Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon set to come to Langley
Warren Moon loves it anytime he gets a chance to visit Canada.
After all, this is where the Pro Football Hall of Famer got his professional start, with the Edmonton Eskimos in the CFL.
Moon was also inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame after a stellar career with the Eskimos which saw him win five Grey Cups during his six seasons in Canada.
That was followed by a 17-year NFL career with the Houston Oilers, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City, which featured nine Pro Bowl selections..
"It is hard to say, but I know it didn't hurt me," Moon said when asked how much his CFL success helped him get ready for the NFL career.
When Moon finished at the University of Washington in 1977, he went undrafted in the NFL, leading to him coming north.
"The experience of playing, the experience of winning … definitely helped me."
While the CFL and NFL games are distinctly different — three downs vs. four downs, a wider and longer field, more players, among other things — Moon said the fact he was "playing and competing, those things help you as a young quarterback."
Moon will be one of the featured guests at the second annual Vancouver SportsFest, which runs Oct. 19 to 21 at the Langley Events Centre. He will be joined by Vancouver Canucks' Ryan Kesler as well as several former Canucks, including Geoff Courtnall, Cliff Ronning, Garry Valk, John Garrett and Jack McIllhargey.
They will be signing autographs over various times during the three-day event, which is held in the LEC's gymnasium. There will also be 150 collectors' tables packed with sports memorabilia.
Moon, who turns 56 next month, loves coming back across the border, something he does quite frequently.
"I get the chance to come up to Canada, and that is always great," he said. "I love to visit and be involved with some of the fans I had when I played as well as some new fans."
"It is always a great experience; I wouldn't do these types of things if I didn't."
Following his stop in Langley, Moon is scheduled to attend the Eskimo Annual Dinner in Edmonton, which raises money for community programs in the area.
"Anytime I get a chance to go up and see those guys, it is like we never stopped playing with each other," Moon said. "We have a great chemistry even though we haven't played together in 30 years. Those memories just stay with you all time time because they are some of the highlights of your life."
Moon, who retired following the 2000 season, is still involved in the game, working as a radio analyst during Seattle Seahawks broadcasts.
"It keeps me around the game of football, which I love," he said.
"I not only played, but I was a fan of the game."
"Of course I miss the game and game days," he said.
"I think you miss the relationship of the guys in the locker room; that is the stuff you can't emulate in real life, being involved in a team atmosphere like that.
It is almost like a second family; that is what you miss more than anything."
For more information on Vancouver SportsFest, visit www.http://langleyeventscentre.com/sportsfest.
Tickets are $8 and children 12 and under are free. There is a fee per autograph but money raised goes to the PuCKS (Promoting Community through Kids in Sport) program.
In addition to the autograph and collectible opportunities, there will be a SportsFest Fantasy Lounge, featuring a palace for fans to watch sports on TV. There will also be an interactive Zone, which will allow fans to test their skills, whether it be how hard their slap shot is or whether or not they can throw a pass to a receiver in mid-stride.