No place like home

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:05 AM ET

One was born in Ontario but grew up in Manitoba and made a name for himself on -- and off -- the pebble.

The other grew up in the U.S., became a legend on the local gridiron, then stuck around town long after his illustrious CFL career ended.

TSN curling analyst/instructor/official/curler Ray Turnbull and Winnipeg Blue Bombers great James Murphy will be among those being officially inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame tonight.

"It was a little bit of a surprise," Murphy, 50, admitted at a reception last night. "However, Winnipeg has adopted me as a native son so, I feel a lot of love in this city."

Others entering

Also entering the hall will be Sandi (Coghill) Anderson (five-pin bowling), Lesley (Hamerton) Divers (basketball), David Drybrough (athletics), Keith Elder (pistol shooting), Andy Hebenton (hockey), Evelyne (Olafson) Holenski (softball builder), Sanford Riley (sailing), the 1948-49 Brandon Wheat Kings (hockey) and the 1972, '75 and '76 St. Andrews Super Saints (basketball).

"This is right up there and I feel just as great as going into the CFL Hall of Fame and the Bomber Hall of Fame," Murphy added.

Turnbull, who enters as a builder, needs no introduction to the curling crowd. In fact, he introduced the game to so many countries that enough interest was sparked to eventually get the game re-introduced to the Olympics. He is already in both the Canadian and Manitoba Curling Halls of Fame.

"It's an unbelievable thrill," said Turnbull, 70. "Almost any time you're going to get stroked by your peers and get that kind of recognition, it's a tremendous thrill."

Murphy is arguably not only the greatest wide receiver the Bombers ever had (Milt Stegall was a slotback) but helped the club win the Grey Cup in 1984 and '88.

"My first highlight was winning the Grey Cup (1984), bringing that championship to the city after 22 years," said Murphy, who also won the Schenley Award as the CFL's Most Outstanding Player in 1986.

"That would have to be one of my finest moments but probably the highlight of my career was probably my highlight catch that got us into the Grey Cup in 1984," he said.

Curling clinics

Turnbull, who won the Brier as lead for Terry Braunstein in 1965, was among the first Canadians to conduct curling clinics in Europe and Asia, and proudly claims 17 of his European students went on to become world champions.

Murphy now works for the Manitoba Housing Association.

Turnbull, who recently had two stints inserted into his heart, will call it quits as a TSN analyst after covering this Olympic season.

But Turnbull recalled one moment when Linda Moore first joined him on air in 1989. She and Vic Rauter were discussing the days when curlers had to carry their own rocks to the rink.

"Linda turned to me and said, 'Well, Ray, you remember that?' And I said to her very quickly, 'Oh thanks, Linda, I hope your thighs grow,' " Turnbull recounted.

Afterwards, Turnbull got a call from TSN president Jim Thompson (since deceased) in his hotel room at 3 a.m.

"He said, 'Moosie, I was lying on the couch during the curling tonight and when you made that comment to Linda about her thighs, I fell right off the couch laughing. It was one of the funniest lines I've ever heard on television, and if you ever do it again, you're fired.' "

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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