Northern Exposure

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:57 AM ET

QB VINCE FERRAGAMO (MONTREAL):

After taking the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl in 1980, the pure pocket-passer spurned the NFL club's contract offer and bolted to Montreal. But the 1981 season was hardly memorable for Ferragamo or the Alouettes. Montreal only won three games that season and their quarterback was out of place because of his lack of mobility. He returned to Los Angeles the following season and eventually spent time with the Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers before retiring after the 1986 season.

WR BILLY 'WHITE SHOES' JACKSON (MONTREAL):

As part of the big signings in 1981 by the Alouettes, Johnson packed up his White Shoes for a trip north and an uneventful season in which Montreal went 3-13. Johnson earned his famous nickname in high school in Pennsylvania because he wore white footwear to stand out. The wide receiver and return specialist became even more notorious as a pro for his elaborate touchdown celebrations, which included a version that became known as the Funky Chicken. But, after his uneventful year with the Alouettes, White Shoes returned to the NFL and played until 1988, making enough of an impact to get named to the league's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team as the punt returner.

WR FRED BILETNIKOFF (MONTREAL):

The man best known for the Stickum he would apply to his socks so he could add some to his hands on each play was dumped by the Oakland Raiders in 1978 and retired. A year later, the Super Bowl XI MVP wanted to prove he could still play and decided to extend his career for a season with the Montreal Alouettes. Legendary Raiders coach John Madden called Biletnikoff "one of the most dedicated athletes I have ever seen" and that was never more true when the player turned to coaching. The Hall-of-Famer eventually spent time as an assistant with the Stampeders in 1987-88 before returning to the Raiders in 1989. He is currently the receivers coach in Oakland.

DE DEXTER MANLEY (OTTAWA):

The name Dexter Manley is brought up every time one describes why Bernie and Lonie Glieberman aren't cut out for CFL ownership. Bringing in the troubled sackmaster was the most publicized move of their first ownership tenure of the Ottawa franchise. In just a few games with the Rough Riders, it was clear Manley was done as a player. He proceeded to make more headlines off the field because the drug habit that got him kicked out of the NFL. Although Manley couldn't compete as a player, Lonie Glieberman told his staff his prized signing must start, prompting defensive coaches Jim Daley and Mike Roach to resign.

RB LAWRENCE PHILLIPS (MONTREAL/CALGARY):

The Alouettes created quite a stir in 2002 when they brought in the troubled first-round NFL draft pick to supplant eventual CFL all-time rushing leader Mike Pringle, who would suffer a season-ending knee injury that season. Phillips' problems started in college at Nebraska when he was suspended for the majority of a season. He was still taken sixth overall by the St. Louis Rams but was cut after a dispute with head coach Dick Vermeil. He surfaced in Miami but the Dolphins cut him after more legal issues. After a mediocre season with the Als in 2002, the team cut him before training camp and the Stampeders gave him a shot under head coach Jim Barker. Later that season, Barker cut Phillips because the running back was disruptive to the team.

QB DOUG FLUTIE (B.C./CALGARY/TORONTO):

Arguably the greatest CFL player of all time, the former Stampeders quarterback would be a lock for Canton if the voters in the U.S. gave more consideration to his numbers north of the border. The Heisman Trophy winner's style never really fit into the stuffy NFL systems but Flutie was still a prominent name while with the New England Patriots and Chicago Bears in the late '80s. Following two seasons with the B.C. Lions, Flutie really hit his stride after signing with Calgary in 1992 to win the Stamps first Grey Cup since 1971. In only eight seasons in Canada, Flutie won three Grey Cups and six most outstanding player trophies.

RB TERRY METCALF (TORONTO):

The three-time Pro Bowl running back made a huge splash when the Argos signed him to a $1.5-million lifetime contract in 1978, which was a CFL record at the time. Metcalf's first game in Double Blue lived up to the hype, as he racked up 297 yards total offence, 163 on the ground, six in receiving, 46 in punt returns and 82 in kickoffs. The rest of his life as an Argo didn't quite deliver on the expectations and his career-long rush was a measly 30 yards.

DE MARK GASTINEAU (B.C.):

Lions owner Murray Pezim thought it was a great idea to bring the former member of the New York Sack Exchange to Vancouver in 1990. Gastineau was a complete bust with the Lions, recording only half a sack in four games with B.C. and his tenure ended after he missed a morning appointment with head coach Lary Kuharich. Gastineau, whose 1984 record of 22 sacks in an NFL season stood until Michael Strahan broke it in 2001, has had numerous run-ins with the law since being dumped by the Lions.

WR ANDRE RISON (TORONTO):

Following three years of 'retirement,' Bad Moon Rison came north to help get back into the NFL. It could be considered one of the weakest efforts of this experiment. He came to the Argos in 2004 and after one lacklustre season where he picked up a Grey Cup ring, spent time in jail for failing to pay child-support. His second try was just as disappointing as Toronto released him mid-season in 2005.


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