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TrueBlue4ever

The MBB All-time Blue Bomber Team: Centre

The MBB All-time Blue Bomber Team: Centre  

28 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Who is the greatest centre in Blue Bomber history? (choose one)

    • Lou Adelman
      0
    • John Bonk
      27
    • Paul Desjardins
      0
    • George Druxman
      1
    • Bob Swift
      0
    • Mel Wilson
      0

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  • Poll closed on 03/16/19 at 04:59 AM

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Here are the bios:

CFL all-stars first awarded in 1962.

Most Outstanding Lineman first awarded in 1956 and included defensive linemen, Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman first awarded in 1974.

 

Lou Adelman – 9 seasons (1930-37, 41), 3 Grey Cup appearances (1935, 37, 41), 2 time Grey Cup champion (1935, 41), also was club’s manager in 1937-38, and 1945.

John Bonk – 195 games (#6 in club history) in 13 seasons (1973-85), 4 time divisional and 4 time CFL all-star (1982-85), 4 time team nominee Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (1979, 82-84), Western Division Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (1983), CFL Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (1984), played in 195 consecutive games as a Blue Bomber at centre, was involved in every single offensive play (including punts) for the Bombers in 1984, Grey Cup appearance and champion in 1984, CFL Hall of Fame

Paul Desjardins – 96 games in 6 seasons (1965-70), Grey Cup appearance in 1965, no bio available

George Druxman – 111 games in 9 seasons (1955-63), divisional all-star in 1956, 5 Grey Cup appearances (1957-59, 61, 62), 4 time Grey Cup champion (1958, 59, 61, 62), after retirement he ran the Pembina Hotel with his family.

Bob Swift – 112 games in 7 seasons (1971-77), 4 time divisional all-star (1971-74), and 3 time CFL all-star (1971, 72, 74), 2 time team nominee Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (1974, 77), started his career as a fullback in BC and rushed for over 1,000 yards in his rookie year before breaking his leg and converting to the o-line

Mel Wilson – 9 seasons (1937-42, 45-47), 3 time divisional all-star (1941, 46, 47), 8 Grey Cup appearances (1937-39, 41, 42, 45-47) and 2 time Grey Cup champion (1939, 41), also head coach at St. John’s high school and a referee, won amateur trophies in golf, racquetball, curling and ballroom dancing

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One man's take: This category will be more subjective, as o-linemen don't have sexy stats to bolster their cases. Best bet is to look at their all-star nods or awards to see how they were regarded across the league, but even that is tricky because the awards did not come into play until the 1970's for o-linemen specifically. I have tried to include a personal bio, but even then in a few cases the info is lacking. So I welcome any personal insights. As for me, there are 2 names I have heard mentioned in my time as a Bomber fan, so I pretty much boil it down to those 2.

Speedflex nominated Desjardins, but alas I could not find a bio about him, so I have no frame of reference. Adelman did double duty in multiple positions and also managed the club during his player retirement, so bonus points there. Druxman played in the glory years and blocked for Leo Lewis, and bonus points for his connection to the Pemby, where I imbibed on more than a few occasions during my mis-spent youth. Wilson may hold the Bomber record for most Grey Cups appeared in, and all must be commended for coming from or staying in the local community. But for me it comes down to Swift versus Bonk. Swift was a converted running back who paved the way for a new breed of centre speciailst after many years of players having multiple positions on the field. He gave way to Bonk (whose name alone screams offensive lineman) who excelled at the position for over a decade, blocking for the likes of William Miller and Willard Reaves during his MOP season in 1984, when Bonk was the best o-lineman in the game. Bonk was the most decorated awards-wise, and he was a rock in the middle of that line. His iron man streak is all the more impressive given the physical beating his position would require of him. John Bonk is my obvious pick here.

 

Edited by TrueBlue4ever

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47 minutes ago, Noeller said:

Surprised no love for old man Mo Elwonibi ;)  ....But no question this is John Bonk's award...

Mo played mostly at guard, though iirc he played a bit of time at nearly each position. Had some great time here though. 

Id toss in Dave vankoughnett. Not the best OL ever, but always steady and good. 11 years here started every game for a stretch of 7 or 8 years.  

Bonks the guy though. 

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3 hours ago, wbbfan said:

Mo played mostly at guard, though iirc he played a bit of time at nearly each position. Had some great time here though. 

Id toss in Dave vankoughnett. Not the best OL ever, but always steady and good. 11 years here started every game for a stretch of 7 or 8 years.  

Bonks the guy though. 

Sorry that I missed Vankoughnett. He seemed undersized to me (yet was 6'4", weighed only 240 lbs) but he had a nasty streak (not dirty, but you didn't mess with him).

