|Alouettes slotback and all-time CFL receptions leader Ben Cahoon officially announced his retirement today. (QMI Agency)
MONTREAL - Ben Cahoon is not letting the grass grow under his feet.
The leading receiver in Canadian Football League history retired on Wednesday, ending a 13-year career with the Montreal Alouettes that sees him leave the game with the most receptions.
Cahoon said his announcement was pulled together “at the last minute” because he is waiting to hear back from Brigham Young University, where he has expressed interest in a coaching job. But the 38-year-old knew at this time last year that 2010 would be his final season in the CFL.
“My best memories will be the Grey Cup parades, no question,” said Cahoon, who had 1,017 catches and won three Grey Cups. “Maybe the first one in 2002, when we had clawed and fought our way and lost some close games.
“It has been a good ride. I could have come back for another year if I wanted to eke it out.”
Cahoon was a solid, consistent player, despite the fact he was just 5-foot-9 and 188 pounds. His ability to put space between himself and defenders, but also make catches in tight holes, helped set him apart.
What will be the hardest part for Cahoon now? He never was comfortable with being called a star, or, as Alouettes general manager Jim Popp called him on Wednesday, “an icon.”
“I don’t necessarily believe it,” said Cahoon, who cried on Tuesday as he sent text messages to his Als teammates informing them of his retirement. “But not being able to go out and prove people right anymore, it’s an odd sensation for me. I wanted to go out and earn those compliments. I will probably be able to enjoy them more in five or 10 years.”