Mitchell Blair | Riderville.com Staff
REGINA -- It may not have been the season Geroy Simon envisioned, but the final chapter is exactly what he was hoping to see when he ditched his familiar Lions Orange for Roughriders Green.
The Lions thought the 38-year-old receiver could not be the impact player he was, so Simon asked for a trade and a trade to Saskatchewan saying he felt the Riders gave him his best chance at winning a Grey Cup championship.
He was very accurate in that request as he won his third title on Nov. 24 when the Riders beat Hamilton 45-23 in the 101st version of the CFL’s biggest game, one that saw him register two touchdowns in a spectacular performance.
When he looks back at the season and why he wanted to be in Saskatchewan, he says the thought process wasn’t that difficult.
“They had a good group of young talent at the end of last year; guys like Kory Sheets, Tyron Brackenridge and Ben Heenan. And they had a lot of established stars; guys like Weston Dressler, Keith Shologan and Brendon LaBatte," Simon said.
“You add that to some great coaching and the potential was there. There were a few pieces missing and those pieces were guys who knew what it takes to win a title. I thought I could help bring some experience to the table and help the guys out and help the coaches out. It wasn’t that hard of a decision to make and obviously the right decision was made. “
While on the surface it seemed the 2013 season was a frustrating one because Simon didn’t haul in the amount of passes he normally does, he admits it was different, but at the end it didn’t matter because the team’s ultimate goal is what occurred.
“A lot of people say (it must have been) frustrating and I understand that because I didn’t have the numbers I usually have,” he said.
“As a competitor, you want to put up big numbers and give it all you have and it was frustrating not being able to do that, but in the end it was rewarding because at the end of the day, its all about winning. You want to be the last team standing and that is what we were.”
While winning certainly eases the fact that Simon didn’t have the productivity he was hoping to have, he says there is absolutely no ill will and he proves that by saying he wants to be back in green next year and for as long as he stays in the CFL.
“I don’t know what the future holds, but this is where I want to be," Simon said emphatically.
“I know I wasn’t the number one or two option this year, but who knows what next year holds. All I know is I have no desire to go elsewhere and I want to stay a Rider for the rest of my career. Things change, but I don’t know. I do know though that I plan on being a Rider in 2014 and helping this team get another ring.”
As for his third Grey Cup championship, Simon says it’s just as special as his two victories as a member of the Lions.
“It’s special because my decision was validated and it helps build a legacy. BC put an expiry date on my career, but I knew I had more,” Simon explained.
“I may be 38, but as you saw in the Grey Cup, these legs can still get it done when the opportunity arises. I knew I wasn’t done and I thank the Riders for realizing I wasn’t done. To come here and have my name on that Cup as a member of the Riders is a positive, winning legacy and I’m hoping we can sit here next year at this time and you can ask me about a fourth.”