Former Roughriders GM Klay Thompson Navy Jersey Eric Tillman returns to old stamping grounds
Eric Tillman will make the self conscious walk to his Grey Cup seat on Sunday afternoon in this city and stadium of mixed emotions, to watch his new team play his old team for the championship of Canadian football.
There has probably not been a Grey Cup like this before, with so many threads and entanglements between the teams, so many connections fractured and strained and even those that survived the tests of time and circumstance.
But none are as complex or controversial as what Tillman brought to the Saskatchewan Roughriders and how he exited a job he never wanted to leave, in sadness and disgrace.
there will be countless emotions, Tillman said of walking in to Mosaic Stadium on Sunday not as a Roughrider, but as a consultant with the Hamilton Tiger Cats. There have to be countless emotions.
It wasn all that long ago that Tillman who has bounced around the CFL so long his nickname should be Pinball, operating teams in Regina, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton, with some work with the Alouettes was standing outside the visitors dressing room at Rogers Centre, grabbing every football player as he ran by, doing his own version of Fred Shero, shouting that they as Roughriders would walk together forever now as 2007 Grey Cup champions.
He was in his glory that night: Winning with the Roughriders is different than winning anywhere else.
It more appreciated.
It happens so infrequently.
This is the 101st Grey Cup. Should the Roughriders win, this will be their fourth championship. In a league where you should win once every 81/2 seasons, the Roughriders have won once every 34 years.
Should Hamilton win Sunday, Tillman will have more Grey Cups than the entire Roughriders franchise.
Tillman won with Saskatchewan and, not that many years later, was out of the league, embarrassed by a personal circumstance he tried he explain, but couldn He was hired and fired again in Edmonton before winding up in a Hamilton payback of sorts.
It was Tillman who hired Kent Austin to coach in Saskatchewan and it was Austin who hired Tillman back somewhat quietly to work as his consultant in Hamilton (he has to be called consultant because he still being paid by Edmonton).
does Eric do for you? Austin was asked the other day.
a consultant, said Austin.
does that mean? knows a lot about a lot of things. He a great sounding board for me. board David Lee Mens Jersey or not, the many connections of Tillman are all over this Grey Cup matchup.
Darian Durant, the Roughriders quarterback, is a Tillman find. When Tillman ran the Ottawa Renagades, he put Durant name on the club secret negotiation list. That how far back their relationship goes.
the end of the 2006 season (in Saskatchewan), I was put on the practice roster, said Durant. had it. I was ready to go home. Eric Tillman came to my apartment. He said, a great quarterback. Don leave. Don quit football. I have big plans for you in this organization. crazy how that worked out. I owe Eric a lot of credit for the reason I am where I am. It so strange that he on the other side. Going through Grey Cup with him and now going against him and Kent. It kind of strange, isn it? it isn Durant, it Weston Dressler. If it isn Dressler, it Chris Getzlaf. Or defensive end John Chick. All of them brought to the Riders by Tillman. All of them prominent against his Tiger Cats tomorrow.
was the reason I ended up in Saskatchewan, said Getzlaf.
traded Jason Armstead for me and Corey Holmes. He allowed me the opportunity to come back here and play for my hometown. We don talk on a regular basis, but when we do cross paths, it definitely good to see him. boys on one team.
Tillman boys on the other. http://www.officialbasketballstore.com/klay-thompson-jersey
Something has to give.
I incredibly proud David Lee kids Jersey of both teams, said Tillman, 56, who has missed most of Grey Cup week being home in Mississippi with his ailing father.
But he flew on Friday from Memphis to Houston; Houston to Calgary; and Calgary to Regina to make sure to be here for Sunday game.
I so happy in particular for (Ticats owner) Bob Young. What a genuinely nice man.
is a wonderful day for Ticats fans who have waited so long to get back to the Grey Cup and a very special day for Saskatchewan, who hoped and dreamed their team would host. Tillman talked about his former players.
lot of good and unselfish men in that locker room wearing green. It takes more than talent to get to the big game and Kent and I have great respect for the Riders. then comes the division.
Saskatchewan wins on Sunday, full credit goes to (GM) Brendan Taman, (coach) Corey Chamblin and their staffs. This is their team now. They done one heck of a job. sides have. And no one knows that better than the ultimate insider, Eric Tillman.
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