CFHOF Profile: Jack Abendschan


In the CFL there are fans and then there is Rider Nation proudly wearing their Green everywhere they go. Fans of the Saskatchewan Roughriders are a special breed and they proudly hold the distinction as the best fans in the league. Other fans of other teams may debate it but you only need to see one game where the Riders are travelling to see how many Rider fans there are. In some stadiums there are more Rider fans than there are home fans and even if they are relatively the same the Rider Nation seems to be just that much louder. They are a unique breed of fans and anyone who follows the CFL knows what the team means to that community. It is less of a professional sports team and more of a high school team in a small town community. When the Riders are playing the city pays attention and there is no option of which team you will cheer for when your born in Saskatchewan. The people in Saskatchewan love football and they love the old school type of football. No complaining, no egos, just get to work and play hard every snap. This makes them a fan base that loves the type of player who will play through anything and who shows the same level of loyalty to the team as they do. This type of player endears themselves to many fans as they seem to be the player that will do anything to help his team win. More often than not these players are the ones who get little to no glory in their position like the full back or any of the linemen positions. This year in the Hall of Fame class there will be one of these fan favorites from Saskatchewan. Jack Abendschan is not a Canadian but he might as well be after playing 11 years in Regina and becoming one of the great players to put on the Green.

Abendschan joins the great tradition of Linemen hall of famers and all tend to be the fan favorites wherever they go. Linemen are never the glory players who get all of the accolades but perform one of the most essential jobs on the team. The linemen are always in the fight hitting someone on every play they run. With so much physical contact the linemen are always sacrificing their bodies. The best fans know this as they always love these types of players and in the CFL it is that much more important. The CFL fans are fans who love the excitement but also the toughness of the CFL and linemen express this every game. That is why they quickly become fan favorites as they also represent the everyman as they are not the physical specimens that other players are meaning that the fan can associate with them better. Jack Abendschan represented all of this in his 11 years as a Roughrider. Abendschan was a great lineman playing 150 games and rarely missing many games in his 11 seasons. He helped the Riders to their first Grey Cup in 1966 and continued to fight for the Riders throughout his career. Abendschan was not only a lineman though as he was one of the last remaining multiple position players. He did not play both offence and defence but he did play Special Teams as one of the most important members of that squad. As a placekicker Abendschan amassed 594 points with the Riders and led the team in scoring multiple times. It is another reason why Abendschan was a fan favorite as he could do more than one job on the team. For his efforts the man with two jobs that nobody really gets credit for ended his season as one of the best players in the CFL. Year after year he made the all-star team and consistently was a favorite of Rider Nation. He will go in to the Hall of Fame as one of the best as fans from Rider Nation are sure to applaud their superstar who already has his name up in the ring of honour in Regina.

 

Jack Abendschan, G (1965-1975)
Saskatchewan Roughriders (11 years)
150 GP
CFL Western All-Star (1966, 1967, 1969-1973)
CFL All-Star (1967, 1969, 1971-1973)
Grey Cup Champion (1966)

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