The best of the best

DEAN McNULTY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

The Sports Network and the Canadian Football League are looking for a few good men -- 50 of them, actually -- in a quest to find the greatest group who ever played the three-down game.

The league and TSN have compiled a list of 185 former and current players who are eligible to be chosen as the 50 best of all time.

Yesterday, network host Brian Williams introduced a handful of the players -- Tiger-Cats greats Angelo Mosca and Tony Gabriel, legendary Argos quarterback Joe Krol as well as current Argos Michael (Pinball) Clemons and Damon Allen.

All 185 names will be passed to a panel of voters made up of media members, ex-players and team executives who will pare the list down to the final 50.

Krol, who dominated the game in the early 1950s throwing to Royal Copeland, said that the idea was too long in coming.

"I don't know why they didn't do this years ago," he said.

Mosca, one of the CFL's most feared defensive linemen in the '60s and '70s, echoed the comment.

"I came here from the U.S,. and I have never understood why Canadians don't celebrate their history more," he said.

"I chose to be Canadian because it's the greatest country in the world and the CFL had, and has, some of football's best players."

Williams said that of the 185 players to choose from, 119 are currently in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in Hamilton.

Gabriel said that while he was grateful to be on such a prestigious list, he said there were many others equally deserving of the honour.

"On behalf of all the quarterbacks who threw me the football -- Chuck Ealey, Joe Zuger, Wally Gabler, Condredge Holloway and J.C. Watts -- they were the ones who helped me get on this list," Gabriel said.

The final 50 will be unveiled at the Grey Cup game in Winnipeg in November.

CLEAR UP RUMOUR

Allen said that he just wanted to clear up a rumour that he actually played with all of those named on the list.

"Contrary to popular belief I did not play against Angelo," he said. "But he did once tell me that if I had he would have broken my neck."

Clemons, arguably the most popular player ever to wear Argonauts double blue, said he was humbled at being included.

"I am here on behalf of all those great CFL players who will not make the final 50," he said.


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