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You're a one percenter

Memories are a home you build to live in once you’re older.



Of all the quotes that have stuck with me like a loyal co-defendant- that one’s my favourite. It’s a quote that my defensive line Coach in 2012, Mike Sinclair, used to repeat consistently to our group. I always hoped the young guys were soaking up the game Coach gave us. It was an elegant forewarning that we needed to be grateful for every moment we spent together in a CFL locker room. 

Coach Sinclair understood the journey. He lived it at a high level as a three-time NFL Pro Bowler for the Seahawks and Eagles in the late 90s. He had an incredible way of connecting with the guys in the room. The best coaches always do, and it’s something I see in New Riders Head Coach Corey Mace every time I hear him speak.

Anyway, that year (2012), I went into the season knowing it would be my final as a CFL pro, so the metaphorical bricks to my metaphorical home from Montreal are as special to me as the memories from my first season are- with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The final cutdown day of CFL Training Camps always makes me reminisce about one of my favourite teammates, Omar Morgan. No Diddy!

I’ll never forget wandering around that grass field that used to sit west of Old Mosaic Stadium. That field was home to the entire Canadian population of Mosquitoes and the site of our first official practice as the 2004 Saskatchewan Roughriders. 

As I was pretending to do swim moves on air in an attempt to hide that I didn’t know what to expect, I remember “O” walking around the field, shaking everyone’s hand and saying, “Congratulations.” This was more of a wink and a nudge to the vets, but to the new guys like me, Omar congratulating us was EVERYTHING. It was the first tangible stamp of this CFL thing being a really big deal. 

From that moment on, the business we chose as pros was simple. Coaches would comb every corner of North America to replace us with a better, younger, or cheaper version. And it was our job not to let that happen. It’s the most extended sustained job interview you’ll ever go through, but for that one brief moment from Omar Morgan, a battle-scarred vet to green thumb rookie, we had “made it.” #FirstBrick

As I got older and more established, we kept Omar Morgan’s practice alive. My only hope was that us congratulating the young guys on their first post-training camp day was as welcoming as when “O” did it.

So, to the players who get to find a seat in the first official team meeting of the 2024 Saskatchewan Roughriders season, let this sink in at some point - about 3% of High School Football Players go on to play Division 1 College Football. 

That was light work for you. You’re a dawg!

1.6% of that original (3%) group will be lucky enough to play at the NFL, CFL, or whatever Spring League the Rock and his ex-wife are promoting.

THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of former high-school athletes have zero clue about what it’s taken for you to get where you are this weekend…You’re literally a One-Percenter.  

Now here’s the “oh sh*t” moment…The average pro football career is 2.5-3 seasons.

The key is consistency. Find it. CHASE IT. 

When the day comes that one ends up outside of a locker room, it’s crazy to think about how much work and sacrifice has gone into what ends up being such a tiny blip on the radar of life. 


Now go get you a ring.

“Memories are a home you build to live in once you’re older.”