Argos GM shaken by fire
By TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency
|Toronto Argonauts' General Manager, Jim Barker. (CRAIG ROBERTSON/QMI Agency)
Jim Barker won’t soon forget the things he lost in the fire.
“Thirty-five years worth of coaching materials, gone,” the Argonauts general manager said. “I lost everything — personal notes from over the years, pictures of the grandkids, my (Canadian Football League) coach-of-the-year award, my XFL championship ring.”
The fire that destroyed the offices of the Argos management and coaching staff at the club’s training facility in Erindale during the early morning hours of Dec. 24 remains under investigation. The players’ locker room and the media work trailer were not damaged in the fire, but Barker and his staff still are without offices. Barker and the coaches did not keep offices at the Argos’ downtown Toronto headquarters.
Three prized possessions, luckily, Barker did not keep in his office. Those are his three Grey Cup rings, won with the Argos (1997), Montreal Alouettes (2002), and Calgary Stampeders (2008).
It goes without saying that Barker is glad no one was hurt or killed in the fire. But the blaze shook him nonetheless.
“I was stunned when I got the call on Christmas Eve,” Barker said. “You can’t really put a dollar value on any of the stuff. It’s just one of those things that happens, but it’s never something you think about.”