Babies win over football

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

REGINA -- Oh baby, what a decision.

There are only 18 to 21 can't-miss workdays for CFL players, so the choice between staying with their team or leaving to be with their expecting wives or girlfriends can be a tough one.

Two expecting fathers suited up last night during the Calgary Stampeders-Saskatchewan Roughriders rematch at Mosaic Stadium, but both narrowly escaped making that choice.

Riders receiver Corey Grant was awaiting the call from his wife Jennifer, who was due to deliver their first child Wednesday.

Stampeders defensive back Dwight Anderson's wife Lesha is due to give birth to the couple's third son any moment in St. Louis, but he was given the go-ahead to play last night.

"I've had it in the back of my mind all season," Anderson said. "I've been hoping I didn't have to miss any games. We have the bye next week, so that's when she said she will drop it."

Ideally, these due dates would be planned to land during the six-month CFL off-season.

That didn't happen for Stampeders Randy Chevrier and Jeff Pilon at the end of 2006. Both players became fathers for the first time on the same day three days before a home game.

Pilon skipped a pre-season game in Vancouver this spring so he could make sure he was there for the arrival of daughter Keira. To Pilon, the decision was easy.

"In the big picture, you don't really remember the games you missed," Pilon said. "I would never miss my son or daughter being born. I was fortunate this year to miss just the pre-season game.

"You never want to miss a game, but you can't miss this because it only happens once. There will always be another game."

Chevrier is thankful he didn't have to miss any action when son Luke arrived in October 2006.

Chevrier and wife Tania are expecting baby No. 2 Christmas Day this year, so he won't face the same situation again, he hopes.

"At the time, I said it depends on the situation with the team," Chevrier said. "Now, having gone through it, I've learned what I'm supposed to say is that you won't miss it for the world."

Chevrier said there is always trepidation in vacating your position, even for one game.

"If somebody replaces you, then you can't feed that baby that's just been born," Chevrier said. "It's a real delicate issue. You hope guys don't have to miss a game for it."

Although having a baby on the way is a lot to think about, Riders defensive lineman Scott Schultz didn't find it a distraction when daughter Anna arrived last August.

"In fact, it actually helps you pare down because you only focus on a couple of things," Schultz said. "It helps you get rid of all the junk. There's only two things you actually can focus on, so you do."


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