Congemi's 1st career revived as he honed 2nd CFL Game 8

August 28, 1994|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Sun Staff Writer

HAMILTON, Ontario -- A year ago, when it appeared his quarterbacking days might be over, John Congemi started grooming himself for a second career.

After turning down a low contract offer from the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League, Congemi went to the broadcast booth.

And liked it.

He was color man for the Miami Hooters on Arena Football broadcasts, and the former Pitt quarterback worked the Pitt-Syracuse game. He also did radio shows on college and pro ball, working with former Miami Dolphins receiver Jimmy Cefalo.

"I was waiting to play football," said Congemi, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "I missed football, but I wanted to get into something that would be my second career. It wasn't bad."

Congemi got back into the quarterbacking business when the CFL expanded to Baltimore this year. He signed with a former coach (Don Matthews, Toronto, 1990) to serve as Tracy Ham's backup.

Last night, Congemi started for the first time since 1992, replacing the injured Ham against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Congemi later was sidelined because of bruised ribs.

Congemi, 30, filled a backup role in Toronto and Ottawa for most of his seven-year CFL career. Going into last night, Congemi had

thrown for 5,867 career yards with 30 touchdowns and 45 interceptions.

Rehab routine

To strengthen his surgically repaired left knee in the wake of his Aug. 11 arthroscopic surgery, Baltimore running back Mike Pringle has been running in water and working on a Cybex machine. He also discovered a new form of exercise, thanks to team trainers.

"It's called plyometrics," Pringle said. "I put a harness on and jump around. It's very hard. I plan to put it into my off-season workout routine."

Hardened by the option

How durable is Ham? Before last season, when he was in and out of Toronto's lineup in a bizarre quarterback shuffle, Ham had missed only one regular-season game in the previous four seasons with Edmonton.

He links that durability to his college career at Georgia Southern, where he was an option quarterback. "I come from an option school, where you tend to get hit a lot," Ham said.

Legal update

Baltimore owner Jim Speros said his legal counsel is attempting to put together a new consumer survey that would show lack of confusion in the trademark rights case against the ** NFL over use of the name Colts.

"We've got to get another survey done," he said. "We're talking to some researchers now. To get back in front of a judge, we've got to know we have the correct evidence that will make a difference."

The team's appeal of the preliminary injunction against using the name was denied when its survey proved less than convincing.

Speros also said that next month he plans to pursue major funding from the state for the second phase of his Memorial Stadium renovation.

Miscellaneous

Baltimore defensive tackle Robert Presbury was on Hamilton's practice roster in 1989, and cornerback Irvin Smith went to camp with the Tiger-Cats in 1991 . . . . With 18 field goals and six singles in 24 field-goal attempts and a 21-for-21 record on extra points coming into last night's game, Donald Igwebuike had scored every time he had kicked this season. The Tiger-Cats broke that string when they blocked a second-quarter extra-point attempt.

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