CALGARY -- When the Hamilton Tiger-Cats made a three-player deal to acquire Henry Burris in the off-season, not many people were talking about Kevin Glenn.
|Standing the test of time|
On his way to Cowtown to become a reliable, veteran backup for a young, talented Drew Tate, the veteran pivot with three previous teams and close to 200 games on his resume had become a forgotten man.
After all, who could’ve believed that by Week 12 of the 2012 season, Glenn would be the starting quarterback of a 6-4 team with its sights set on appearing in the 100th Grey Cup game?
The 33-year-old hasn’t faced any shortage of doubt throughout his capricious 12-year career in the CFL – no matter what he’s accomplished he’s always found himself trying to prove everyone wrong.
Then again, that might be what makes Glenn tick.
“We’re in the business of proving people wrong,” said the native of Detroit, Michigan. “You always have doubters and people that are against you, so you try to use that to actually fuel the fire and get you excited for games.”
Obviously, Glenn concedes, that’s not the only thing that lights his desire to play at such a high level – he does it for the love of the game, too – but having that little bit of extra motivation couldn’t possibly hurt.
“The competitiveness of just going out and, you know – the whole purpose is to win the game,” said Glenn. “To beat a team and win a game. That’s what motivates me.”
A competitive nature is why the Stamps’ starting pivot was prepared to go in and take over the reins back in Week 2, when Tate went down with a shoulder injury in the first half of a game in Toronto on July 8th.
Glenn completed 15 of 19 passes in that game for 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a late game-tying scoring toss to Nik Lewis in the last minute of the game.
In the end it wasn’t enough to thwart Ricky Ray and the Argos, but the effort was admirable considering it was just the veteran pivot’s second game in Red and White.
Even though Glenn was acquired by the Stamps to serve as backup to Tate, he was ready the whole time.
“I’ve been in the league long enough to know you have to prepare, you’re going to play regardless of whether you’re the starter or the backup,” said Glenn.
“You have to prepare as if you’re going to play, so I sort of go into every season with the same mindset – a mindset of, ‘I’m the starter and I’m going to compete as if I am the starter’,” he added. “I think my experience has helped me deal with and understand the significance of the position and not to take it for granted.”
As Tate continues to rehab and work towards an eventual return, for now this is Glenn’s team. And with 196 CFL games under his belt but zero Grey Cup rings, 2012 is about unfinished business.
Rewind to 2007, when Glenn went head to head with Riders’ quarterback Kerry Joseph as the top two quarterbacks in the CFL.
Glenn was in his fourth season as a Bomber then, and with 5,117 yards and 25 touchdown passes to just 13 interceptions, the shifty young gunslinger finished runner-up for Most Outstanding Player.
More importantly though, he led his team to the Grey Cup after a 10-7-1 regular season, followed by wins over Montreal and a rowdy Argos team playing for the elusive chance to appear in the big game as a host team.
But at the end of that game, everything went wrong. With the outcome no longer in any doubt, Glenn was injured in the final quarter of the East Final. The dream matchup between Glenn and Joseph in the big game had died.
That was a letdown Glenn will never forget.
“Sometimes I do think about it, just because it reminds me of how close you can get sometimes and not actually get a chance to play,” he said.
Now that he’s got a chance to get back there this season to avenge what turned out to be a heartbreaking finish to 2007, he’s not about to take anything for granted.
“That’s what we play for, to win championships, so you take advantage of every opportunity that’s given to you,” said Glenn. “You’ve got to put yourself in the best possible position come playoff time and the way you do that is you win games during the regular season.”
|2||Blue Bombers||DE||Mulumba, Andy|
|3||Alouettes via EDM||LB||Edem, Mike|