Pinball's gutsy call good for Argos

JODY VANCE -- 24 Hours Toronto

, Last Updated: 8:27 AM ET

The CFL was as unpredictable as ever at the Rogers Centre this weekend.

It was a typical football game with fumbles, interceptions, great grabs and even the CFL's unique single point, the "rouge." It was all there.

Believe it or not, the play I'll most remember took place out of bounds.

Picture this: a first quarter Troy Westwood punt floats toward the home team sideline -- and out of a sea of blue there he was. The coach-turned-player Pinball Clemons grabbed that ball effortlessly out of the air and ran up the line ... albeit outside the line.

It was a magic "did that really happen" moment, certainly not something you would ever see from the likes of Wally Buono!

Not only did Pinball make the "play of the game," but he was also responsible for the ultimate turning point that led to his team advancing to the East Final.

Clemons, always brave as an undersized player in a large man's game, once again showed his courage in pulling pro football's all-time leading passer, Damon Allen.

Before anyone in attendance had a chance to question the stunning decision, the much maligned and almost forgotten Michael Bishop had the ball in his hands.

Bishop threw one heck of a risky pass to Arland Bruce III, who made a sensational catch and did the rest himself to pull his team within three.

Bishop would add another and just like that the crowd was back into it.

Sure, the Argos were expecting 40,000, but the 26,000 who were there sounded like 50K.

With the unintentional encouragement of Winnipeg's mouthpiece Milt Stegall, the fans became the difference.

The slotback provided serious bulletin board material last week as he insulted Argo fans saying, "Toronto is filled with know-nothing fans that aren't even aware of what the CFL is."

Hey Milt, I do believe the CFL is alive and well in Toronto and so are the Argos, thanks to an extremely loud Toronto crowd and one gutsy coach.

I look forward to seeing how gutsy he is on enemy turf at the East Final this weekend in Montreal, should his veteran QB start slow. He won't have that 13th man this Sunday.

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Jody Vance is a sportscaster with Leafs TV. Her columns appear Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours. jody.vance@tor.sunpub.com


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