Rooke has a vision

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:19 AM ET

If Ron Rooke has his way, CFL action figures will soon be available, league trading cards will be back in vogue and the last CFL game of the year won't be the Grey Cup.

"The Corona CFL all-star classic from Cancun," beamed the former Stampeders president of his vision as the recently hired v.p. of Pro Players -- the marketing arm of the CFL Players Association.

"I know when (CFLPA prez) Stu Laird was a player, he talked to me a lot about a CFL all-star game and I share that vision. I would suspect we'd do it after the Grey Cup like the Pro Bowl and I think a spot like Cancun would be perfect."

Hired to raise profile and money for CFL players, the longtime Stamps official is thrilled to be back with the league with which he spent 13 years before his one year of presidency ended when Michael Feterik sold the club to a local group.

His passion for the league he helped make popular in town has him hoping a deal can be struck with Calgary-born toymaker Todd McFarlane to have his world-renowned action figures depicting CFLers.

"Maybe we could have some good retro figures too like some good quarterbacks who played in Calgary and a guy in Edmonton named Moon," said Rooke, bubbling with enthusiasm.

"Todd McFarlane is a big CFL fan so there's a connection there already -- he designed the Pro Players logo three years ago."

Now more notes, quotes and anecdotes from a sports world that confirmed good guys finish last when Tony Stallings was cut by the Stamps ...

AROUND THE HORN: Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final was outrated by a Yankees/Red Sox rainout on ESPN. Still, NBC insists it makes money on the NHL. Writes USA Today: "NBC Sports president Ken Schanzer is non-committal when asked if the NHL makes a bigger profit than NBC parent General Electric does when it sells a dozen refrigerators" ... Don Matthews was fined last week for talking of his disgust over the league allowing Ricky Williams to be signed. Yes, the same Don Matthews who introduced the CFL to dirtbag Lawrence Phillips ... Of all the memories Carolina Hurricanes forward Craig Adams had from his championship year with the Calgary Canucks, the thing he laughs about most is coach Don Phelps' instructions every time the team bus stopped at a gas station: "Don't steal anything" ... No less than five former AJHL players are playing in the Stanley Cup final, including Calgary Canucks Adams and Jason Smith, as well as Mike Commodore (Fort Saskatchewan), Glen Wesley (Red Deer) and Fernando Pisani (St. Albert).

PARTING GIFTS: Don't get me wrong -- I was thrilled to see Trinidad and Tobago hold Sweden to a 0-0 deadlock. But there's something inherently wrong with a sporting event at which a tie is celebrated ... Stephen Ames brought his crystal trophy from The Players Championship -- complete with his name etched on it -- to Springbank Links for a corporate clinic last week. "They engraved it on the ninth hole," joked Ames, alluding to his runaway victory ... After telling CBC Sports boss Nancy Lee he would be leaving CBC to work with CTV effective Dec. 30, she told Brian Williams he'd be pulled off CFL coverage immediately. When asked what he could cover for his final six months, she told him she'd let him know by fax. Minutes later the 32-year CBC veteran was informed via fax he was fired. Classy.


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