Hall-of-famer Jon Cornish recalls favourite football moments
Jon Cornish may be out of the game.
But the game’s not out of him.
The newly minted Canadian Football Hall-of-Famer is at every CFL tilt at McMahon Stadium, taking in Calgary Stampeders football from a different perspective these days.
Of course, he’s no longer the running back mesmerizing fans and opponents.
He’s now game-day ambassador for the Stampeders.
“I’ve enjoyed myself over the last four years,” said Cornish of his post-playing days, which included being inducted into the hall of fame Friday in Hamilton. “It’s been a nice little point for me to know that every weekend in the fall, I show up at McMahon Stadium and enjoy a football game.
“Whether I’m playing or not, I’m still enjoying what the Stampeders are bringing to the field.”
For nine seasons from 2007-15, Cornish was being enjoyed by fans — young and old — at McMahon, as he sliced and diced his way through the opposition.
With so many thrilling moments, it might seem a tough task for Cornish to pin down just which ones were his favourites.
Not so, though, as he was quick to rank a few memorable highlights that helped define his illustrious career with the Stampeders.
“Right off the bat, the 2014 western final against Edmonton,” said Cornish without hesitation. “To have what I consider the greatest play of my career — the 78-yard touchdown where you make everybody miss — that is what sought to do my entire playing career.
“I’d come close before that, and maybe some guy tackles you and I didn’t actually end up making everybody on the other team miss.
“So that’s probably No. 1.”
It’s one many fans recall, for sure.
Especially since it came in a playoff game against the arch-rival Edmonton Eskimos.
“No. 2 would be the western final victory in 2012,” Cornish said. “Having beaten the B.C. Lions, the Grey Cup champions from the year before, because of how our team just all came together. Like honestly, it’s funny … because that was the greatest celebration of my career.
“I won two Grey Cups as part of the Stamps. And although we didn’t win the Grey Cup in 2012, the celebration that we had after we won the western final that year was one of the greatest comings together of this team.”
But just where do the pair of CFL championships — in 2008 and ’14 — rate in his trip down memory lane?
“No. 3, I would say, is the 2008 Grey Cup,” Cornish said. “Because as a rookie player and as a young guy just trying to do what I could, I was pretty happy leading the season in special-teams tackles that year, which is something I really wanted to do.
“And then to go and translate that into a Grey Cup victory and see these guys like Brett Ralph, Henry Burris Joffrey Reynolds and Jermaine Copeland have amazing games in the Grey Cup and have the team just come together is incredible. The first time you win the Grey Cup is always the time you remember.”
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