The hearts of Toronto football fans may forever belong to Damon Allen. With his role on the field diminishing, Allen called it a career on May 28th, 2008. Not since Pinball Clemons has an Argo been such a star on the field and a star in the city.
Damon Allen joined the CFL as a free agent in 1987 with Edmonton. By the end of his career, he had played with almost every team in the league, including a stint with Memphis during the CFL's ill advised U.S. expansion. Winning four Grey Cups, the most impressive may have been his last which came with Toronto. After an injury filled season in 2004, Allen was named the MVP of the Grey Cup for the third time and brought the Argos their 15th championship, cementing his place in Toronto sports history.
Voted number fourteen on TSN's top 50 CFL players of all time, Damon Allen is assured a prominent place in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. What about the hall in Canton, Ohio? Most are under the impression that Canton is home of the NFL Hall of Fame when in fact it is the Pro Football Hall. One other man is in both halls, Grey Cup winner and Pro Bowler Warren Moon.
Let's have a look at the numbers. On September 4th 2006 Damon Allen passed Warren Moon's pro football record of 70,553 passing yards and finished his career with an astounding 72,381 yards. Danny McManus is number two in the CFL and he's twenty thousand yards behind Allen. There is the argument that the CFL is a passing league and so Allen's accomplishments have less shine. If so much time was spent on passing plays, how is it that Allen is number three all time in rushing behind CFL legends George Reed and Mike Pringle? In pro football he's number fifteen all time in rushing yards, only three hundred or so yards behind his Hall of Fame older brother Marcus Allen.
The CFL doesn't always get the credit it deserves when compared to it's rich cousin, the NFL. Damon Allen's career numbers are not that far off Warren Moon's stats. If the Hall of Fame doesn't recognize Damon Allen as a once in a lifetime player and vote for him based on his stats, give credit to an exceptional career and an outstanding gentleman - vote him in as a builder. CFL or NFL, not many players compare to Damon Allen and he truly deserves all of the accolades that will follow him in to his off field career.