CFL legends in town

SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:40 AM ET

Hey, CFL fans, all of those familiar football faces you are noticing around town lately are here for a very good reason.

Winnipeg is hosting a CFL Hall of Fame Game weekend for the first time. The brainchild of former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Paul Bennett, who is the chairman of events, the weekend has become a celebration of the Canadian league's history.

Those being inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame this year will be Alondra Johnson, Glen Weir, Jim Mills, Rudy Phillips and Tony Anselmo (builder).

The festivities started with the Hall of Fame Golf Tournament at the Niakwa Golf and Country Club yesterday. That is being followed by a Welcome to Winnipeg Breakfast (invitation only) at the Delta Hotel.

But the public will be welcome to the unveiling of the inductees' busts and the presentation of Hall of Fame jackets -- which can be a pretty emotional ceremony -- at the McPhillips Street Station casino, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

"This is a very deserving class," Mark DeNoble, the Hall of Fame's executive director, said in a release. "These men personify what's great about Canadian football, from electrifying plays on the field while working to make our game and our commitments stronger off the field.

"These men rarely played in the spotlight but always at a very high level. It is only right that they be honoured for their contributions to the game with this introduction into the Hall."

Legendary Bombers head coach/GM Bud Grant, himself a CFL Hall of Famer, will also be on hand at the casino.

The honourees will formally be inducted into the Hall at the sold-out Gala Induction Dinner at the Winnipeg Convention Centre tonight.

The celebrations will be capped off at tomorrow's CFL Hall of Fame Game between the Bombers and the Toronto Argonauts at Canad Inns Stadium at 8 p.m. TSN's Brian Williams will host an induction ceremony at halftime, which will be broadcast live.

All five inductees, as well as Bomber CFL Hall-of-Famers Kenny Ploen, Chris Walby, Joe Poplawski, James Murphy, John Bonk, Frank Rigney and Bennett will be available for autographs in the south endzone, 6-7 p.m.

Blue Lightning calendars will also be on sale for $15 during the game. A fireworks display will follow the contest.

There are still good seats available through Ticketmaster or at the gate.


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