tampabay.com

The fan page

By Tom Jones
Published November 19, 2006


Question of the day

If Jason Campbell starts for the Redskins as expected today, he will be Washington's 17th starting quarterback in 14 years. Since 1993, the Bucs have had 10 different starters. Can you name them?

Answers: See bottom of page.

Making a racket

One sang Communication Breakdown, and the other often had communication breakdowns with umpires. Former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant and tennis bad boy John McEnroe have become friends since last year's U.S. Open. According to Sports Illustrated, McEnroe will appear in an interview segment for a special DVD compilation of Plant's career that will be released Tuesday.

The Emmitt Smith Show

All those years playing pro football, and yet it was winning a dance contest that has made Emmitt Smith the hottest thing going in TV Land. Apparently, his stint on Dancing With the Stars has proved his "likeability" factor with audiences. Because of that, TMZ.com is reporting that the former Gator is being courted by one major studio to host his own daytime talk show.

The Grey Cup

Our neighbors to the north play for a football championship much older than the Super Bowl. Today in Winnipeg, the Canadian Football League championship will be decided in the Grey Cup when British Columbia takes on Montreal.

The Grey Cup has been played every year since 1909 except from 1916 to 1919 because of World War I and the Spanish flu epidemic. Here's a look at five memorable Grey Cups:

1989: Saskatchewan 43, Hamilton 40: Highest-scoring Grey Cup and generally considered the best. Dave Ridgway kicked a field goal on the final play.

2005: Edmonton 38, Montreal 35: Montreal tied it on the last play of regulation on a field goal, but the Eskimos won in double overtime.

1987: Edmonton 38, Toronto 36. The lead changed six times, including four times in the second half. Edmonton won after Jerry Kauric made a 49-yard field goal with 45 seconds left.

1981: Edmonton 26, Ottawa 23. Almost the greatest upset in Grey Cup history as Edmonton, led by quarterback Warren Moon, was nearly stopped from winning its fourth in a row. The Eskimos overcame a 20-1 deficit in the second half and won on a 27-yard field goal with three seconds left.

1962: Winnipeg 28, Hamilton 27. The "Fog Bowl" was played over two days. Heavy fog rolled off Lake Ontario into Toronto just before halftime; the game was stopped with 9:29 left in the fourth quarter and continued the next day. Strangely, all the points were scored the first day.

Five quarterbacks you've heard of who played in the CFL:

Doug Flutie 1990-97

Jeff Garcia 1994-98

Joe Kapp 1959-66

Danny McManus 1990-06

Tom Clements 1975-87

Other voices

Sometimes, I resent the comparisons to the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup, the World Series and the NBA Finals; the questions of which is better or more entertaining.

All the other sports championships are bigger than the Grey Cup. They attract more people, they create more revenue and, in terms of business, they are much bigger. But, bigger isn't always better.

To me, the Grey Cup is about identity. It is having something as Canadians that we can say is ours alone; a moment of selfish pride where being compared to the sports monster of the United States does not apply.

It's like having a private party, but being able to segregate due to birthplace.

Chris Schultz, The Sports Network

Greatest player ever

Who was the CFL's greatest player ever?

There always are arguments in sport about who is the absolute best, but the player who often leads CFL lists is Jackie Parker.

Parker played at Mississippi State before joining the CFL in 1954. He played with Edmonton, Toronto and British Columbia until 1969. He passed for more than 16,000 yards, scored 88 touchdowns, kicked 103 converts, 40 field goals and 19 singles for 750 points. Oh, yeah, he played defense, too.

He was named the top player in the CFL three times, was an all-star eight times and won three Grey Cups. He went on to coach in the CFL.

Parker died this month (Nov. 7) of throat cancer at 74.

Question of the day answer: Craig Erickson, Steve DeBerg, Trent Dilfer, Shaun King, Eric Zeier, Brad Johnson, Rob Johnson, Brian Griese, Chris Simms, Bruce Gradkowski.