Pitts a Hall of a receiver

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:48 AM ET

TORONTO -- Allen Pitts had an answer for every defensive back but explaining what it meant to be inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame was almost impossible.

"After football has been done for a while, I can't really put into words what it means ... it's very special," said the former Calgary Stampeders great upon induction into the Hall yesterday in Hamilton.

"I don't think I ever thought about the Hall of Fame but when you think about all the time you put in and the greats you're now going to be among, it really starts to sink in and you feel what that means.

"It's a great moment, definitely but there have been a few great moments."

Pitts leads an outstanding group of CFL greats inducted yesterday.

Going in with the CFL's all-time leading receiver is quarterback Matt Dunigan, return specialist Henry (Gizmo) Williams, defensive lineman Bobby Jurasin and builder Victor Spencer.

During his 11-year career with the Stampeders, Pitts made great quarterbacks even better. He was in tune with Doug Flutie, Jeff Garcia and then Dave Dickenson.

His 14,891 career yards is still the league standard and his single-season record of 2,036 may stand for years to come.

Although Pitts, who lives in Los Angeles and works as a construction foreman, was blessed with unbelievable talent, his work ethic was legendary around the Stampeders locker-room.

Current Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris was a backup with the club when Pitts was in his prime and was in awe on a daily basis.

"He would be there day in and day out working his butt off even though he had achieved so many mind-blowing records," Burris said.

"Guys today would be in tough to work like him. You hear the same thing about Milt Stegall in Winnipeg. They are heads and tails above most everybody in this league.

"We had so many great receivers on this team but he was the type of leader you always welcome.

"He led not only with his voice but mostly by his work ethic. To sit back and watch him was amazing."

The 42-year-old Pitts will be in Hamilton today for the Hall-of-Fame game between the Tiger-Cats and B.C. Lions.

Pitts, who played in five Grey Cups, winning two, had his No. 18 retired by the Stampeders in 2004.


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