To the average football fan, the Canadian Football League is an unknown entity. Kind of like that cool cousin you don’t get to see much of. So it is that a lot of good football players toil in anonymity north of the 49th parallel. Every once in a while, though, someone busts out. Consider Doug Flutie, who went from known, to relative unknown, back to known. Boston College’s all-American quarterback won the Heisman in 1984 and threw one of the most famous Hail Mary TD passes ever recorded. However, he was drafted low and bounced from Chicago to New England before signing with the BC Lions in 1990. Flutie was lights out in the CFL, winning a Grey Cup with Calgary and two with Toronto, before heading back to the NFL with Buffalo in 1998. He earned Comeback Player of the Year and a Pro Bowl nod that year and went on to play seven more seasons before retiring.
After a decent college career at San Jose State University, Garcia went undrafted in the NFL. Garcia headed north in 1994 to Calgary, where he backed up Doug Flutie for a season. He ended up replacing the injured star in 1995, only to watch as Flutie led the team to a Grey Cup loss later. Flutie left for Toronto and Garcia fashioned three outstanding years as the Stamps’ pivot, eventually winning the Grey Cup in 1998 and being named game MVP. Signed by San Francisco in 1999, Garcia again backed up a legend in Steve Young, only to take over after Young suffered a career ending concussion. Garcia put in three pretty good seasons with the 49ers and was named to four Pro Bowls for his entire career.