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Earlier this month, the Argos welcomed back K Steve Christie as a part of Football Week In Toronto. Although the Hamilton, Ontario native is undoubtedly best known for his time with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, he did have an extremely short stint with the Argonauts. A stint so short that many likely don’t even remember the one game that he kicked when the Argos played the Tiger-Cats in his hometown.
Christie’s short-lived career in Double Blue made us over at argonauts.ca start to reminisce about some of the other kickers/punters that have come in and out of the Argos locker room over the past 20 years. So quickly they come and gone that, perhaps, many forgot they were even here in the first place.
Therefore, we present to you, in no particular order, the ultimate Toronto Argonauts ‘One Kick Wonders List’. Did we miss any? Comment below if there is one that evaded our memory.
Games Played: 1
After an injury in the Argos’ season-opener to Noel Prefontaine, then head coach Michael “Pinball” Clemons put in a call to an old friend, and fellow William & Mary alumnus, Steve Christie. Making his CFL debut at the age of 40, Christie would go 2 for 4 in his last professional football game as the Argos beat the Ticats 30-5 in Hamilton.
Years: 1996, 1997
Games Played: 2 (pre-season)
Best known for his time spent as an NHL tough guy, former Toronto Maple Leaf winger Tie Domi traded in his skates for football cleats during the ’96 and ’97 pre-seasons. Sporting his familiar number 28, Domi booted field goals for the Argos as a part of a fundraising effort for a local charity.
Games Played: 23
The Argos were auditioning kickers when Noel Prefontaine was toying with opportunities in both the XFL and the NFL. That’s when Jacob Marini arrived to handle placekicking duties. He would play sparingly throughout two years before being replaced when Prefontaine returned in 2001.
Games Played: 12
Coming off back-to-back Grey Cup victories, head coach Don Matthews was looking for a new leg to help him replace a void left by Mike Vanderjagt who had fled to the NFL. He came across Waterloo star Arek Bigos. The 1997 CIS leader in field goals made led the Argos in points with 111 in 1998 but Noel Prefontaine arrived the next season and secured the kicking position.
Years: 1999, 2001, 2004
Games Played: 32
The infamous grocery store clerk turned professional kicker, Dan Giancola, is by no means a one kick wonder – he has played the second most games as a kicker for the Argos in the last 10 years. However, he is on this list due to his roll in the Argos’ run to the 2004 Grey Cup championship. Brought in as an insurance policy, Giancola kicked in one game as the Argos rested their starters in the 2004 regular season finale.
Games Played: 4
Anthony Martino signed with the Argos in 2001 as part of a kicking carousel that took place with the club trying to find a reliable field goal kicker. He would play only four games before being released.
Honourable mention goes to Frank Jagas, RB Jarrett Payton (who reocrded a kickoff in place of injured starter Eddie Johnson during the Argos’ season opener in Hamilton in 2009), DB Chris Hardy (who kicked in place of Noel Prefontaine at times), Eddie Johnson (who played in two games in 2009 and is now a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders) and David Miller-Johnston (who never actually played in a game in Double Blue but still sits tied (Warren Kean who is still active) as the highest drafted kicker in CFL history when the Argos picked him second overall in the 1998 CFL Draft).