Lockout helps Argos

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 12:08 PM ET

Not only can Sean Millington talk about football again, he can play the game, too.

With his gig as a panelist on the CBC's CFL coverage cancelled during the network's lockout, the bruising Canadian fullback/running back decided to come out of retirement yesterday and sign with the Argos.

"That (the CBC lockout) definitely was a factor," said the 37-year-old Millington, who hung up his uniform after the 2002 season with the B.C. Lions, his 12th year in the CFL.

"I can't say I'd (definitely) be considering this if everything was going ahead (normally at the CBC)."

The 6-foot-3, 237-pound Millington joined the Argos for practice yesterday and is expected to make his debut -- primarily on special teams, where he excels -- tomorrow night when the Calgary Stampeders visit the Rogers Centre.

Expect to see much more of Millington during the annual Labour Day classic against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

For Millington, thoughts of ending his retirement surfaced well before the CBC lockout began last week.

"It probably started at the Grey Cup last year," said Millington, who also has done some acting during his time away from the game, including a small role as a bad father in the Hollywood movie Are We There Yet?

"I got a little bit of an itch and I started thinking about it. January came and it hadn't gone away and I thought, 'Why not give it a shot?' so I started training. You can always decide not to come back at the last second but you can't decide to come back at the last second."

A two-time Grey Cup winner and three-time CFL all-star, Millington can give different looks to the Argos offence.

"I think it does open the door (to two-back formations with the smaller John Avery and Millington)," Argos coach Pinball Clemons said. "I think we always have to try to position ourself to put the best 12 guys on the field. Those best 12 quite possibly could include Sean Millington as part of a two-back set."

Clemons doesn't think it will take long for Millington to return to top form.

"I don't know if two years away is even significant," Clemons said. "He may be the best fullback available ... he may be best fullback, period."

Argos general manager Adam Rita knows Millington well, having held the same position for the 2000 Grey Cup champion B.C. team, which included Millington and fellow Argos Damon Allen, Noah Cantor and Michael Fletcher.

"There's a certain degree of comfort from having guys I've had experience with and been to war with," Millington said.

"I've watched this team a lot in my job as a broadcaster. I know a little bit about the character of this team and it's something I wanted to be a part of."


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