McNeil walks out of McMahon for last time

DOUG ROBERTSHAW, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:10 AM ET

It's the end of an era in Calgary Stampeders history.

Younger lineman are being ushered into the organization while the last remaining member of the Stamps O-lineman from the glory days of the '90s hung up his pads for the last time at McMahon Stadium yesterday.

Jay McNeil was an anchor along the Stamps offensive line for what will be 14 seasons as a Stampeders guard.

"(Football) has been a big part of my life for a long time," said McNeil.

"I couldn't have asked for a better organization or a team to play for."

Going into the game, McNeil tried to ignore some of his emotions and thoughts but was reminded by teammates and friends all day.

"Whether we won or lost, it was going to be tough," said McNeil. "I love these guys and I am proud of them."

There were 29,247 fans in attendance watching McNeil's final game at McMahon.

"The fans have been awesome, I am so proud to be a Calgarian and a Stampeder. The fans have been great over the years," said McNeil.

Protecting guys like QB Henry Burris and opening up running lanes have been a part of his job description for all of his 14 seasons.

Running back Joffrey Reynolds has been grateful of all the help he gave him over his time and says he will be missed next season.

"Jay has been a great player since I've been here," said Reynolds.

"Guys like him and (Jamie) Crysdale showed me the ropes when I first got here.

"He's a great leader. He won some Presidents Rings and you don't get those unless you deserve them."

But it wasn't the farewell that Higgins would have liked for the Stamps' great.

"It's his last home game and we didn't send him off the way we wanted too," said head coach Tom Higgins.

"We wanted to send him off on an upbeat, positive note and it wasn't meant to be."

But McNeil still has at least two games to look forward to until the season ends.


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