CFHOF Profile: Harvey “Tyrone” Jones

Football is a very physical game with big men hitting other big men and major collisions coming out as the result. It is more than just physical though as the mental aspect of the game is also a major part of the sport. The mental aspect of the game comes in to play mainly because it has to come in to play. In football most teams prepare essentially the same and are built much the same. Every team is limited to what they can do to add talent and to train that talent and all of that is to make the teams as even as possible. This helps the league deliver a great product but also puts teams in a situation where they need to find a way to be better. Sometimes it is a simple matter of getting a player or multiple players that are far above the rest of the players in the league. Not every team can do this though as they cannot afford the best players and so they look to that mental side of the game. They try to essentially play mind games with their teams preaching us against the world messages every season. They look to get teams together as a unit to play for each other and sacrifice for each other. This mental part of the game is not limited to teams and coaches though as players look to play their own mind games. Players the likes of Ray Lewis in the NFL are able to do it positively by getting the team behind them with their play and in what they say. Then there are the players like Harvey Jones, known as Tyrone, who do the opposite and instead of speaking to their team speak to the other team. Trash talking is a way for certain players to get themselves in the right frame of mind to play physical and to try to get their opponents out of the game.

Jones was more than just a great trash talker though as he was one of only a few players who was loud and backed every word he said. He was the typical linebacker that becomes a fan favorite as he will make sure that the opposition knows he will hit them and then does what he promises. Like many great players in the CFL Jones was a superstar in his town and at his University, Jones went to Southern University in Louisiana, because he backed up his talk. Yet still because of his small school he was not given much of a chance in the NFL and decided to take a different path to professional football. Signing a free agent contract with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and beginning a hall of fame career. His rookie season was impressive as he led the team in sacks (18) while adding 82 tackles. It wasn’t long before the league recognized just how good Tyrone Jones was. As one of the premier linebackers in the CFL in only his second year Jones was a key part to the 1984 Blue Bombers Grey Cup win and was named the defensive player of the game in the Grey Cup. The accolades did not stop there though as Jones received the honour of being named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 1985. Throughout his CFL life Jones continued to talk and continued to back it up as one of the premier trash-talkers in the league and one of the premier linebackers as well.  However he got it done it worked and whether the trash talking was for him or to throw others off the results are undeniable as he will enter the hall of fame this year. For fans and his family it will be a bitter-sweet day though as he will not be there to enjoy the ceremony. After a long battle with brain cancer Jones passed away in 2008 at 46 years old. It is unfortunate that he will not get to see his own induction but the fact that he made it will be a great thing as he deserves his spot and will sit among the best linebackers to play in the CFL in his rightful place.

 

Harvey “Tyrone” Jones, LB (1983-1993)
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (7 years)
117 tkl
110 sck
15 INT
9 FR
CFL Eastern All-Star (1987, 1990)
CFL Western All-Star (1984-1986)
CFL All-Star (1984-1987)
CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player (1985)
Grey Cup Champion (1984, 1990)
Grey Cup Most Valuable Defensive Player (1984)
Also Played for Saskatchewan Roughriders and B.C. Lions

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