They’re three iconic figures within the historical past of the Calgary Stampeders.
One, Nik Lewis, is a receiver who set CFL data and cast as shut a reference to the Calgary fanbase as anybody in latest many years.
The second, Will Johnson, was softspoken off the sphere however terrifying on it. A defensive finish who re-wrote Stampeders report books and performed a key half within the group breaking a decades-long Gray Cup drought in 1992.
The third, Doug Mitchell, was a former CFL commissioner and is at the moment a member of the Stampeders government committee, though these titles fall properly wanting explaining his affect on Canadian soccer and sport basically.
On Tuesday, it was introduced that every one three are members of the 2021 class of the Canadian Soccer Corridor of Fame.
Once they’re formally inducted, they are going to carry the whole variety of Stampeders within the Corridor of Fame to 51. 4 honourees from final 12 months’s Corridor of Fame class have been longtime Stampeders, as properly.
Right here’s a rundown of why Lewis, Johnson and Mitchell are such worthy Corridor of Famers:
That Lewis would in the future discover himself within the Canadian Soccer Corridor of Fame has by no means actually been unsure. He’s the CFL’s all-time chief in receptions, with 1,051, and one of many league’s defining gamers of the previous twenty years.
He performed 11 seasons with the Stampeders between 2004 and 2014 earlier than signing with the Montreal Alouettes and taking part in three extra seasons. He completed his profession with 13,778 receiving yards and 71 touchdowns whereas holding the Stamps report for enjoying 165 consecutive video games with at the very least one catch. He additionally surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in every of his first 9 seasons and was a CFL All-Star thrice with the Stampeders and a West Division All-Star on 5 events.
The numbers are mind-boggling, however they solely scratch on the floor of what made Lewis so beloved in Calgary. The Nik Lewis Nation tailgate is a continuing on recreation days and he holds a reference to Stampeders followers in contrast to, arguably, another participant.
“Truthfully, I’ve all the time lived with the mindset that everybody can do issues I can’t do, and simply because I do it on TV that doesn’t make me particular,” Lewis mentioned. “I feel my connection is simply closing the hole between the fan and the participant.
“I don’t have followers, I’ve mates. Folks come out and so they cheer and it’s an incredible factor to be part of.”
The Corridor of Fame committee made Will Johnson wait — and possibly longer than they need to have.
In the end, although, Johnson received the decision from former teammate Duane Ford on April 1. He thought it was an April Idiot’s Day joke.
Johnson shouldn’t have fearful. He was a dominant drive on the Stampeders defensive position for eight years from 1989 to 1996, terrorizing opposing quarterbacks and turn into the franchise’s all-time sack chief, with 99 — Charleston Hughes finally tied that report.
Johnson’s record of accomplishments is oh-so-long. He was a part of the enduring Stampeders group that received the Gray Cup in 1992, was the group’s high defensive participant in ’91 and ’94, was chosen as a West Division All-Star six instances and a CFL All-Star 5 instances.
“I simply didn’t understand how they have been voting or selecting guys,” Johnson mentioned of the lengthy wait to getting inducted into the Corridor of Fame. “After 10 years you type of begin saying ‘OK, it’s what it’s. I’ve quite a lot of stats I can return and mirror on. I’m on the (Stampeders) Wall of Fame, so that you go to (McMahon) Stadium and lots of people see my title subsequent to Doug Flutie.’
“I nonetheless felt vindicated, however this lastly occurring makes me even joyous.”
After his profession, Johnson remained in Calgary and raised his household within the metropolis.
In the event you have a look at this and assume ‘Wait, Doug Mitchell isn’t already within the Builders Wing of the Canadian Soccer Corridor of Fame?’ we totally perceive.
The Calgary native is a titan of the Canadian recreation.
On the skilled stage, right here’s a fast rundown of (a few of) Mitchell’s accomplishments: He was the CFL’s commissioner from 1984 to ’88. He performed with the B.C. Lions beginning in 1960. At the moment, he’s a member of the Stampeders’ government committee.
His contributions on the college stage are possibly much more profound.
Mitchell, a lawyer with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP created the BLG Awards in 1993. To today, the awards honour the highest female and male athletes in college sport. He’s an alumnus of the College of British Columbia, the place he performed for one 12 months, and the Mitchell Bowl, considered one of USports’ annual soccer semifinals, is called in his honour.
“I take into consideration how lucky our younger Canadians are to take part at college, get a level and play a sport,” Mitchell mentioned. “I can say clearly I got here from a really modest dwelling, however sports activities has had a significant affect and I’ll have a debt eternally again to sport.”
Mitchell can be a member of the Alberta Sports activities Corridor of Fame, was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2004 and Alberta’s Order of Excellence in 2007.
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