'Head dick' tops them all

STEVE SIMMONS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:26 AM ET

My heart says Leo Cahill. My head says Don Matthews. And a part of me says it has to be Pinball Clemons.

Who should be the coach on the All-Time Argonauts team?

If it's all about winning and it's not a personality contest, the answer is Matthews.

If it's all about entertainment and creating a buzz and making the Argos matter more than they ever have, the answer is Cahill.

If it's all about everything else you value in sport and in life, then it's Clemons.

Nominees: Leo Cahill, Frank Clair, Pinball Clemons, Ted Morris, Bob O'Billovich.

This is football: Winning matters. As Matthews once said: "This is isn't a democracy, it's a dictatorship and I'm the head dick." He's also my choice as head coach on the All-Time team.

DEFENSIVE END (2)

Nominees: Jonathan Brown, Mike Campbell, Jim Corrigall, Eric England, Dick Fouts, Reggie Givens, Ed Harrrington, Rick Mohr, James Parker, Bruce Smith.

Most selections can be debated. Not this one. This is my youth staring me in the face. The Argos haven't had a more dominant defensive end than Jim Corrigall or a more ferocious end than Ed Harrington. Combined they made 12 more all-star teams than Vernon Vanoy.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE (2)

Nominees: Jearld Baylis, Bruce Clark, Harold Hallman, Rodney Harding, Granville Liggins, Demetrious Maxie, Billy Shipp, Jim Stillwagon, Mike Wadsworth, Rob Waldrop.

The only reason Jim Stillwagon isn't in the Hall of Fame is he didn't play long enough. But in my mind, he's the single greatest defensive player in Argos history. Too bad he lasted barely five seasons. But he was a four-time All-Canadian. I would love to find a place for Granny Liggins, but he loses out to Rodney Harding, who played 176 games large at tackle and end.

MIDDLE LINBACKER (1)

Nominees: Jim Andreotti, Sam Cvijanovich, Michael O'Shea, Willie Pless, Calvin Tiggle.

Unfortunately, this is a weak field. Willie Pless, an all-time great, played his best football in Edmonton. Jim Andreotti, a three-time all-star, played only 51 games for the Argos. The vote here goes to Michael O'Shea.

OUTSIDE LIBACKER (2)

Nominees: Ken Benson, Antonious Bonner, Ron Brewer, Kevin Eiben, Michael Fletcher, Byron Karrys, Bobby Kuntz, Gene Mack, Don Moen, Alex Ponton Jr.

Gene Mack is a great choice if you want a guest for Off The Record. Don Moen played more games for the Argos than anyone in team history, but almost none of them as an all-star. But you know what? Who was better?

By acclamation, at another position lacking stars, they are the picks in the weakest position in Argos history.

FREE SAFETY (1)

Nominees: Wayne Allison, Paul Bennett, Marv Luster, Lester Smith, Orlondo Steinauer.

This is the easiest vote of all: Marv Luster was an absolute force in the late 1960s and early '70s, one of the top-five players in team history.

DEFENSIVE BACK (2)

Nominees: Carl Brazley, Steve Dennis, Johnnie Harris, Clifford Ivory, Steve Karrys, Ed Learn, Larry Uteck, Don Wilson.

The careers of Carl Brazley and Don Wilson overlapped with a Grey Cup win in '91. Brazley was a prominent Argo, loud on the field, loud in the community. Wilson, who played until 1996, was known for his physical play. They are the choices here.

CORNER BACK (2)

Nominees: Ed Berry, Eric Harris, Reggie Pleasant, Dave Raimey, Jim Rountree, Adrion Smith, Donald Smith, Dick Thornton.

This is the deepest position in Argos history and the most difficult call of all. How do you leave off Dick Thornton or Jim Rountree or Dave Raimey or Adrion Smith or Eric Harris or Reggie Pleasant? I could vote for all of the above (except Donald Smith). They are all deserving. So this is where bias comes in: Can't leave Thornton off. Can't leave Raimey off. Sorry Peewee.

RETURN SPECIALIST (1)

Nominees: Paul Bennett, Jan Carinci, Pinball Clemons, Jimmy "The Jet" Cunningham, Bashir Levingston

We bypasssed Pinball in the running back category. We bypassed Pinball in the coaching category. With apologies to the very deserving Bashir Levingston, we can't bypass Clemons here. He still is Mr. Argo. Maybe there should be a category just for him alone. That way he makes the team and Levingston, the deserving record breaker, can be acknowledged also.

(The All-Time Argos team will be named at a dinner on October 26, then honoured at the game the following day. Public voting for the All-Time Argos team can be done at the Rogers Centre or online at www.argonauts.ca)


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