Oh, Canada! The magical, mystical land that makes up the northern part of North America has brought us many great things: Tim Horton’s, Labatt Blue and, um, whatever else Canada has produced over the years. Let’s face it, half the relevant players in the NHL are from Canada. But let’s not forget that other sports have been graced with the presence of those who use the word “eh.” I know, I know, you’re calling my bluff here, but really, it’s happened. And to prove it, here is a list of top-tier sports talent, coming to you live from Canada! Obviously, hockey players will be omitted, because, well, that’s just too easy.
Nate Burleson – Detroit Lions
Didn’t see this one coming, did ya? Before he was heroically reaching across the front seat of his car to save a sliding hot pizza from its imminent demise, Nate was saying things like, “Oh, ya, sure, don’t ya know” in a little place called Calgary.
Now days, when healthy, Nate’s hauling in the few passes from Matt Stafford’s right arm that aren’t thrown to a little-known fella we like to call Megatron. He’s also busy promoting his clothing label, Lion Blood (I wish I were kidding about that one). In addition to making plays on the gridiron, Nate is also in the midst of enjoying a free year of DiGiorno pizza. How ‘bout them apples, eh?
Rick Fox – Los Angeles Lakers
A three-time NBA champion, Rick Fox might be the most accomplished Canadian baller on this list.
Fox hails from Toronto, however, his family moved when he was a child, so no fun accent for Rick. Sigh. Much like his Canadian counterparts, though, Rick is into other enterprises, like acting! What’s up with these Canadians thinking they’re all double-threats like J.Lo, eh? I guess they’re just smarter than American athletes and realize that sports careers don’t last forever. Big ups to Rick for his inspired performance in “He Got Game,” though. Ray Allen ain’t got nothing on this canucklehead! Just kidding, Ray Allen. I love you!
Éric Gagné – Los Angeles Dodgers
It’s been a while since the bespectacled one won his Cy Young award, but who can forget a man with not one, but two accent marks in his name?
For a spell in the mid-2000s, Gagné was the most feared closer in the MLB. He even got to walk out of the bullpen to “Welcome to the Jungle,” while the words “Game Over” flashed on the jumbotron. Yeah, you wish you were that cool.
Steroid use aside, this dude might be the most badass Canadian outside the NHL. And the fact that he even pitched in the Canadian league post-MLB career makes him all the more Canadian. Kudos, Éric!
Lennox Lewis – Boxer
While Lennox is not a full-blown Canadian, he does hold dual citizenship, so he squeaks his way onto this list, mostly because I struggled to find more Canadian athletes outside the realm of hockey. He also represented the motherland at the 1988 Olympics, so bonus Canadian points for Lennox!
While you may know him from his fabulous 90s Burger King commercial, wait, crap, that was Holyfield. Uh-oh. Lennox did make a cameo in “Ocean’s Eleven,” though. And, in addition to boxing and acting, he participated in the World Series of Poker. Seriously, these Canadians athletes must have brilliant career consultants. They all seem to have back-up plans in case sports don’t work out. Congrats to Lennox on a solid career and an even better retirement package.
That was merely a glimpse of what Canada has to offer the sports world. In addition to delicious, ham-like bacon, Canada has birthed a wealth of athletic talent, not limited to the above list. And clearly they’re teaching kids to diversify their career portfolios up there, because all of these athletes seem to have found careers beyond their sports. I think we could learn a thing or two from our neighbors from the North.
Who’s your favorite Canadian athlete, eh? No, Sidney Crosby doesn’t count.
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