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He is officially a member of the Arizona Cardinals now, but it took Chris Streveler roughly three nanoseconds to remind everyone why he was and remains one of the most popular members of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 2019 Grey Cup championship squad.
Streveler joined fans Wednesday in an Instagram live chat from Arizona and, among other highlights, chugged a couple of beers during the session with fans, interacted with a few teammates – including an on-camera special guest appearances by Lucky Whitehead, Andrew Harris, Stanley Bryant, Brandon Alexander, Mike Miller, Jake Thomas, Matt Nichols, Jermarcus Hardrick among others – flashed his new Grey Cup tattoo, and, naturally, took off his Bombers T-shirt for a stretch.
(Editors note: The appearances by Streveler’s Nana and dad below were definitely highlights from the chat.)
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The likeable quarterback – who parlayed two solid seasons with the Bombers into his National Football League shot with the Cards – has yet to meet a lot of his new teammates, what with the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down sports everywhere.
But he was, as usual, engaging and energized in his chat with Bombers fans in Wednesday’s chat, speaking to them for over three hours. View the entire session on his Instagram account, but what follows are some of the highlights from questions submitted by Bombers faithful…
Q: Would you come back to Winnipeg if the league lets you play every game shirtless?
Streveler: “I don’t know what this question means. Everyone knows I like pop-a-top, so that just goes without saying that I’m going to do that at all times. I don’t think I could play a game shirtless, though – those turf burns would be a mess. At any other time I’m just chillin’ no shirt on.
“I just left the Blue Bombers shirt on because I was working out and it just fits with what we’re rolling with here.”
Q: What do you like better, Canadian beer or American beer?
Streveler: “That’s a good question. I like American beer. I was living out in Denver and went to the Coors Brewery this offseason. That was pretty cool. There are some good American beers, but it’s pretty well documented that during the parade I drank quite a bit of Canadian beer and I was just loving that.
“I really don’t discriminate when I’m drinking beer. I’ll thrown ‘em back with the best of them. I’m all about that. I’ve got a couple summer shandy’s stocked up in the fridge here in Arizona. I’ve just got to keep those on deck… maybe we’ll get one out at one point here once I get through these questions. I might need one.”
Q: What was your favourite thing about playing in Winnipeg? What was your favourite thing about Winnipeg in general?
Streveler: “My favourite thing about playing in Winnipeg was just the atmosphere. The fans are great. That and my teammates. I miss those guys. It was great being around a great locker room with so many veteran guys, the coaches and all that stuff. The atmosphere of playing there on game days was amazing and being in the locker room with all those great guys… that was probably my most cherished part of being in Winnipeg.
“My favourite part about Winnipeg was just the people. I feel like I’ve said this a lot, but any time I’m down in America I speak so highly of Winnipeg and just of the people in Canada in general. I just found there are so many nice people, so many people that love the game up there and are passionate about it. It just made it so fun to play.”
Q: What was your favourite play as a Winnipeg Blue Bomber?
Streveler: “This is a good question… it’s close. My favourite play probably was a touchdown run I had against Calgary in the West Semi-Final near the end of the game in the fourth quarter that put us up by three scores that kind of iced the game.
“Everything that was going on that week with me… it was pretty well documented I was playing through an injury. Working through that and being able to come back for the game when we weren’t really sure if I was going to be able to play at all was one of the best feelings in the world.
“I almost broke down in tears on the sidelines. I saw Woli (Drew Wolitarsky) and we were just hugging and saw my teammates and it was just so emotional because of everything I went through.
“That run against Sask in the Banjo Bowl was cool , it was a fun play, a great atmosphere and probably one of my favourite games as a Bomber, but just everything that went into that Calgary game… I wasn’t supposed to be able to play and being able to come back and have that play was amazing.
“Then, obviously, the touchdown play to Harris in the Grey Cup in between a couple of defenders falling and making the catch and making a great play. That was cool because it was the Grey Cup and it was super special. The funny thing about it is I remember having this conversation with Buck Pierce after the game and I missed a very similar pass to Andrew going down the seam, and it would have been a touchdown in the West Final (2018). I thought about that the whole year and it was a very similar play in the Grey Cup. It was cool to come back and hit him on that in the biggest game of the year.”
Q: What was your favourite game played at IG Field?
Streveler: “The Banjo Bowl this year (2019). We put a hurtin’ on them and we were balling out and we had like six back-ups playing on offence, me included. It was just cool to go out because people were sleeping on us going into that game. To go out there and beat them like that in the Banjo Bowl was amazing. My first start, too, (in the 2018 home opener against Edmonton) in that rain delay was crazy, too. That was insane, but we lost and that’s not as cool.”
Q: When did winning the Grey Cup finally sink in?
Streveler: “This is a good question, too. After the Grey Cup it was just crazy. It was a crazy ride. You’re celebrating, Monday we come back and in the airport people are going crazy. Tuesday we have the parade and I’m just going crazy. Tuesday night after the parade we were just kicking it in the locker room with the boys, just chillin’ with the cup. I went to the store with my girlfriend and then we were just chillin’ in the car. That’s when it sunk in because I had a minute to step away from everything. It was really emotional to think about what everyone on our team went through throughout the season and how much love I have for those guys and the team, the city and everything.
“It was just a crazy journey. That Tuesday night after the parade I had Sharpie all over my body… everyone was signing my back in the locker room. It was insane.”
Q: Are you planning on coming back to Winnipeg?
Streveler: “Yeah, I had been putting together a trip back to Winnipeg. I had a game toward the end of June marked up, because we would have a bit of time off there. But with everything going on with the schedule up there and down here I don’t know what’s going to happen.
“But I will try my best to get up there for a game. I’ll keep you guys posted on that and if I do, I’ll definitely get around with you guys and sign autographs and take pictures. Maybe the fur coat will come out of hibernation.”