With a 29 yard shovel pass to Arland Bruce III that resulted in a TD, the Toronto Argonauts’ Damon Allen (above) leapfrogged Warren Moon to become the career passing yards leader in all of professional football. The Argos beat the Hamilton Tiger Cats last night, 40-6, and if you think the media south of the border doesn’tt give a hoot about either accomplishment, get a load of the Globe & Mail’s Stephen Brunt.
The New York Times tried recently, with a feature on an athlete even hard-core American sports fans have never heard of, suggesting that perhaps Allen’s credentials ought to get him not just into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, but also into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, which has always been the exclusive shrine of the National Football League and its extinct ancestors.
If Warren Moon, whose record Allen broke last night, got into Canton at least in some small part based on what he achieved with the Edmonton Eskimos before heading south, then why wouldn’t Allen’s Canadian Football League accomplishments be recognized?
It’s not churlish ” just honest ” to suggest that those sentiments could only come from someone who didn’t get to watch Allen pile up all of those yards over the past two decades, plus.
He’s certainly not one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game, and even within the parameters of the Canadian Football League, where Allen has played his entire career, it’s not all that tough to come up with 10 pivots who, at their best, were better than him, starting with Doug Flutie and perhaps extending all the way to Anthony Calvillo.
You can make the case that only last season ” the 21st of his career ” when he threw for 5,000 yards for the first time, was Allen the top dog in what was then a nine-team league, and even that’s a debating point. He’s had some great big-game moments ” twice being chosen as the Grey Cup most valuable player and winning four championships ” but he’s also had seasons that he, and the fans of the teams for which he played, would rather forget.