Forrest Gregg.
- The Green Machine's five victories this season have come against only the two worst teams in the league. The Roughies have beaten the 3-9 Bombers three times and the 2-9 Tiger-Cats twice.
- RB Sean Millington's 10-yard touchdown run against the Tiger-Cats on Saturday was the former CBC broadcaster's first major since Nov. 1, 2002, when he was a member of the Lions.