Nod to CFL by Moon

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:15 AM ET

Sometimes, it takes an American to make Canucks feel good about their own brand of football.

And their open-mindedness.

Former Edmonton quarterback Warren Moon gave a shout out to the Canadian Football League during his induction speech on Sunday as he became the first African-American QB to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"After college, there just wasn't a good feeling about me going to the National Football League by the things that I was hearing," Moon said, according to the Globe and Mail. "I was not invited to the pro football combine. I had no coaches come out and give me individual workouts.

"It was just pretty much a foregone conclusion that quarterback was not in my future in the National Football League, but changing positions was."

The Eskimos, however, had no qualms about handing the MVP of the 1979 Rose Bowl the reins, and he rewarded them by being instrumental in five Grey Cup wins in six years.

"The Canadian Football League came along and gave me that opportunity," said Moon, who spent the following 16 years in the NFL. "Hugh Campbell, Norm Kimball, they saw something in me that a lot of other people did not see. I want to thank the Edmonton Eskimos football organization, Hugh Campbell, and all my tremendous teammates that I played with up in Canada for a tremendous six-year experience that I will never regret doing."

And it was an eye-opening experience.

"The Canadian people were so refreshing, so supportive of me," Moon said. "I had six of the greatest years of my life up there with those guys. I will never regret making that decision. So thank you, all of you people north of the border.

"Thank you, Canada."

Moon holds the pro football record of 70,553 total passing yards.

SURGERY SURPRISE: Former Blue Bombers offensive tackle Dave Mudge only discovered that he would miss the rest of the season when he awoke from surgery recently. Surgeons had discovered that pectoral muscle had been torn right off the bone.

"Any time you miss time, it's disappointing," the Alouettes O-lineman told the Montreal Gazette. "Where you feel best and most comfortable is on the field."

Mudge suffered the injury in Winnipeg, where he had played for more than five seasons, and it means that should the Als make it to the Grey Cup here in his old stomping grounds he would be forced to miss it.

HASHMARKS: B.C. SB Jason Clermont (torn MCL) may return to action Thursday against the Bombers -- at least a week earlier than expected ... The Eskimos blew out a speaker attempting to prepare for the noise at B.C. Place last week ... Although former Bombers offensive co-ordinator Paul LaPolice is now taking over some of the responsibilities of the just-sacked Kent Austin, word is that the Argos are grooming QB Damon Allen for that role -- if he ever retires.


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