As for Mo, all I can remember of his days at centre was that he butchered the shotgun snap so badly for the first 6 games or so when he was pressed into action at that position that the QBs had to move back under centre because he kept rifling them over their heads. Needless to say he did not long snap.

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5 hours ago, TrueBlue4ever said:

Here are the bios:

CFL all-stars first awarded in 1962.

Most Outstanding Lineman first awarded in 1956 and included defensive linemen, Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman first awarded in 1974.

 

Lou Adelman – 9 seasons (1930-37, 41), 3 Grey Cup appearances (1935, 37, 41), 2 time Grey Cup champion (1935, 41), also was club’s manager in 1937-38, and 1945.

John Bonk – 195 games (#6 in club history) in 13 seasons (1973-85), 4 time divisional and 4 time CFL all-star (1982-85), 4 time team nominee Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (1979, 82-84), Western Division Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (1983), CFL Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (1984), played in 195 consecutive games as a Blue Bomber at centre, was involved in every single offensive play (including punts) for the Bombers in 1984, Grey Cup appearance and champion in 1984, CFL Hall of Fame

Paul Desjardins – 96 games in 6 seasons (1965-70), Grey Cup appearance in 1965, no bio available

George Druxman – 111 games in 9 seasons (1955-63), divisional all-star in 1956, 5 Grey Cup appearances (1957-59, 61, 62), 4 time Grey Cup champion (1958, 59, 61, 62), after retirement he ran the Pembina Hotel with his family.

Bob Swift – 112 games in 7 seasons (1971-77), 4 time divisional all-star (1971-74), and 3 time CFL all-star (1971, 72, 74), 2 time team nominee Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (1974, 77), started his career as a fullback in BC and rushed for over 1,000 yards in his rookie year before breaking his leg and converting to the o-line

Mel Wilson – 9 seasons (1937-42, 45-47), 3 time divisional all-star (1941, 46, 47), 8 Grey Cup appearances (1937-39, 41, 42, 45-47) and 2 time Grey Cup champion (1939, 41), also head coach at St. John’s high school and a referee, won amateur trophies in golf, racquetball, curling and ballroom dancing

Bob Swift was Canadian. A broken leg in the 64 Grey Cup probably was a blessing in disguise as once he converted at first to guard & then found a home at center he became a mainstay on the Argos & then Blue Bombers OL.  Swift mentored Bonk as he was his backup at center before he retired after the 77 season. Bonk just stepped in & the change was seamless. Bonk started his career in Hamilton in 1972 & was traded for Defensive Halfback Peter Ribbins prior to the start of the 1973 season. Bonk  played linebacker for the Cats & Bombers before switching to Center with the Bombers replacing Swift.

Bonk is my first choice but Swift was a helluva Center & would be my #2 choice. All I can say is Don Jonas, Dieter Brock & Tom Clements never had to worry about the man snapping the ball to them.

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On 2019-03-08 at 4:56 PM, TrueBlue4ever said:

Sorry that I missed Vankoughnett. He seemed undersized to me (yet was 6'4", weighed only 240 lbs) but he had a nasty streak (not dirty, but you didn't mess with him).

As for Mo, all I can remember of his days at centre was that he butchered the shotgun snap so badly for the first 6 games or so when he was pressed into action at that position that the QBs had to move back under centre because he kept rifling them over their heads. Needless to say he did not long snap.

Yeah that switch to C era was past his best years and we switched a bunch of guys around trying to find that reliable snap to shotgun. 

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On 2019-03-08 at 12:55 PM, Noeller said:

Surprised no love for old man Mo Elwonibi ;)  ....But no question this is John Bonk's award...

Mo was before I started really paying attention, but weren't those years just a disaster along the OL?

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I am a little late to the dance but I thought that I would share some information on Lou Adelman.

Adelman played the snapback/centre position for his entire career (note: he played middle wing in 1 game in 1931).

During this era, the centre was considered to be the second most important position on the field after the QB. Teams would often line up 2 or 3 players in a spread behind centre. It was up to the centre to snap the ball accurately to the correct player without tipping off the opposing team as to which player was receiving the ball.

Adelman always topped any "informal" list of all-stars during his career. For people who watched football throughout Canada, Adelman was often considered to be one of the tops in the country.

Adelman's nickname was Rosy / Rosey / Rosie. This stems from one of his first football practices when he was a kid. The centre from the previous season was a kid named Rosenthal. The Coach referred to Adelman as "Rosy" and the name stuck.

After his career, the Blue Bombers took Adelman's #1 out of circulation. It was not assigned to another player until the 1980's

Disclaimer: my vote would have been for John Bonk but Adelman would have been a close second.

 

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Edited by Stats Junkie

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