At 42, Allen young at heart

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

Damon Allen asked people to forget about his age after an outstanding performance Thursday in Montreal.

Apparently, his Argos teammates were not listening.

With the oldest player in the CFL celebrating his 42nd birthday yesterday, Argos defensive back Adrion Smith snuck up behind Allen while he was talking with reporters and shoved a paper plate of shaving cream into the quarterback's face.

"He could have at least brought me razors," Allen said with a smile.

So much for Allen's birthday not being a story. And so much for reporters listening to Allen's request.

Once again, Allen was peppered with age questions yesterday. While he doesn't enjoy the subject, he was reminded yesterday that people are asking him because they are amazed he can perform at a high level at an age when most athletes are long gone from the dressing room.

"I do truly appreciate that," Allen said. "With that, I say thank you, but I still know my age. The whole country knows my age by now."

Allen, who has thrown 12 touchdown passes (including four Thursday) and just four interceptions this year and is on pace to throw for 5,000 yards for the first time in his 21-year career, said he feels like he is in his 30s physically.

"It (his passion) is still burning pretty high," he said. "It's just the guys you play with really make you feel youthful, playing with a different generation and the fact they're all good dudes. They have a desire to win championships and to ... work hard and that really makes it easy to play football here in Toronto."

Allen planned to celebrate by eating dinner with his family, including his brother Marcus, an NFL Hall of Fame running back who is in Toronto this week.

Argos coach Pinball Clemons, meanwhile, said Allen is following in the footsteps of a couple of other decent ex-CFL quarterbacks.

"Warren Moon played for many years and Doug Flutie is older than Damon and is still playing at a very high level," Clemons said. "Both guys have been in the CFL. The real secret to longevity and being able to be a dynamic enough athlete to play into your fifth decade is the Canadian Football League. There you have it."


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