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Noah Cantor

(1971 - )

Noah Cantor is a Jewish Canadian former professional football player in the Canadian Football League (CFL).

Cantor (born January 11, 1971) appeared in four Grey Cups (winning all four) in the Canadian Football League, including during the 2004 season as a member of the Toronto Argonauts. Cantor, who was named to the East Division All-Star team for the first time in his career in 2004, finished fifth in the league in sacks (10) and was named CFL Lineman of the Week in mid-July after a game against Saskatchewan.

During the 2004 season, Toronto finished the regular season with a record of 10-7-1 and in second place in the East Division. Cantor started all 18 games and finished with 30 tackles, 10 sacks, six tackles-for-loss, one blocked kick, and one fumble recovery. In the Grey Cup, the Argonauts defeated Cantor's former team, the BC Lions by a score of 27-19.

Cantor signed with Toronto prior to the 2003 season as a free agent, returning to the Argos after spending the last five seasons with the BC Lions. During his career, Cantor has missed only two games, (one in 1997 and one in 2000), both due to Yom Kippur. According to the official CFL web site, Cantor is the owner of Vera’s Burger Shack, a popular restaurant in Vancouver.

Canadian football has many rules that differ from the American game. These include: three downs to make 10 yards, defensive linemen must line up one yard away from the line of scrimmage, unlimited motion allowed for backs and receivers, a larger field (110-yards by 65-yards with a 20-yard end zone as opposed to 100-yards by 53.5-yards and a 10-yard end zone in the U.S.), 12 players to a side, and a team consists of 36 players (16 Canadian, 18 non-Canadian, and two quarterbacks). The larger field and fewer downs encourages a passing offense in the CFL, which means defensive tackles and linebackers must be quicker than players in the NFL.

Born in Ottawa, Cantor played college football at St. Mary's University in Halifax. Named All-Canada three times, he also was twice nominated for the J.P. Metras Trophy as the top lineman in Canadian University football.

In 1995, Noah joined the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League as a free agent, appeared in all 18 games, and registered 23 defensive tackles with two sacks and one fumble recovery.

Over the next two seasons, Cantor remained with the Argonauts as they captured back-to-back Grey Cup championships. He played in 35 of 36 games, missing his only game in 1997 because a contest fell on Yom Kippur.

In 1998, Cantor signed with the British Columbia Lions (located in Vancouver). The following year, he played in 18 games (started four) and finished with three sacks, one forced fumble, and 29 tackles.

In his first full season as a starter, Cantor finished the 2000 season with 34 tackles and five sacks. He helped lead the Lions to a victory over the Montreal Alouettes in the 2000 Grey Cup championship, registering two tackles, including one sack, in the game.

In 2002, the Lions finished the regular season with a 10-8 record and in third place in the West (they started the season 1-5). In the Western Conference semifinals, they lost to Winnipeg. During the regular season, Cantor -- in his eighth CFL season (fifth with BC) -- had 16 tackles (three for a loss), two sacks, and one fumble recovery. One of his teammates was third-string quarterback, Gus Ornstein. During the 2003 regular season, Cantor played in 16 games and registered 24 tackles (12th on the team), three sacks, and two fumble recoveries. Toronto finished the regular season with a record of 9-9, second place in the East Division. In the playoffs, they defeated Cantor's former team, the BC Lions, in the semifinals, by a score of 28-7. In the East final, they lost to the Montreal Alouettes.

In 2006 he announced his retirement from the CFL on April 13, but returned from retirement and signed a contract with Toronto on August 10.

On April 17, 2007, Cantor retired for a second time from the Argonauts to focus on the Vancouver hamburger restaurant chain that he co-owns, "Vera's Burger Shack."

Sources: Jews in Sports; Wikipedia