April 18, 2024

Hall: Ottawa near and dear to Rhymes’ heart

Kevin Sousa/CFL.ca

Dominique Rhymes might want to look for a side job in marketing for the city of Ottawa.

The Miami, Florida product is unabashedly in love with his adopted hometown and fiercely committed to bringing the Grey Cup back to the nation’s capital in his second stint with the Ottawa REDBLACKS.

We caught up with the loquacious receiver to talk about everything from touchdowns to tacos to an eventual transition to life after football:

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Q: What’s it like being back with the Ottawa REDBLACKS?

A: It’s everything, man. There’s so much pride. I’m back home playing in front of family and friends. It means the world to me to be back in the city where I started my career.

Q: You chose Ottawa in free agency. Why?

A: Why not? Ottawa is a great city. It has great football history, one with Grey Cups, multiple Grey Cups. It’s the perfect place for me to be. I played with Coach Dyce when he was the special-teams coach. He’s a great man who I always wanted to play for, and they have great players here. So, it all made sense.

Last year, Ottawa had a tough year. But if you really look at the team, they lost a lot of close games by less than three points. So, if you just fix a few things and make a few plays, that’s a winning team and a great one to represent. I feel a lot of the pieces we added can help with that. The guys who have been there are putting in the extra work. So, it’s a recipe for success.

Q: What do you think of the idea of playing with Dru Brown at quarterback?

A: I love that idea. Dru comes from a great pedigree. He was behind Zach Collaros in Winnipeg for a few years. He learned there from an MOP quarterback. I’m super excited. When he’s come into the games, he’s shown that he has what it takes to be a starter. He’s shown he has what it takes to be a playmaker. I’m excited, because Dru is a young, hungry quarterback, and I’m ready to help him grow. I’m just ready to do my part for him.

Q: What’s it like for a Miami guy surviving winters in Ottawa?

A: My fiancée is an Ottawa native, so Ottawa is my home. Ottawa is the place I’m going to raise my kids. Ottawa is something I hold near and dear to my heart. I’ve had to adapt a lot. I feel like my body is saying it’s able to withstand a little bit of cold weather. And I’ve been lucky enough that it’s been not as cold in recent years. But I don’t know if that’s lucky or global warming. That’s another topic. But I’ve been surviving. Surviving and thriving.


Q: How do you think you can improve personally on the field this year?

A: I can improve in every way. Score more touchdowns. Make more catches. Run for more yards. Catch for more yards. I can improve in every aspect as a football player and as a receiver. There’s always me vs. me. I’m always challenging myself to be better than I was before and strive for excellence.

Q: What was your first job?

A: My first job would have been when I was like 12 or 13. I worked at a carwash. I washed a few cars and made like 30 bucks for the day. You wash a few cars, play around, sing some music out loud. It was hot during the summertime when I worked there, but it was fun.

Q: What’s your dream job outside of football?

A: My dream job is being a firefighter. I recently got accepted to a firefighter scholarship through the CFLPA. I’m going to be a firefighter when my CFL career ends, and I’m going to be able to help my community.

Q: What makes for a great touchdown celebration?

A: I think you need a lot of things. You need a personal touchdown celebration that everyone can connect to. And you need a group celebration where you dance and celebrate with your teammates, which I think is the best one. Everybody is relaxed, having fun and it keeps everyone engaged in the game. It motivates the guys as well.


Q: I understand you are a foodie. What is your favourite restaurant in Canada?

A: My favourite restaurant in Canada would have to be The Pawn Shop. It’s a taco shop in Vancouver on Granville Street. Those are some of the best tacos I’ve had. I could probably eat like 10 of them. They’re amazing.

Q: Who’s the funniest guy you’ve played with in the CFL?

A: That’s too hard.

Q: Really? I stumped you?

A: Well, when I first got into the league in Ottawa, it would have to be William Powell and Jonathan Rose. When I went to Vancouver, it would have to be Lucky Whitehead and Alexander Hollins. I’ve played around a lot of funny guys.

Q: You’ve caught a lot of footballs in your life. What’s your most memorable catch, the one catch that runs on the highlight reel in your head, the one that will always stand out?

A: That has to be my first touchdown, which happened in Winnipeg. Yeah, my first CFL touchdown and my first professional touchdown. That touchdown led me to know that I could be a great professional football player. I feel like it catapulted me to the person I am today.

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