We take a break from hard-hitting stories about CFL free agency to bring you some fun on this mid-February Sunday morning.
Five-time all-star linebacker Simoni Lawrence recently beat Taylor Swift in a Hamilton “Name the Plow” contest, with the new vehicle being dubbed “Snowmoni Lawrence.” These online contests have been all the rage since 2016 when a British autonomous underwater vehicle was named “Boaty McBoatface” in a public poll.
The news story sparked a conversation in the 3DownNation group chat about what other legendary CFL players have names that would lend themselves well to snow-related puns.
We elected to turn the idea into content for the website after discussing it on the podcast, a conversation that put our hosts into a hysterical fit of laughter. To watch Justin Dunk, John Hodge, and JC Abbott cry with laughter, press play on the YouTube player below and don’t forget to subscribe to the show on your favourite podcast provider.
The 48-year-old has spent the past two years coaching in the NFL, though a plow bearing his name would surely be welcome in Calgary or Ottawa, where he won Grey Cups. Regina might be a different story, where the locals might open their doors to torment the plow by yelling: “Heeeeeen-ryyyyyyy!”
There’s not much use for snow plows in British Columbia but the longtime head coach and general manager would make the perfect choice for its moniker. The Canadian Football Hall of Fame inductee still has the most regular season wins by a head coach in CFL history at 282, a record that may never be broken.
The five-foot-nine, 170-pound ball-carrier had his first 1,000-yard rushing season this past year, becoming the first Ottawa running back to reach the threshold since 2018. Coincidentally, that rusher — William Powell — has arguably an even more punnable name than Devonte: Chilliam Plowell.
The two-time CFL Most Outstanding Player has had ice in his veins since becoming the Blue Bombers’ franchise quarterback in 2021, throwing 90 touchdown passes and 34 interceptions. There’s no shortage of need for snow removal in Winnipeg and you’d be hard-pressed to find a player more popular among fans, except maybe his new backup.
Montreal gets more snow than any other CFL city and Fajardo has become a legend in La Belle Province since ending the team’s Grey Cup drought with a heroic effort this past November. Perhaps this name should be reserved for a plow that the City of Regina decided it no longer wanted before finding its way to Montreal.
The 47-year-old is not only one of the best offensive linemen in CFL history but has also become an accomplished U Sports head coach, helping the University of Saskatchewan Huskies appear in two of the past three Vanier Cups. Though nothing appears imminent, Flory has indicated he’d be open to coaching at the CFL level.
The late native of Orillia, Ont. not only played 14 seasons in the CFL, winning two Grey Cups, but is also widely considered the best commissioner in league history, a post he held from 1968 to 1984. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame as a builder and was awarded the Order of Canada in 1985.
Holloway was well ahead of his time, reaching all-star status as a dual-threat quarterback with the Ottawa Rough Riders and Toronto Argonauts. He won two Grey Cups, was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 1982, and became a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
The three-time all-star left tackle played nine seasons in the CFL as a member of the Toronto Argonauts, Saskatchewan Roughriders, and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. We haven’t actually done anything to change his name here, since it was already well-suited to serving as the name of a snowplow.
The Dallas native recently announced his retirement after he and his agent were unable to come to an agreement on a contract extension with the Blue Bombers. The 33-year-old will likely be best remembered for his dominant performance in the 107th Grey Cup, a game in which he made two sacks, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
This nickname is a bit of a cheat as it’s more Christmas-themed than winter-themed, but we’ll make an excuse for arguably the greatest running back in CFL history. The 56-year-old native of Los Angeles, Calif. was a seven-time league all-star, two-time Most Outstanding Player, and ran for an all-time record 16,425 yards.
The latter half of his career was marred by injury but the gregarious passer remained a fan favourite throughout his tenure with the B.C. Lions. Lulay is one of few players to win CFL Most Outstanding Player and Grey Cup Most Valuable Player in the same year, a feat he achieved in 2011.
The 35-year-old has barely played over the past two seasons due to injury but signed a new contract with the Redblacks for 2024 that gave the team cap flexibility. Dru Brown appears to be Ottawa’s future under centre but Masoli should be the perfect quarterback to help mentor him and provide depth should the young passer’s season go awry.
Snow Levi Mitchell
The two-time CFL Most Outstanding Player took a massive pay cut to stay in Steeltown this off-season following a disappointing first year with the club. Ed Hervey, the club’s general manager, believes Mitchell will have an Anthony Calvillo-like renaissance in 2024, which could help Hamilton end their league-worst Grey Cup drought.
Saskatchewan’s starting running back over the past two seasons, Morrow is set to become a free agent on Tuesday and will be looking for a new home. Despite his solid production, there aren’t a lot of CFL cities asking for more snow this time of year.
The CFL all-star agreed to terms on a contract with the Ottawa Redblacks during the league’s recent communications window and officially signed with the team after the Toronto Argonauts granted his release. The 27-year-old made a career-high 105 defensive tackles this past season along with 19 special teams tackles and six sacks.
Bo Levi Mitchell is the present in Hamilton but Taylor Powell appears to be the future, earning props from new head coach Scott Milanovich. The 25-year-old played extensively as a rookie this past season, throwing for 2,283 yards, 10 touchdowns, and nine interceptions and rushing for 196 yards and one score.
The 31-year-old has recorded 27 sacks over five CFL seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Calgary Stampeders and will be back in Cowtown this year after signing an extension with the club. He was named an East Division all-star in 2022 while playing for the Ticats.
Jokes write themselves sometimes. Poplawski’s last name not only fits the word “plow” seamlessly but also ends with the word “ski.” The two-time CFL Most Outstanding Canadian already has a gate at Princess Auto Stadium named in his honour, which makes a snowplow the logical next step.
Reavis had a breakout season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders this past year, taking the strong-side linebacker job away from Derrick Moncrief. The 28-year-old made 59 defensive tackles, six special teams tackles, three sacks, three forced fumbles, and one interception over 17 regular season games.
Winnipeg uses sand on its roads — not salt — but Schoen certainly deserves to be recognized for his production over the past two seasons in Bomberland. The 27-year-old native of Overland Park, Kan. has made 142 catches for 2,674 yards and 26 touchdowns with the Blue Bombers, earning a big-money extension for 2024.
The 41-year-old had one of the best seasons in CFL history in 2012, setting a single-season record with 3,863 all-purpose yards, winning Most Outstanding Player and the Grey Cup. Owens recently signed a one-day contract to retire as a member of the Toronto Argonauts and can occasionally be seen in Hollywood movies.
The nine-time CFL all-star passed away in October one day before his 84th birthday, leading to an outpouring of love from in and around Riderville. The Washington State product was one of the greatest ever to play the running back position, recording 3,243 carries for 16,116 yards and 134 touchdowns as a member of the Roughriders.
The six-foot-three, 210-pound passer remains the only quarterback to win four Grey Cups as a starter and finished his career in 2018 with 60,429 passing yards, 325 touchdowns, and 177 interceptions. The 44-year-old is equally beloved in Edmonton and Toronto, so perhaps two snowplows could be in order.
Milt Stegall Way is already an iconic part of Winnipeg, so why not get an appropriately named maintenance vehicle to service it? The nine-time CFL all-star is still the league’s all-time touchdown leader and would only give his name to the shiniest, best-looking snow plow in the fleet.
At six-foot-three and 197 pounds, Lawler’s ability to beat man coverage and win contested catches has the ability to break the ice on any game. This name also seems appropriate for this year’s prairie winter, which has been unseasonably warm with very little snow.