Edmonton Journal from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on February 24, 2005 · 39
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Edmonton Journal from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada · 39

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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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Thursday, February 24, 2005
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39
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D3 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2005 EDMONTON JOURNAL SPORTS Bledsoe signs Quarterback reunited with coach Parcells The Associated Press IRVING, TEXAS Drew Bledsoe set passing records and reached the Super Bowl as a young quarterback playing for Bill Parcells in New England. Nearly a decade later, the duo will try doing it again with the Dallas Cowboys. Bledsoe was given a three-year contract with the Cowboys. Financial terms were not immediately available. "Bill wants me here, and being the starter. I anticipate that being the case and not for one year," Bledsoe during a Wednesday news conference, one day after he was released by theBuffalo Bills. The Bills told Bledsoe he would be cut last week and he said then that: "Dallas is intriguing for obvious reasons." Once Parcells was interested, too, the 33-year-old apparently chose not to seriously pursue other starting jobs. "It's an offence that, when I looked at it, it was very enticing," Bledsoe said. "I can't wait to go home and dress my kids in little stars and get rid of the other team's stuff." ParcellswasninningthePatriotswhen he made Bledsoe the No. 1 overall pick in 1993. They reached the Super Bowl following the 1996 season, losing to Green Bay, then Parcells leftforthe New York Jets. Overtheirfourseasonstogether, Bledsoe set several NFL records for attempts land completions and threw for more than 4,000 yards twice. Bledsoe's career has risen and fallen several times since then. An injury cost him his starting job in New England in 2001 and the emergence of Tom Brady prevented him from Marshall enjoyed VICKI HALL Journal Football Writer WINNIPEG No one can say Hamilton head coach Greg Marshall didn't pay his dues. The former Edmonton Eskimos fullback coached high school and university sometimes at the same time. And now, Marshall, 45 , is on the verge ofbeing named the top head coach in the Canadian Football League not bad for a rookie bench boss who inherited a teamthatposteda9-8-l record last year after going 1-17 in 2003. Marshall, Toronto head coach Michael (Pinball) demons and B.C. head coach Wally Buono are the three finalists for the Annis Stukus trophy to be awarded today in Winnipeg. Clemons and Marshall are the favourites. Some of Beliveau's memorabilia DAVE STUBBS Montreal Gazette MONTREAL At least three of the most precious pieces of Montreal Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau's memorabilia are staying in Montreal, in the caring hands of a new collector who knows hockey history when he buys it. HOCKEY DIGEST A month-long Internet auction of 195 of the Hockey Hall of Famer"s souvenirs raised $799,285.63 US. That was nearly double the expectation of Beliveau and Classic Collectibles, the Montreal-based hockey-exclusive auction house that for a decade has sold memorabilia of many of the game's greatest names. A Montreal businessman known only as Bidder 1881 bought three of Beliveau's Stanley Cup rings for a total of $99,077.72, plus a 15-per-cent buyer's premium of $14,861.66. . At Wednesday's exchange rate, that's about $141,000 Cdn. The highlight was Beliveau's 1958-59 Stanley Cup ring, the first year such rings were presented to National Hockey League champions. Bidder 1881 picked it up for $79,402.21 US, including the premium, or just less than what Beliveau earned in his first five seasons with Golden Bears JOHN MACKINNON Journal Sports Columnist EDMONTON - Sure, they're nearly perfect, but the Alberta Golden Bears hockey team could use a break, and they've got one in the form of a bye this week in Canada West playoff action. . The Bears, 24-3-1 in regular-season play this year, will play host to the winner of a best-of-three series between the UBC Thunderbirds and the Calgary Dims beginning Friday, March 4. The fortnight between games will Drew Bledsoe will be throwing passes for getting it back. He was traded to Buffalo, where he made the Pro Bowl with another 4,000-yard season but failed to reach the playoffs all three seasons with the Bills, going 23-25 overall. Last season, Bledsoe helped Buffalo go from 0-4 to 9-6 with a chance to make the post-season. Bledsoe, who hasn't started a playoff game since 1998, still has a strong arm, Ticats bench boss among "Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be here,"Marshallsaid on Wednesday during a break at the CFL annual meetings. "To even be considered in my first year with coach Clemons and coach Buono is a little ) Marshall overwhelming. It's a nice honour, but it won't disappoint me at all if I don't win it." In fact, Marshall believes Clemons should win for leading the Argos to the Grey Cup. "If I was voting this year, I would vote MONTREAL GAZETTE, CANWEST NEWS SERVICE Jean Beliveau displays one of his Montreal Canadiens jerseys. the Canadiens. Bidder 1881 also added Beliveau's Hall of Fame ring for $23,209.99, and completed the trifecta with the 1951-52 Quebec Aces Alexander Trophy championship gold ring for $11,327.18. "I love Jean's stuff. I want to own it," Bidder 1881 said, speaking on condition he not be identified. "He is a gentleman, an ambassador of the game, a wonderful lovely man. "I like to collect the best examples that exist, and the three I bought are unique examples." hoping to cash in come in handy for fifth-year veteran Tyler Shybunka, for one. He found out Wednesday that the dull ache he had been feeling along his left side since late December was caused by a cracked rib. Which was quite a relief, because up to now he had no idea what was wrong. "I had started to doubt myself," Shy-bunka said at a luncheon to promote the Telus University Cup tournament for the OS men's hockey championship that will nm fromMarch 24-27 at both Clare Drake and Rexall Place. "It's good to know what was wrong, finally." little has been wrong with the Bears in rt Z3 with Cowboys topi h ill :' j iiiin m.i 1 : r ' - - 1 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS the Dallas Cowboys this NFL season after signing with America's team on Wednesday. but has been sacked 140 times in the last three seasons. That's also a tribute to his durability he's started every game in those years. His arrival means that 41-year-old Vin-ny Testaverde won't be re-signed and that young quarterbacks Drew Henson and Tony Romo won't be seeing much action any time soon. Bledsoe made it clear last week that he wasn't interest a fine rookie year coach of year finalists for Michael," Marshall said. "I hope I win the coach of the year at some point. Maybe next year because it usually does go to the Grey Cup-winning coach." As for Clemons, he's full of praise for Marshall and his miraculous turnaround season in Hamilton. True to character, Clemons doesn't want to tout himself for the award. The Argos went from bankruptcy to Grey Cup champions in one year, but Clemons refuses to take the credit Tve had no thought about the coach of the year," Clemons said. "Really. It's not a callous thing. For me, I understand my own insignificance. I can't do it by myself. "If anything, this represents the maturity of this franchise." Bidder 1881 stronglypursued four other high-end items as well, including Beliveau's 1957-58 Stanley Cup trophy, first NHL goal puck, 1967 Canadiens sweater and early 1950s Quebec Aces jersey. Those four pieces sold for a combined $151,740.54. Beliveau decided to sell some of the artifacts to offer his family a cushion, and to remove from anyone the burden of one day having to liquidate them. Agents invited to meeting Player agents have been invited to a get-together by the NHL Players' Association for neott Wednesday, rompleting a trifecta of meetings next week. The NHL's board of governors meet Tuesday in New York, the same day the NHLPAhas a major gathering with some of its membership in Toronto. Now the agents will getaXBA update" from NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow in Toronto on Wednesday. It's expected to be similar in nature to the meeting agents had with the NHLPA in Chicago last November. That's what I would anticipate," agent Pat Morris said Wednesday. Some agents have privately voiced their displeasure that a deal wasn't reached last weekend, so the NHLPA is smart to reel them in and answer all their questions. CanWest Newt Service with filet from The Canadian Prett on their recent experiences as they recent memory. Little, that is, except their ability to win the big one. Over the last five regular seasons, a total of 140 games, the Bears' won-lost-tied record is a dominant 120-9-11 overalL No matter how the Bears do in the upcoming Canada West playoffs, they'll be playing in the national championship tournament as host team. Shybunka believes the string of bad mojo that has tripped up the Bears at Nationals has got to end sometime. Doesn't it? "I almost feel the hockey Gods owe us a couple," Shybunka said. "I can remember every year. My first year at Na ed in being a backup and Parcells has shown little willingness to go through the pains of grooming a young QB. Signing Bledsoe "puts us in position to