Who is likely to feature in the CFL Hall of Fame 2021?  


The Canadian Football League has had a rough time of it lately. In August, it was announced that CFL 2021 would have to be cancelled, as it succumbed to financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The CFL was seeking a $30million bailout from the Canadian government to keep the season going, but that request was denied, leading Randy Ambrosie to announce the cancellation officially. 

 The 2020 Hall of Fame inductees will also have to wait their turn to be officially honoured, as the ceremony has been postponed until 2021, where they will receive their honour alongside the new nominees. Henry Burris is perhaps the standout name to receive the prize in 2020, but with so many CFL superstars to choose from, it’s tough to know who is next in line for the honour in 2021. 

In spite of the pause in the current action, there’s a lot of history to look back on. Who will join the likes of Doug Flutie and George Reed and take their place amongst Canadian Football’s most iconic talents? We’re going to dive in and predict three former CFL players who could join the Hall of Fame in 2021, based on the odds available from the biggest bookmakers. 

 OJ Brigance
Date of Birth: September 29th, 1969 
Birthplace: Texas, USA 
Position: Linebacker  

OJ started his career with the BC Lions back in 1991 and went on to have six successful seasons in the CFL before moving south to the NFL to join the Miami Dolphins. He was named a CFL West All-Star in 1993 after an impressive season, during which he recorded 20 sacks and really made a name for himself. After leaving the Lions, he went onto play for the Baltimore Stallions for two years, where he was named a CFL All-Star in 1995, the same year that he helped his team win the Grey Cup. After winning the NFL championship with the Baltimore Ravens, he became the only player in history to win both the CFL and NFL championships in the same city. OJ is undoubtedly a worthy contender for a place in the Hall of Fame. 

 Jeff Garcia
Date of Birth: February 24th, 1970 
Birthplace: California, USA, 
Position: Quarterback  

 Jeff Garcia spent four seasons starting quarterback for the Calgary Stampeders between 1994 – 1998 and was a phenomenal success. In each of these seasons, Garcia was recognised as a West Division All-Star, as his consistency and accuracy helped Calgary pick off their opponents. In 1996, he led the Stampeders to Grey Cup victory against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, in a match where he was named MVP. Perhaps the most memorable moment of his CFL career came in the final of ’96, as he set up an 80-yard game-ending drive to seal the victory. In 2012, Garcia was inducted into the Calgary Stampeders Wall of Fame, sealing his position alongside the greatest players to represent the Stampeders. Surely, Garcia’s next step is to be formally recognised amongst Canadian football’s elite and be named in the all-time Hall of Fame. 

Mike Vanderjagt
Date of Birth: March 24th, 1970 
Birthplace: Ontario, Canada 
Position: Placekicker  

 Is it controversial to select a placekicker to join the Hall of Fame? We don’t think so. Widely regarded as the best placekicker in the NFL’s history, Mike Vanderjagt also had an incredibly successful career in the CFL, spanning two spells at the Toronto Argonauts, after starting out for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1993. Vanderjagt helped propel the Argos to back-to-back Grey Cup victories in ’96 and ’97, with combined figures of 9 of 9 in both championship games. For his impressive performance in the 1996 Grey Cup, he was named the game’s outstanding Canadian and then led the CFL in yardage per punt in 1997. He left the following year to join the Indianapolis Colts and start his successful career in the NFL. As the most accurate field goal kicker in the history of the CFL, we feel that Mike is deserving of his place on this list and could be up for formal recognition in 2021. 

 CFL fans are in for a treat in 2021, as the Hall of Fame line-up will be announced and celebrated alongside the 2020 cast. Whether or not our three picks will be included, we’re sure likely to see some great names recognised, and we’re looking forward to seeing Canadian football return to action as soon as possible. 

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