Comiskey ready to face old teammates

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:24 PM ET

There's a motto up in Edmonton: 'Once and Eskimo, always an Eskimo.'

That didn't really apply to Dan Comiskey.

There doesn't appear to be hard feelings between the offensive lineman and the City of Champions.

He played seven seasons with the Eskimos before ending the relationship last off-season to take care of his off-field business.

But when the 38-year-old wanted to end a one-year retirement and return to the CFL, joining his old rivals in Calgary turned out to be the perfect fit.

When Comiskey suits up Sunday for his seventh game with the Calgary Stampeders against the Eskimos at McMahon Stadium (6 p.m., TSN), he will face a bunch of old teammates.

If circumstances had been different, Comiskey might be anchoring the Eskimos offensive line -- one that's taken plenty of heat this season -- but the opportunity in Calgary was too good to pass up.

"The conversation started with Huf," Comiskey said about Stamps head coach-GM John Hufnagel.

"Out of respect for the Eskimos GM at the time (Danny Maciocia), I made a call saying I was thinking about coming back.

"Here (in Calgary), there is a real feeling they wanted an old leader around -- someone who has been around the block through the thick and the thin and who has seen a lot of stuff.

"I didn't get that feeling from (the Eskimos). That made the decision not even on the table. I went where I was wanted, and that was Calgary. They wanted me."

Who wouldn't have wanted Comiskey had they knew then what we know now?

There were questions about whether a year away to take care of his business would be too much to overcome.

Just a few days in training camp, the Stamps had their answer, and it was a resounding 'no.'

Comiskey has played 13 years in the CFL for a total of 172 games. He was twice named a West Division all-star, and he's been part of two Grey Cup wins.

He's got a resume hard to find on the free-agent wire, but the Stamps managed to pick him up without much fanfare this off-season.

It's hard to believe Comiskey is so 'old,' considering his energy and enthusiasm being around a much younger group of lineman.

"Oh, man. If I could have said when I was 12 I would play until I was 38 -- to be a kid that long "¶" Comiskey said. "I'm blessed in a lot of ways. I'm blessed with a healthy family and a good wife and great kids.

"I'm blessed to play this game for one more year."

Could this comeback be for more than one year?

"Who knows? It's one year at a time right now, but I feel better than I did at any point in the past five years," Comiskey said.

"The off-season training and nutrition helped. Maybe the year away helped me realize what I gave up and I what I was missing when I did give it up."

Now that the Stamps are 5-1, it is clear Comiskey joined the right group.

Or is it that he's a big part of the success? There's no way to know.

"It's a good start," Comiskey said. "What you can never forget is it doesn't matter what you've already done. All that matters is if you are getting a little bit better every day in the areas you need to improve. If you don't do that, someone else will come out and beat you. That's what we're trying to do.

"It's a nice thing about the professionals I work with that in all levels on this club -- they are dedicated to getting better every day."

"We're better than we were five weeks ago, and in five weeks, we will be much better than we are now."


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