December 7, 2017

Stamps all-stars: 101

Receiver Allen Pitts and quarterback Dave Dickenson

The Calgary Stampeders’ 2017 crop of Canadian Football League all-stars allowed the Red and White to establish a historical milestone.

The six Stamps players announced as part of the CFL’s all-star squad this week included first-timers Alex Singleton and Roy Finch and puts the list of all-time Stamps all-stars in triple digits. A total of 101 different Stamps players have been recognized as CFL all-stars since the recognition of the country’s best players was initiated in 1962.

Over the years, four Stamps named Johnson (Will, Alondra, Micah and Rick) have earned a combined total of 10 all-star berths.

Conversely, there’s only been one Smith (Brandon in 2014).

There’s been two all-stars named Hall — Richie and Darryl — but no Oates.

There’s been a Bass (Danny) and a Tuna (Bruce Covernton).

The Calgary all-star list includes an Earthquake (Earl Lunsford), a Matador (Rene Paredes), an Eagle (Day), a Sponge (David Sapunjis) and a Polecat (Bob Poley).

Last year’s batch of nine all-stars represents the high-water mark for Stamps CFL all-stars while the low point came in 1984 and 1985 when Calgary got shut out in back-to-back years. The Stamps had a combined total of nine wins and two head coaches during those two years, but no league all-stars.

Calgary also came up empty in 1989 (despite winning 10 games) and in 2007.

The Stamp who has been honoured as one of the league’s best the most often is linebacker Wayne (Thumper) Harris who was a CFL all-star eight times between 1962 and 1971.

Defensive lineman John Helton was a seven-time honouree as a Stamp (including six in a row from 1971-76), slotback Allen Pitts was a CFL all-star six times and Will Johnson and Rocco Romano were each recognized five times.

This season, Charleston Hughes and Rene Paredes joined Joffrey Reynolds, the Stamps’ all-time leading rusher, as Calgary players who have been four-time CFL all-stars.

A total of 22 Stamps have earned exactly three CFL all-star nods. The list also includes such luminaries as Doug Flutie, Jon Cornish, Nik Lewis, Kelvin Anderson, Herm Harrison and Alondra Johnson.

Defensive end Will Johnson during the 1992 season, which was one of five times he was named a CFL all-star (Photo by Scott Grant)

Other random Stamps all-star facts:

  • In 10 years since John Hufnagel became general manager, the Stamps have had 55 all-stars
  • Roy Finch is the first Stamp to be named the CFL’s special-teams all-star since Larry Taylor in 2013
  • This is the first year since 2007 the Stamps didn’t place at least one offensive player on the league team
  • This is the first season since 2008 the Stamps didn’t have a CFL all-star offensive lineman
  • In a 20-year period from 1998-2017, Stamps tailbacks Kelvin Anderson, Joffrey Reynolds, Jon Cornish and Jerome Messam earned a combined total of 11 all-star berths
  • From Eagle Day in 1962 to Bo Levi Mitchell in 2016, eight different Calgary quarterbacks have been CFL all-stars. The others are Doug Flutie (three times), Peter Liske, Rick Johnson, Jeff Garcia, Dave Dickenson and Henry Burris
  • Only two Stamps have been the CFL’s all-star centre — Bob Poley in 1986 and Brett Jones in 2014
  • Gary Allen is the only Stamps player to earn all-star recognition at two positions in the same season. Allen was honoured both as a running back and a kick returner in 1986