James dynamic, fiery and candid

Gerry James, who is one of a kind, was once two in my mind.

Until the early 1980s, I did not make the connection between the Gerry James who starred in Canadian professional football and the Gerry James who made a name for himself as a hockey player and coach.

I was introduced to his good name in 1972 when a friend of the family - legendary football referee Paul Dojack - gave me a copy of the Canadian Football League's record manual. Flipping through the pages, I saw frequent references to James, who achieved his greatest gridiron successes with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He was twice named the league's outstanding Canadian (in 1954 and 1957), scoring 19 touchdowns in the latter season.

Later in the 1970s, I became familiar with a Gerry James who was coaching in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. I was aware of the fact that he had previously played in the National Hockey League with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

But it was not until I watched a sportscast on Yorkton television station CKOS that I learned that there was only one Gerry James. It was to marvel. One person did all that?

Read more in the Leader Post