10 People You Didn’t Know Played in the CFL

To the average football fan outside of Canada, the Canadian Football League (CFL) is an unknown entity. Kind of like that cool cousin you don’t get to see much of. So it is that a lot of good football players toil in anonymity north of the 49th parallel. Every once in a while, though, someone busts out. Consider Doug Flutie, who went from known, to relative unknown, back to known. Boston College’s All-American quarterback won the Heisman in 1984 and threw one of the most famous Hail Mary TD passes ever recorded.

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However, he was drafted low and bounced from Chicago to New England before signing with the BC Lions in 1990. Flutie was lights out in the CFL, winning a Grey Cup with Calgary and two with Toronto, before heading back to the NFL with Buffalo in 1998. He earned Comeback Player of the Year and a Pro Bowl nod that year and went on to play seven more seasons before retiring.

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#10 – Jeff Garcia

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After a decent college career at San Jose State University, Garcia went undrafted in the NFL. Garcia headed north in 1994 to Calgary, where he backed up Doug Flutie for a season. He ended up replacing the injured star in 1995, only to watch as Flutie led the team to a Grey Cup loss later. Flutie left for Toronto and Garcia fashioned three outstanding years as the Stamps’ pivot, eventually winning the Grey Cup in 1998 and being named game MVP. Signed by San Francisco in 1999, Garcia again backed up a legend in Steve Young, only to take over after Young suffered a career ending concussion. Garcia put in three pretty good seasons with the 49ers and was named to four Pro Bowls for his entire career.

#9 – Lex Luger

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Little wonder that Luger changed his name from Larry Pfohl. For a while though the wrestling legend toiled under his vanilla moniker as a member of the Montreal Alouettes from 1979 to 1981. He actually cut his chops for mayhem by getting kicked off the University of Miami football team for trashing his hotel room. Pfohl did play in the 1979 Grey Cup, which was a 17-9 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos. Two years later, he signed with Green Bay, but never played a game. He wrapped up his football career with the Tampa Bay Bandits of the USFL. As Lex Luger, he was a three-time champion, holding the WCW heavyweight title twice and the WWA title once. He also won the 1994 WWF Royal Rumble with Bret Hart.

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Kean is a writer for Sportsbreak.com and hockey freak, family man and proud member of the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves