Thursday, May 29, 2008

Appreciating Damon Allen...

Damon Allen was always hard to pin down for writers trying to define him in a couple paragraphs and for defenders chasing him all over the field over his twenty-three Canadian Football League seasons (when someone plays that long, you write it out).

Ed Willes, who nearly always makes it worth waiting the extra three hours to wait for the Van Province's morning sports newsletter, definitely captures the nature of Allen's CFL career. He was part of a great generation of CFL QBs -- Doug Flutie, Tracy Ham, Kent Austin, Matt Dunigan -- at a time when the league was flirting annually with financial catastrophe. Now he's leaving a vastly different CFL which is healthy finanically but is starving for the lights-out offences that diehards loved back in Allen's prime.

(Boatmen Blog also has a Damon Allen anecdote about "a quintessential CFL moment -- one of the league's most prominent players not being recognized at a football stadium.")

Damon Allen simply refused to be denied (Ed Willes, CanWest News Service)


Von Allan said...

While I respect the man's talents, his time as an Ottawa Rough Rider were so maddeningly frustrating to me that it took a long time (a long time) to be able to appreciate him at all.

I'll never know if it was Steve Goldman's offence or just his inability, at the time, to read defences properly, but man. Man...throwing long on 2nd and 5s just killed me. Over and over and over again.

To be fair, the offensive and team woes should not be laid squarely on his shoulders. Far from it. But his erratic QBing (especially after his Edmonton years) was such a let down. Hard to blame anyone for those Hobart chants.

sager said...

It's always a little bit of both... Allen's curious career — changing teams frequently, playing with some struggling squads — certainly did cause some people to question his ability, and in some cases his dealings with the media didn't help him. He was a hard player to categorize; not the best CFL pivot ever, not the winningest, but maybe he was the all-time survivor.