Helping hands

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:53 AM ET

For 216 CFL games, Don Narcisse's job was the same.

Run eight yards, turn left (or right) quickly, grab the football and step out of bounds.

Catch made, record extended.

Now the man best known for the 'out' pattern spends his workday helping put people in homes.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders great -- who will be in Calgary for the upcoming Henry Burris All-Star Weekend -- has worked as a mortgage broker in Houston since his playing career ended in 1999.

Life is wonderful for Narcisse, wife Cassandra, and kids Sirena, 16, Don Jr., 8, and Chelsea, 7, so he's thankful he caught a nice opportunity when he couldn't play football anymore.

"It really hit me once I stopped, when they told me I couldn't play anymore," said Narcisse.

"When I talk to guys who are still playing, I tell them there's an adjustment to make when you go into the real world. You have to find something you really love ... I was fortunate enough to put money away and then get a good job."

Football is still a big topic of conversation around Narcisse's office.

His boss is former Calgary Stampeders player Brian Wiggins, while receiver Albert Johnson works down the hall in an insurance position.

When Johnson signed on for a comeback with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers this spring, the 41-year-old Narcisse decided to announce his return to the game as well.

"Albert was about to leave and I told his assistant I was going back to Calgary," Narcisse said. "She asked me what it was for and I said I was going to play. She said she hadn't seen me working out much."

Also attending Burris' all-star weekend are Super Bowl champ Mark Rypien; NFLers Israel Idonije, Jason McKie, Mike Schad and Mark McMillan; and Olympic curling medallists Amy Nixon and Shannon Kleibrink.

Saturday is a rub-elbows-with-the-stars night at the Westin. Tickets are still available for $150 at Ticketmaster.

Sunday is a celebrity softball game, home-run derby and football skills challenge at Foothills Stadium.

Admission is free, however, a donation to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Calgary would be appreciated.

After having some fun this weekend, the next time Narcisse returns to Canada might be for his Hall-of-Fame induction.

He retired in '99 with the most career receptions in CFL history, only to be passed by Stamps great Allen Pitts.

Narcisse still holds a different record, having caught a pass in a pro football-record 216 straight games, which was indicative of his consistency and durability.


Videos

Photos