Leif Pettersen was remembered yesterday as a jovial sort who always loved to talk CFL football.
"Always had a big smile," Argos linebacker Mike O'Shea said yesterday. "One of the things I liked about him was he had a good firm handshake. Even if he had seen you the day before, he would be pleased to see you. Too short a life. He will be sadly missed."
Pettersen, a former CFL receiver and television analyst, died Wednesday night of a heart attack. He was 57.
The Argos are planning a pre-game tribute to Pettersen prior to their game tonight against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at the Rogers Centre.
The Toronto native was drafted in the second round by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1974. He went on to play eight seasons with Saskatchewan and Hamilton, appearing in a Grey Cup with each team. His best season was in 1979, when he led the East in receptions and made the all-star team.
"I am deeply saddened by the passing of my teammate and friend Leif Pettersen," Roughriders president/CEO Jim Hopson said in a release. "I have memories of a young, fun guy who was always a positive force on the team but, more importantly, great recent memories of a good friend who was gracious in his support of the Riders."
Argos head coach Rich Stubler often would bump into Pettersen at Mama Martino's, an Etobicoke restaurant that Pettersen once recommended to Stubler.
"I liked Leif," Stubler said. "He had his life in order. He knew exactly who he was.
"You don't find many people like that, especially those who are athletes. He had his life in perspective."
Pettersen joined TSN in 1986. He worked at RBC Sports Professionals & Private Client Group as director of business development.
Pettersen is survived by his wife, Lee, as well as his daughters, Kate and Ali.
Visitation for will take place Sunday and Monday at the Lambton Golf Club from 2-5 pm. The funeral service will be held at Lambton Kingsway Church on Tuesday at 2 p.m.