Is this the end for Ed?

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

Ed Hervey wants everyone to keep tonight's game in perspective.

While the popular wide receiver could be wearing an Edmonton Eskimo uniform for the final time in his eight-year career, the world is not coming to an end.

"No one is dying," said Hervey.

"This is football. Good things come and good things go.

"Whatever comes after (tonight) let it be.

"But (tonight) I am going to be a kid again.

"If I get to the end zone, I might even dance."

In the last two years, the former USC product has only found the end zone three times.

After scoring 14 majors between 2003 and 2004, his productivity has drastically dropped.

CLUB OPTION

Some critics will argue Hervey isn't being used properly, with very few deep balls coming his way, but others will argue the 33-year-old Texas native has lost a step and should leave.

Head coach Danny Maciocia will not reveal Hervey's status for next year.

With a club option on his contract for 2007, the power lies with Maciocia and possibly a new offensive co-ordinator.

"I am very proud of everything I have done here - on the field and off the field," continued Hervey.

"If I get another year here, great.

"If the Eskimos decide to move in another direction, then I can't complain about the time I spent here."

But his departure would leave a major leadership void in the locker-room and community.

In the last year, the two-time Grey Cup champion has really become the club's ambassador.

From guiding inner-city kids in the right direction to travelling to northern Canada to work with Special Olympians, Hervey has made more than 30 appearances this year.

"Ed has a great sense of adventure," said Eskimo communications director Dave Jamieson.

"And when you go to Ed and you say you have an opportunity for Special Olympics (in Whitehorse), he'll say: 'That sounds neat, I would love to go.'"

If tonight marks the final stop on Hervey's adventurous ride with the Green and Gold, it will be fitting he leaves in the same year as Hugh Campbell.

"When I came up here I was pretty much searching for a home as far as football is concerned," he remembered of his journey to northern Alberta in 1999.

"Hugh gave me an opportunity - with Don Matthews - to play here.

"Even when I struggled early in my career, he was always there to encourage me and let me know that I was an exceptional player and that I would learn this game and be special up here."

SECOND CHANCE

And it was Campbell who gave Hervey a valuable second chance after his vicious helmet swinging episode on Labour Day 2003.

"He could have easily shut the door and released me," said the two time all-star.

"But again it showed how special of a person he is. He pulled me in and talked to me and gave me the support I needed.

"For that I am grateful because it changed my life tremendously on the field."

Regardless of what happens with his football career after tonight, Hervey knows Edmonton has become home and he has lived his dream.

"Every childhood dream you could possibly have to play professional sports and play the sport you love, I have fulfilled it," he said.


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