Former Gryphon Mike O’Shea to be inducted into Canadian Football Hall of Fame

oshea-cfl

Photo: Johany Jutras / CFL.ca

Back on March 23, The Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum (CFHOF) announced its class of 2017. Former University of Guelph All Canadian linebacker and long-snapper Mike O’Shea was named a part of the stellar class.

There is not really a lot I can add to the many stories already written.

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From the OUA.ca via CFL.ca – Former Gryphon Mike O’Shea to be inducted into Canadian Football Hall of Fame

MIKE O’SHEA, PLAYER:

Mike O’Shea played in the CFL for 16 seasons for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Toronto Argonauts.  He was Rookie of the Year in 1993, a CFL All-Star Linebacker in 1999, and won the John Candy Memorial Award (given to the Toronto Argonaut Player of the Year) in 1999.  He ranks second on the All-Time CFL List for defensive tackles with 1,151, seventh of the All-Time CFL List for special team teams with 169, and second on the All-Time Toronto Argonaut List for Most Games Played with 205. He added 22 interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries and 30 quarterback sacks. O’Shea is a three-time Grey Cup Champion (1996, 1997 and 2004).

A news release via Winnipeg Blue Bombers website – Mike O’Shea to be inducted into CFHOF

“On behalf of our entire organization, I would like to congratulate Mike on an honour that was both expected and extremely well deserved,” said Blue Bombers President & CEO, Wade Miller. “Mike has carried himself like a hall of famer from the moment he entered this league, and continues to do so now as the Head Coach of the Blue Bombers. He is the true definition of what all professional athletes should aspire to be, and his accomplishments simply speak for themselves.”

You can find the video from a TV interview with O’Shea here.

In the Winnipeg Sun, friend and former Guelph teammate, Kyle Walters said some of the things that O’Shea is too humble to point out …

Kyle Walters couldn’t even wait for the question to be finished before he started gushing about his friend and colleague Mike O’Shea.

“A much deserved and overdue honour,” Walters said.

“Mike is the second all-time tackler in the CFL, first amongst Canadians,” said Walters, who is the general manager of the Bombers.

“When you think of, in recent history, what sums up the Canadian Football League from a football player standpoint, it’s Mike O’Shea.

“The reputation he has, the type of player he is … through and through Canadian. He’ll downplay it and he’ll be all about work and it will be a distraction for him, but it’s a fantastic honour for him and very, very well deserved.”

Finally, the press release from the Toronto Argonauts –
ALL-TIME ARGO MIKE O’SHEA TO BE INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME

“On behalf of our entire organization and our fans, it’s with great pride that we congratulate you on this tremendous honour,” said Michael Copeland, Argos President and CEO. “Thank you for everything you gave this organization – from the record number of tackles, to your consistent blue-collar approach, for your leadership on our team and throughout the community, and for representing the Double Blue with class, humility and pride for so many years.”

O’Shea enjoyed a 16-year CFL career, spending 12 seasons with the Argonauts (1996-99, 2001-08) and four with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1993-95, 2000). The University of Guelph alum began his CFL career as a member of the Tiger-Cats who acquired him in a trade after he was selected fourth overall by the Edmonton Eskimos in the 1993 CFL Canadian College Draft.

And …

MIKE O’SHEA CAREER SNAPSHOT:

  • Most career defensive tackles (822) and second most career special teams tackles (130) by an Argonaut
  • Most career tackles in Grey Cup games (15) by an Argonaut
  • Named All-Time Argonaut in 2015 and a member of the Argos All-Time Team in 2007.
  • Member of both the Guelph Gryphons Sports Hall of Fame and North Bay Hall of Fame
  • 2nd All-Time in CFL history in career tackles (1,151)
  • Only Canadian in CFL history to register 1,000+ career tackles.
  • Honoured as a Division All-Star five times (1994-1995, 1997, 1999, 2000) and 1999 CFL All-Star
  • 5x Division All-Star (1994-05, 1997, 1999, 2000) and 1x CFL All-Star (1999)
  • 1999 CFL Most Outstanding Canadian
  • 3x Grey Cup Champion (1996, 1997 & 2004)
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