Toronto – The Toronto Argonauts Football Club would like to congratulate legendary Argonauts Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons and Doug Flutie on being named to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2008. The entire class will officially be inducted during Hall of Fame weekend from September 18 to September 20, 2008 in Hamilton.
The pair, who teamed up to win two Grey Cup championships in Toronto and formed one of the most lethal quarterback-receiver tandems in CFL history, will be the 51st and 52nd Argonauts to be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
Commented Toronto Argonauts CEO Michael Clemons, “I am overly grateful to my mom who sacrificed so much, my bride of 16 years who really deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and to the greatest fans in the world, Argonauts fans, who not only gave me a team, but a home. To all of the players and coaches who enhanced my passion for our great game, you are all bigger than me, and not just figuratively. A heartfelt thank you to all CFL fans; this honour further confirms that I am officially a has-been. Finally, and more seriously, I’d like to congratulate my fellow inductees.”
As a player, Michael Clemons compiled a brilliant 12-year CFL career, all with the Toronto Argonauts. A Hall of Fame career was born with his very first CFL game when he was named player-of-the-game for his 170 return yards. Those 170 yards laid the foundation for what became a pro-football record for most career combined yards with 25,438. Clemons won three Grey Cups as a player (1991, 1996, 1997) and earned the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player award in 1990. He was a four-time East Division All-Star in 1990, 1993, 1994 and 1997, and a two-time CFL All-Star in 1990 and 1997. In 2006, Clemons was named to the TSN Top 50 as the best players in CFL history by a panel of experts and last season, he was named an All-Time Argo at kick returner by fans, media and Argos alumni. Clemons’ #31 is one of only four jerseys retired by the Argos.
On September 15, 2000, Pinball hung up his jersey to move directly into the position of Argonauts’ Head Coach where he was a finalist for CFL Coach of the Year each year between 2002 and 2007. In 2004, Clemons led the team to its first Grey Cup victory since 1997, his first as Head Coach. He left the sidelines as the team’s second-winningest coach all-time with a record of 68-55-1. On December 4, 2007, he was named the club’s Chief Executive Officer and will steer the Argonauts into their 135th season. Clemons redefines the meaning of community involvement and has been recognized by many organizations for his tireless work with charities, schools and other community groups.
Doug Flutie played two seasons (1996 and 1997) for the Argonauts and forever altered the Double Blue history books. He earned the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player award in both seasons – the only player to ever win the award twice as an Argo. Flutie won back-to-back Grey Cup championships and passed for an unfathomable 11,225 yards and 76 touchdowns on 864 passes. He was twice named a CFL All-Star, twice named a division All-Star and was named Grey Cup MVP in both games. His career 64.0% completion percentage is still a club record and his single season passing yards totals of 5,720 in 1996 and 5,505 in 1997 still rank first and second in club history. In 1997, he threw for 47 majors, one less than his own single-season CFL record of 48 achieved with the Calgary Stampeders. In 2006, Flutie was recognized as the best player to ever play CFL football as voted by a panel of experts assembled for the TSN Top 50 program and last season, he was named an All-Time Argo at quarterback by fans, media and alumni.
Also named to the Class of 2008 are CFL All-Time leading rusher Mike Pringle, former Winnipeg centre John Bonk, and builder Tom Shepherd.
The Toronto Argonauts are North America’s oldest professional football club, celebrating their 135th anniversary in 2008. As Toronto’s #1 community team through player involvement, community programs and The Argos Foundation, the Toronto Argonauts, a member of the Canadian Football League (CFL), have 15 Grey Cup championships to their credit. For 2008 season ticket packages, please contact the sales team at (416) 341-ARGO. For more information on the Toronto Argonauts Football Club, please visit argonauts.ca.