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Year of the Rocket: John Candy, Wayne Gretzky, a Crooked Tycoon and the Craziest Season in Football History (w/ Author Paul Woods)
Episode 1706th October 2021 • The Football History Dude • Sports History Network
00:00:00 01:15:32

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It was 1991, and Raghib "Rocket" Ismail was about to be the #1 overall draft pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. But then, a new ownership group (John Candy, Wayne Gretzky, and Bruce McNall) of the Toronto Argonauts shocked the sporting world.

The Toronto Argonauts signed Rocket Ismail for a massive contract, and then the ensuing season was what this week's guest calls "the craziest season in football history."

I interview Paul Woods, author of Year of the Rocket: John Candy, Wayne Gretzky, a Crooked Tycoon, and the Craziest Season in Football History.


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PAUL WOODS is an author, journalist, news executive, and historian of the Toronto Argonauts. He held a variety of senior roles with the Canadian Press news agency, served as Executive Editor of the Toronto Star, and is currently Executive Director of Canada’s National Newspaper Awards. In 2012-13, he was Rogers Distinguished Visiting Professor in the journalism faculty at Ryerson University. Woods is the author of two previous non-fiction books: Bouncing Back: From National Joke to Grey Cup Champs, and Beads and Sequins: The Lewiscraft Story


Twitter: @pxw13

Year of the Rocket publisher’s page: Year of the Rocket | Sutherland House Inc. (

Year of the Ricket media links: Year of the Rocket Media | Linktree

YouTube channels: (Year of the Rocket channel) (Bouncing Back channel) (personal channel, with some cool CFL/Argo stuff)


The Football History Dude is a show dedicated to teaching NFL fans about the rich history of the game we all know and love. I’m your host, Arnie Chapman, and I’m just a regular dude that loves football and is a nerd when it comes to learning about history. I created this show to share the gridiron knowledge nuggets I gain from researching various topics about the history of the National Football League. Each episode I welcome you to climb aboard my DeLorean to travel back in time to explore the yesteryear of the gridiron, and yes, that’s a reference to the Back to the Future Movies.