Brandon Wheat Kings

Brandon, MB. – One of the best players to ever take the field in the Canadian Football League will headline the list of speakers for the 2012 Brandon Wheat Kings’ CKLQ Sportsman’s Dinner, to be held on Thursday, February 9th in the Keystone Centre’s UCT Pavillion.

Former Toronto Argonauts running back Michael “Pinball” Clemons may be known as the CFL’s all time all purpose yardage leader, however, it is his exceptional character in addition to his outstanding athletic ability that has made him a remarkable fan favorite throughout the country.

Born and raised in Florida, the William and Mary economics graduate began his career with the Boatmen in 1989 following a brief stint in the National Football League. As a player, he compiled a brilliant career with the Argos, including a pro-football record for most career combined yards with 25,396. In 2000 he hung up his cleats after twelve brilliant seasons and moved directly to the position of Head Coach. He retired with 12 all-time team records to his credit, including career receptions (682).

Pinball’s tireless community involvement and participation in countless charitable causes exemplify the qualities he possesses, which are so rarely found in today’s professional athletes. He has used his superb leadership and communication skills in his former roles of Coach, President and CEO of the Toronto Argonauts – and now as the vice-chairman of the franchise.

A member of the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame, Clemons founded and heads the Michael “Pinball” Foundation, committed to providing the resources to quicken education and build character among youth through various projects around the world.

Joining Pinball at the 2012 event, which is held annually to raise money for the Wheat Kings’ Scholarship Foundation, will be comedians Kelly Taylor and Big Daddy Tazz, who will serve as the master of ceremonies of this year’s Dinner.

A native of Prince Albert, Taylor is feeling pretty comfortable these days with his decision to give up his mediocre hockey career and pursue his dream. Last summer, he shocked the comedy industry by placing second in the prestigious Just for Laughs Homegrown competition. Competing against comics, who have been in the business for years, Taylor made such an impact that he was quickly approached by NBC Universal, Happy Gilmore Productions and Jimmy Kimmel.

In addition to his success at Just for Laughs, he has already appeared at The Vancouver and Calgary Comedy Festivals and has opened for the likes of Blake Clark, Eddie Brill and Rich Hall.

Having performed a wide variety of shows – from a client’s 101st birthday to a biker initiation makes Tazz one of the most sought after comedians working today. A Winnipegger who grew up in Saskatchewan, Tazz is able to do what he loves both on and off stage, which is to make people laugh.

A regular at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, his off-the-cuff style brings the audience together, making them feel like they are part of his family. Off the stage, Tazz dedicates many hours working for the Children’s Wish Foundation and will be making his second appearance at the Sportsman’s Dinner.

Tickets to the event are $100 each and can be ordered by calling the Wheat Kings at 726-3535.

In addition to a great evening of stories and laughs, a number of items will be up for grabs in both the Live and Silent Auctions including autographed jerseys from former Wheat Kings Eric Fehr and Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs’ defenceman Keith Aulie and Brayden Schenn of the Philadelphia Flyers.