compete and contend more than we did last year," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. By avoiding a Henson-led rebuilding, the Cowboys are trying to quickly rebound after going 6-10 last season. I The CBC caught the CFL off guard this week with the firing of Chris Cuthbert. CFL commissioner Tom Wright learned of Cuthbert's departure through media reports, even though the veteran broadcaster is widely considered the top play-by-play voice in Canadian football. "I haven't had the chance to even talk to CBC," Wright said on Wednesday. "I assure you that I have some meetings planned for the next little while, and one of the things I will talk to them about is Chris. Chris Cuthbert has been one of the great play-by-play announcers of our game. He's a guy I have a great deal of regard for both his professional and personal integrity. I enjoyed listening to him do the play-by-play for hockey as well as football." vhallthejournal.canwest.com to remain in He s KICK MACWILIIAM. THE OU8NAt Centre Jarret Stoll, cut by a skate on Jan. 21, is practising again and is aiming to return to game action this weekend when the Road Runners play host to the Cleveland Barons. Raffi Torres is also set to return from a hip injury. tionals we didn't play that welL My second year, we outshot a team 47-17 and we lost a game. That's not going to happen too often. The third year, again, we didn't play all that great (at Nationals) and last year for two-and-a-half periods, we were the best team in the country. Then, for half a period, we lost it" Last year, they lost a 6-5 overtime heart-breaker that still leaves a bad taste. "Success is kind of an evil," offered fifth-year goaltender Dustin Schwartz, named a Canada West All-Star along with defenceman Jeff Zom and winger Brad Tut jchek on Wednesc ay. "As suc CFL not so Sharpie League bans pens, magazines, not to mention spitting VICKI HALL Journal Football Writer WINNIPEG Just call it the Keith Stokes rule. Foreign objects such as pens, magazines and cellphones will be banned from the field of play this year under a motion passed on Wednesday by the CFL rules committee. The new regulation still needs the approval of the board of governors, but Ed Chalupka, the league's senior vice-president of football operations, hopes it will put an end to outlandish touchdown celebrations such as the one perpetuated by Stokes last season. After catching the ball in the end zone, Stokes pulled a magazine out of the padding on the goal post and pretended to read all about it "That kind of thing is grandstanding," said Toronto GM Adam Rita. "It takes away from the team concept It takes away from the game itself. "We don't want to be the no-fun league, you know? We can dance. We can celebrate. We can do all those things that make it fun for the guys and fun for some of the fans. We allow that But to take out a Sharpie or take a picture out on the football field we don't want that to happen." In the NFL, receiver Terrell Owens is famous for his taking a Sharpie out ofhis sock, autographing the football, and handing it to his financial adviser in the stands after a touchdown on Monday Night Football. New Orleans receiver Joe Horn arguably topped that by pulling out a cellphone and pretending to make a call. The CFL rules committee wants none of such theatrics, so in the event a player is found with a dangerous object on the field, such as a knife, he would receive a 10-yard penalty and be ejected from the game. Other rule changes passed on Wednesday include: I Pass-interference will be called even if the throw is deemed uncatchable to ensure defenders don't get "free shots" on receivers. I Players caught spitting at an opponent or game official will receive a 25--yard penalty and a disqualification. I Playerswhoarebleedingcanbeor-dered off the field by the referee to ensure the safety of other athletes. I There are no longer restrictions on the type of cleats players can wear unless they're deemed unsafe. Proposed rule changes that were shot down included one that would have penalized punters for lacking the ball out of bounds. The committee also nixed a proposal to eliminate the single point for missed field goals that sail through end zone. Montreal back! "I near nationals cessful as we are, it's kind of like if we don't win in the end, the season was a write-off." Afteraspotless regular season last year, the Bears put up a merely mortal record this year, which Shybunka said might pay dividends in the playoffs. "In the past, we've kind of breezed through the regular season and won games maybe we should have lost I think this year, we're learning that if we don't play well, we're going to lose," he offered. A lesson to ponder during Reading Week.

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