Ezzrett 'Sugarfoot' Anderson, who starred in the original "Seabiscuit" film, is pictured with a poster of the remake in 2003. As a young man, he played football for the Calgary Stampeders. (Photos: CP via Greg Fulmes/Calgary Herald, Alberta Sports Hall of Fame)At the time of the meeting, Anderson had never heard of Calgary. But ultimately, it's where the native of Nashville, Ark., called home, settling there after his playing days were over. Ironically, Strode and former UCLA teammate Kenny Washington made history when they signed with the Los Angeles Rams in 1946. Prior to that, there had not been a black player in the NFL since the 1933 season. Strode spent one season with the Rams before landing in Calgary in 1948, helping the Stampeders win the first Grey Cup in franchise history.
Anderson was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame:Anderson earned all-star honours in his first CFL season. He also had no problem speaking up, especially after Lear — a player-coach at the time — jumped offside in a game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. "I was the captain of the team," Anderson said. "And I walked up to him and I said, ‘If you ever jump offside like that again, I'm going to choke you.' "He looked at me and he said, "I'll never do it again, Sugar.'" Calgary reached the Grey Cup that year, only to lose to the Montreal Alouettes. But a surprise awaited Anderson and his teammates upon their return home. "What impressed me about the people in this city is that 60,000 people were waiting for us at the station," he said. "And we lost. "I was wondering if we had won the game. The population at that time was 125,000. I wonder what would have happened if we had won the game. That was one of my favourite memories."
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