TSN (as far as I can tell, Canada's version of ESPN), has released their annual top 50 CFL players and…Our very own Chad Owens is #1!!! (Go Chad). Here's the full release from TSN.com in case you're interested.
1. Chad Owens
2. Travis Lulay
3. Ricky Ray
4. Anthony Calvillo
5. Jon Cornish
6. J.C. Sherritt
7. Chris Williams
8. Jovan Olafioye
9. Andrew Harris
10. Adam Bighill
Not necessarily a murderers row of names, but most are very recognizable if you've followed any college football at all. And really, as far as pursing your dreams goes, there really isn't anything better than being recognized like this right? Props to Chad for carving out a really nice career for himself (and, for proving all those who were nervous about his MMA debut wrong. Funny how the narrative turned from "why is he doing this, he could get hurt" to "WOW LOOK AT CHAD AND HOW IN SHAPE HE IS FROM MMA TRAINING!!!" The lesson here is, as always, the winner dictates the history.)
Peep the fight here (credit to Robert Nakama for the video)
Last season (getting back to football), he led the league with 1,328 receiving yards and set a CFL record with 3,863 all-purpose yards ,surpassing the mark set by former Argos great Mike ‘Pinball' Clemons in 1990. His Argonauts also won the 100th Grey Cup.
I've said this before, and I'll say this again. Chad is, and has always been, truly one of the most genuine good guys you'll ever meet. Always with a kind word and a greeting for you whenever you see him, and I think that says a lot. Personally the University would do well to continue to promote Chad as one of its most successful Alumni ever (which, as it so happens, he absolutely is.) Everyone thinks that the NFL is the one and only destination for professional football players, and maybe in a broad sense they are right. One of the things I've admired most about Chad though, was that he cared more about the fit than he did the prestige. If you listen/read his interviews, he acknowledges that he's received interest from NFL teams at various points during his stay in the CFL. Still, why go back? The NFL is a machine. It chews you up and spits you out and oftentimes after a few years you're never heard from again. Why take that chance when you have a great team and a great league already supporting you? The NFL is big, but it certainly isn't everything. Congratulations again on all your success, Chad.