The list of 128 nominees for the All-Time Argos team barely had been released yesterday when spirited debate began in the ranks of present and former players as to who belonged.
The football club hopes to keep the chatter going all summer in its quest to identify 27 players and one head coach, which it will unveil on Oct. 27. It's the first time since 1974 such a team will be picked, with the simple selection criteria of playing two years as an Argo -- post World War II.
"We'd be a little naive to believe we won't have arguments, first of all about those left off the ballot," said Peter Martin, president of the alumni and one of the men who compiled the list of 128. "There will be a write-in section. But the list already has 18 CFL Hall of Famers on it. If nothing else, it will (highlight) the great athletes who wore this uniform."
Club ambassador Leo Cahill, a nominee as coach, worries the passage of time has obscured the great names from the teams he ran in the 1960s and '70s. Damon Allen tops a list of 13 Argos on the 2007 team who will garner a lot of support, while there is representation from the '80s and '90s in names such as Gill Fenerty, Don Moen, Dan Ferrone and Willie Pless.
"At the time, the fans could name everyone on our team," Cahill said. "Mel Profit, Bobby Taylor, Jim Thorpe, Jim Stillwagon, Jim Corrigal, Charlie Bray, Gene Mack ... There was a down time after that, but now it's a winning attitude around here again."
A pair of 1940s-era players, Chick Camilleri and Fred Doty, eagerly scanned the list to see if any teammates had been named and were pleased to see Joe Krol.
"He's got to be the best of all time," Camilleri insisted of the five-time Cup winner. "Because in those days, you played more than one position. I was a quarterback and a defensive safety, at 5-foot-4 and 147 pounds.
"Joe was not only a great quarterback, but a fine halfback and defensive back. He'd take direct snaps and just run and he could kick, too. I remember once he just took a snap and just booted it 70 yards."
Krol was not listed in the quarterback category with Allen, Matt Dunigan, Doug Flutie, Condredge Holloway and Tobin Rote, but appeared at running back.
Doty recalled returning punts in an era when blocking was forbidden.
"Any yards you got, you earned,'' he said. "Most of the time it was five yards and splat, that was it."
Martin headed up a group of almuni, fans, media and team executives to finalize selections.
The general public can vote on line at argonauts.ca and through in-stadium balloting.