With the Toronto Argonauts heading to Alumni Stadium to play the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Thanksgiving Day it’s appropriate that the Guelph Mercury has a story on UofG Hall of Famer and Argos’ Special Teams Coordinator Mike O’Shea – Argos game in Guelph a special homecoming for former Gryphon football star.
This is more than a superficial story. It focuses more on his Guelph days than the CFL angle. There are quotes from former coaches Dan McNally and Pat Tracey, and Gryphon teammate Steve McKee. I already knew a lot of O’Shea’s resume highlights so the really informative part for me was finding out where he came from, why he chose Guelph, what his coaches thought, O’Shea’s own recollections of UofG, et cetera.
“It’s going to be awesome. I got my day planned out already,” O’Shea said after a recent Toronto Argonauts practice in Mississauga. “I’ll probably head to Guelph early, maybe head to the Apollo for a little breakfast, get some poached eggs and maybe an egg in my milkshake. Maybe head to Franco’s for a haircut if they’re open too.”
… O’Shea quickly learned in order to be a Gryphon you have to be accountable and responsible. There was a chalk board in the dressing room where defensive players had to draw plays and formations by memory from the playbook. It was somewhat like a rite of passage to get it right, O’Shea says.
… O’Shea says the chalk board and the whole Guelph football program helped immensely in preparing him for his 16 seasons in the CFL, which included three Grey Cup victories with the Argos in 1996, 1997 and 2004.
“It laid the foundation with how I approached the rest of football after that,” O’Shea said of his Guelph years. “I always studied what everybody did on the field and in that regard you could always help someone out when you had a new guy beside you.”