CFLs out to prove Pringle is most valuable


November 26, 1994|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Sun Staff Writer

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- As if Baltimore needed more incentive for Sunday's 82nd Grey Cup, the CFLs found fresh ammunition in the Canadian Football League awards program Thursday night.

It arrived with the news that Calgary quarterback Doug Flutie had been selected by the Football Reporters of Canada as the league's Most Outstanding Player of the Year. He beat out Baltimore running back Mike Pringle by a vote of 33-19.

"All I know is, Mike Pringle rebounds from anything," said CFLs linebacker Matt Goodwin. "This will inspire the whole team."

As Goodwin was selected the league's Most Outstanding Rookie and teammate Shar Pourdanesh its Most Outstanding Lineman, the CFLs were lamenting Pringle's loss.

"I really thought Mike deserved the award," said injured linebacker Malcolm Goodwin, Matt's twin. "He was voted down by somebody who doesn't see him on a week-to-week basis."

Pringle rushed for a CFL-record 1,972 yards this season, but it wasn't enough to end Flutie's string of MVP awards. Flutie has won it an unprecedented four straight years.

"You can't sum up Mike Pringle's year as a runner-up of the MVP,"

Matt Goodwin said. "He's our MVP, even if he's not the CFL's glamour boy. I'm not going to say he'll run for 400 yards [against the B.C. Lions tomorrow] or anything, but every yard he gets will be a little sweeter."

Pringle said he wasn't disappointed.

"I did everything I can do . . . . 28 yards shy of 2,000 -- I don't know if I can do any more. I played through injuries. The bottom line, I'm here to play for the Grey Cup and the ring."

Flutie broke his own record with 48 touchdown passes this season and passed for 5,726 yards.

Goodwin, meanwhile, was able to share his award with his twin brother and his mother, Kathryn, who was flown in by the league from her home in Ames, Iowa.

"It's just wonderful," his mother said. "It's been a very exciting year. It's something I never anticipated when they [her sons] told me they wanted to go play pro football."

Pourdanesh, a first-year player, beat out veteran Calgary guard Rocco Romano.

"It's the biggest night in my life," said Pourdanesh, a tackle. "This is by far the best thing that ever happened to me, besides my wife and baby. I came to Baltimore hoping to land a spot on the practice roster. I never dreamed about this."

No sellout at home

Unless there is a last-minute rush to the ticket window, it doesn't appear the Grey Cup will sell out. Ticketmaster said yesterday afternoon that 54,383 seats had been sold, leaving some 5,000 available.

Nevertheless, with a top ticket of $125, the league is expecting $5 million in gate receipts, which would be a CFL record. The current record is $3.8 million in 1989, when Saskatchewan beat Hamilton, 43-40, at SkyDome in Toronto. That marked the CFL's first $100 ticket.

Under an arrangement he made when he purchased the Lions in 1992, B.C. owner Bill Comrie will split profits from this game with the league. Even so, Comrie expects to lose money this year.


Fred Tawney, one of the CFLs' most loyal fans, is in Vancouver, courtesy of the players, who paid for his flight here. . . . The jTC players' wives, meanwhile, helped receptionist Twana Miller get to the Grey Cup, too. . . . The same Winnipeg radio duo that woke coach Don Matthews and several players with middle-of-the-night phone calls before the Eastern final called Matthews at 5:55 a.m. yesterday.

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