LEG­ENDARY STAM­PED­ERS GM/COACH ‘TER­RI­BLE’ AC­TOR

Calgary Sun - - SPORTS - — TODD SAEL­HOF

Wally buono …

Leg­endary coach, leg­endary GM…

but how about leg­endary ac­tor?

“He did the worst set of tV com­mer­cials in his­tory for La brezza ris­torante in bridge­land,” said for­mer cal­gary Stam­ped­ers of­fen­sive line­man bruce cov­ern­ton. “He was ter­ri­ble.”

‘ter­ri­ble’, how­ever, isn’t a word as­so­ci­ated with buono as far as his cFL en­deav­ours go.

the long­time cFL player/ coach/GM vis­its McMa­hon Sta­dium one last time in the reg­u­lar sea­son Satur­day night when his b.c. Lions take on the host Stam­ped­ers (6 p.m., tSN/ cHQr 770).

and, as ex­pected, the sto­ries amid his march to re­tire­ment are be­ing re­told by for­mer play­ers and staff alike …

although many bris­tle at the thought of go­ing pub­lic with such tales.

“No way … I have noth­ing but good things to say about him,” said Stamps long­time equip­ment man­ager Ge­orge Hop­kins with a chuckle.

“although I’m glad he stopped us­ing the Gre­cian For­mula … the grey hair looks bet­ter on him.”

Hop­kins, who’s served the red & White in his cur­rent ca­pac­ity for 47 years, was on the side­lines for buono’s first game at McMa­hon Sta­dium and takes pride in know­ing he’ll be there Satur­day for buono’s ap­pear­ance in the old park. Mean­while, cov­ern­ton, who sported a star-stud­ded ca­reer as a Stamps of­fen­sive line­man un­der buono, has a keep­sake from the leg­end no­body else can touch.

“Not a lot of peo­ple know I was Wally’s very first draft pick (as cFL GM) — I was the No. 1 draft pick in the (1992) draft,” cov­ern­ton said. “I have a photo of him, and he wrote on it, ‘you’ll al­ways be my No. 1.’ ”

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