McNeil ends career on sour note

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:46 AM ET

REGINA -- With a throbbing welt on his forehead, no one could blame Jay McNeil for having tears in his eyes last night.

The pain of his injuries couldn't match those of losing his final CFL contest.

The Calgary Stampeders were defeated 26-24 by the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium in the West Division semifinal, putting an end to the veteran left guard's 14-year career.

"I expected us to keep going. This is tough ..." said McNeil, holding back tears while still in his uniform. "Being around these guys is something I will definitely miss."

One of the prevailing moments yesterday was a shot of McNeil in reaction to an offside penalty on a onside kick, which stifled the team's comeback attempt.

"This is stuff we've been doing all year long," McNeil said. "I don't want to say it's a surprise because that has killed us all year."

This could be the final game in Red and White for many of the Stampeders players, but the entire team knew for sure it was McNeil's last hurrah.

"We really wanted to send him out with a bang -- get him another ring so he could have three on his fingers," said receiver Jeremaine Copeland. "It hurts he has to go out on this note. He knows he has the love and respect from the guys here. Hopefully, he remembers that for the rest of his life and when he's getting inducted into the Hall of Fame."


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