Teeing Off With... Ex-Stampeder Greg Frers

ERIC FRANCIS

, Last Updated: 7:04 AM ET

Standing over the ball at Valley Ridge's fourth hole, Greg Frers is in the midst of a monologue that has the rest of the foursome in stitches.

But not because his incessant rambling includes anything remotely funny.

It's just that nobody can believe a man can talk that much before, during or after a golf shot.

"That's when I'm at my best," laughed the former Calgary Stampeders safety when called on his stunning soliloquy. "It distracts me from what I'm doing. I don't want to be too focused."

That much is evident as the veteran of roughly three rounds a year pays no particular attention to the task at hand, other than to use his turn as a spotlight for more opinions, wisecracks and trash talk.

Those who didn't know any better would think a man with such a gift for gab desperately wanted to work on TV. Not so, says the 36-year-old Vancouver resident.

"I initially turned it down," said the CFL On CBC analyst who spends his days pushing pills for GlaxoSmithKlein.

"After I retired, I moved to Vancouver and was making a transition from football to a new industry and with a young family, when I got a call from CBC asking if I'd be interested in broadcasting, Frers said. "They wanted a Canadian on the panel who could provide a defensive perspective.

"It all seemed like too much at the time, but a month-and-a-half later, my wife and I discussed how opportunities like that didn't come around very often. I called back, and they still had the job open. Five years later, I'm still on the air."

A husband and father of two young boys who has to juggle his day job with his weekend gig as a tousle-haired panellist, Frers finds it hard to squeeze in golf with much regularity.

"It's a nice walk in the park with some friends," said Frers, just seconds before hitting his ball for the seventh time on a par 4. "I don't play enough to take the game seriously, so it's an opportunity to get out and catch up or get acquainted with new friends. If I could get away more I would."

Frers truly cherishes his recreational time much as he did his playing days, which appeared over in 1998 when cut early in the season by the B.C. Lions. Unsure he'd ever play again, he took a job as a mailman before the Stamps came calling due to injuries.

"Wally (Buono) said 'no promises' and gave me a shot on special teams," Frers said.

"Next thing I know I'm starting. I was the last player introduced coming out of the tunnel at the Grey Cup game in Winnipeg, and we beat Hamilton to win the Cup. What I took away from that year is the appreciation for every moment you have. Prior to that, football was work -- not fun.

"Taking it away from me changed my attitude. I played with a smile on my face, and it made me a better player."

Four years and another championship later, Frers wrapped up his career with the coveted Tom Pate Award for outstanding community service.

Unlike football, being a better golfer isn't necessarily what Frers strives for on the course -- it's using as much time around every shot of his to tell you everything on his mind.

And with a '28-ish' handicap, that's plenty of dialogue.

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GREG FRERS

CBC football analyst

Age: 36

Handicap: "Around 28"

Best score: 89

On this day: 97

Years played: 22

Average rounds a year: 3

In his bag: Wilson Ultra irons, Taylor Made R580 driver

Favourite course: Glen Abbey

Golf highlight: Sinking putt on 18th hole to beat father-in-law

When the beer cart pulls up, 'I'll have a ... Sleeman's Honey Brown.'


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