Michael Pinball Clemons
One of Canada's Greatest Athletes and Community Leaders
- The Globe and Mail
Michael "Pinball" Clemons is an icon of sporting excellence, community leadership and personal integrity. Considered one of the best athletes Canada has ever known, his real legacy may well lie with the thousands of people he has inspired, both on and off the field. Clemons stands only 5 feet 6 inches; he weighs 170 pounds. Despite this—because of this—he led a spectacular CFL career, obliterating records, and winning Grey Cups with the Toronto Argonauts, as both a player and their head coach. (When you win as a coach, he has said, it's like winning 42 times at once.)
All Heart: An Evening with Michael "Pinball" Clemons
It is impossible to overstate just how dynamic, how energizing Michael Clemons is on stage. Contrasting boundless "pinball"-like energy with moments of quiet dignity, he engages audience members, literally, to deliver an unforgettable, often emotional speech. One of the most in-demand speakers in Canada, he talks with unabashed passion about teamwork, about the potential in each of us to achieve anything we set our minds to, and about putting your heart—fully—into everything you do.
All Heart: My Story
Michael Clemons is only 5'6" tall and weighs 170 pounds. Yet this diminutive running back for the Toronto Argonauts Football Club is one of the best in the league, an electrifying player named the CFL's most outstanding player in 1990 and one of the key reasons for the Argos' three Grey Cup championships. His skill on the field is a story in itself, but it is his fight to get there that is revealing, fascinating, and above all, inspiring.
All Heart is a story of winning against all odds, of succeeding while others predicted failure, of giving more when less would have been satisfactory. It is the story of a young man growing up without a father, but guided by the fierce determination and love of his mother and great-great-grandmother. It is the story of a young man who would realize his dream of the NFL, but make his career in the Canadian Football League, where the larger field and faster game suit his ricochet speed. Here, Michael Clemons tells of his battle to find his niche, revealing the inner workings of two quite different professional leagues, the management, the coaches and the players. It is also the story of an athlete with true character, an incredibly generous spirit and a quiet dignity that shines on and off the field. Michael tells how his upbringing has shaped him, how his steadfast faith has always guided him, and how his commitment to his team and his community is much more than just a professional veneer, but a deeply held feeling of true spirit and belonging.
All Heart is a story of hope and inspiration for all those who are still searching for their own dream, despite seemingly impossible odds. Young people are already instantly drawn to the charismatic Michael, and his story will be especially appealing to them, as they struggle to make their own life choices and meet the tough challenges of growing up. All Heart is a terrific read, an autobiography of a sports hero and a man who realized his dream on his own terms. "If you take away hope from a person, you kill a part of them. There's not much more we have in life than hope. When you take hope away, a person begins to slowly die and they die an emotional death much quicker than a physical death." - Michael Clemons, November 23, 1996,on receiving the CFL Tom Pate Award for outstanding sportsmanship