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Oh, 'Golden' Canada

Oh, 'Golden' Canada

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Today is Canada Day, the national day of Canada. A federal statutory holiday, it celebrates the anniversary of July 1, 1867, the effective date of the Constitution Act, 1867 (then called the British North America Act, 1867), which united the three separate colonies of the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into a single dominion within the British Empire called Canada. 

Canada Day celebrations take place throughout the country, as well as in various locations around the world, attended by Canadians living abroad.

So, for our friends to the north, a reminder that the COVID-19 compliant Pro Football Hall of Fame is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. all summer, and it’s less than a six-hour drive from Toronto and about four hours from Windsor. Here in Canton, which you can visit again starting later this month, you can see and learn about Canadians Bronko Nagurski from Rainy River, Ontario, and Arnie Weinmeister from Rhein, Saskatchewan.

Several other Gold Jacket Hall of Famers have played and coached in the Canadian Football League, but it is Bud Grant whose legend is such in Canada that a statue of him stands in front of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' current stadium, Investors Group Field. Bud played for the Blue Bombers, then coached the team for 10 CFL seasons (1957-66), winning the Grey Cup four times. He is also in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Watch his video bio here. 

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A decade later, in 1973, Marv Levy became the head coach of the Montreal Alouettes. He coached Montreal to three CFL Grey Cup appearances and two championships, and he won the Annis Stukus Trophy (Coach of the Year) in 1974.

Warren Moon is probably the most accomplished NFL player also to play in the CFL. In six CFL seasons, Moon threw for 21,166 yards and 144 TDs and won five consecutive championships with the Edmonton Eskimos. In 23 pro seasons between the NFL and CFL, he passed for 70,553 yards and 435 TDs. His story of the struggle on his road to the Pro Football Hall of Fame is told in the award-winning “Game for Life” holographic show theater you can see when you come to Canton.

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Finally, in the “not well-known facts” department, Fred Biletnikoff, who played 14 seasons in the AFL and NFL with Oakland from 1965 to 1978, was lured out of retirement in 1980 by the Montreal Alouettes. At age 37, Biletnikoff turned in a solid season with 38 catches (second-best on the Alouettes and eighth in the East Division) for 440 yards and 4 TDs.

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