Warren Moon Inducted into Canada Sports Hall of Fame

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Moon300_1006On Tuesday, November 3, 2009, over 750 guests gathered at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto to witness the induction of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame’s newest Honored Members: Caroline Brunet, Hugh Campbell, John Campbell, Angela James, Mark Messier, Warren Moon and Ken Shields.

When Warren Moon led the University of Washington Huskies to victory in the 1978 Rose Bowl, earning MVP honors in the process, he should have expected a bevy of NFL teams to express interest in his services.

But when the NFL Draft concluded later that year, the 21-year-old quarterback from Los Angeles remained unselected.

Undaunted at seeing his NFL playing opportunities go south, Moon traveled north, signing with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. Moon’s tenure with the green and gold lasted six years, from 1978 to 1983, and during that time the Eskimos dominated the CFL with an unprecedented five straight Grey Cup victories.

A prolific passer, Moon threw for more than 21,000 yards and 144 touchdowns in his CFL career, including incredible 5,000-plus yards and more than 30 TDs in the ’82 and ’83 seasons. He was also honored as the league’s Most Outstanding Player in 1983, Grey Cup Most Outstanding Player in 1982, and the championship’s outstanding offensive player in 1980.

His remarkable stats in Canada, complemented by his versatility in passing and running the ball, sparked attention in several NFL camps.

In 1984 he signed with the Houston Oilers, beginning what would be a 17-year stint in the NFL where his rocket for an arm would continue to accumulate otherworldly numbers. When he retired from pro football in 2001, after stints in Houston, Seattle, Minnesota and Kansas City, Moon’s collective CFL/NFL numbers had proved the stuff of nightmares for opposing team defenses: 70,553 yards passing and 435 touchdowns.

During his time in the NFL, Moon played in nine Pro Bowls where he earned MVP honors in 1997. In 1989 he was named the NFL Man of the Year for his charity work, and he was also named NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 1990.

Moon remains the only player enshrined in both the Pro Football and Canadian Football Halls of Fame, and he is the sole African-American quarterback in the Pro Football hall.