Glenn's first time

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:28 PM ET

TORONTO -- Damon Allen remembers a few vivid details about his first CFL playoff start.

It was the 1985 West Division semifinal, and the rookie from California led his Edmonton Eskimos into Winnipeg Stadium to take on the defending Grey Cup champion Blue Bombers.

"It was cold," Allen recalled yesterday. "It was the first time I experienced wearing broomball shoes."

That short trip down memory lane was brought to you by today's East Division semifinal, which will pit Kevin Glenn, making his first CFL playoff start, and the Bombers against Allen, with 25 post-season games under his belt, and the Toronto Argonauts at Rogers Centre.

The winner moves on to face the host Montreal Alouettes in next Sunday's East final.

'I UNDERSTAND'

If the Bombers fall today, Glenn can take solace in the fact Allen didn't win his first playoff start; the Bombers escaped with a 22-15 victory.

"I understand what he's feeling," Allen said of Glenn yesterday. "Like any young quarterback, you want to go out here and establish yourself and play well in a pressure situation."

As usual, if the 27-year-old Glenn is feeling that way, he isn't showing it. When asked if there was any difference about this week, he said "there's only two games going on instead of the regular four. I just go out and play football."

Perhaps that is Glenn's way of dealing with the pressure he might be feeling but not showing. Or maybe he really is as cool as a cucumber with a winning makeup.

Argos coach Michael Clemons believes it's the latter.

"They're totally different styles, but he reminds you a little bit of Damon," Clemons said. "Damon knew how to win football games.

"... (Glenn) is a guy who simply knows how to win. He's a smart guy who makes good decisions on a consistent basis. He understands his team, he understands situations, he's smart, he's got great patience, and he throws the high-percentage pass consistently.

"He can also hurt you with his legs. He's good at using his legs at the right time. I'll take Kevin Glenn any day. He's a winner."

The only catch is Glenn has never started a playoff game. The Bombers (9-9) and Argos (10-8) played three close games during the regular season, with Winnipeg winning twice. Both teams' ground games are likely to be prevalent today, but the experience level of the quarterbacks could very well be a factor.

"Adversity maybe is the key," Clemons said. "It's important for us to get a lead in this football game. And then some of those experience factors may help us out at that point."

Bombers defensive tackle Doug Brown is convinced Glenn's laid-back personality, not to mention his regular-season performances, will trump any post-season inexperience.

"All that matters is we're 9-5 with Kevin as a starter," Brown said. "This is obviously a game with more consequence than any of the first 14 we've had, but it doesn't change the fact that we're successful when he's our quarterback for four quarters. I don't expect that to change."


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