Nik Lewis will join thousands of Calgarians today clamouring to get a firsthand look at Ricky Williams.
But unlike the near-capacity crowd expected at McMahon Stadium when the Calgary Stampeders kickoff against the Toronto Argonauts (5 p.m., CBC), Lewis will get close enough to touch his hero.
"I'm excited about getting a Ricky Williams autograph," said the 24-year-old Stampeders receiver. "I have a bunch of Texas gear ... I'll hit him up in the pre-game. I might get a Ricky Williams-signed Calgary Stampeders jersey."
Lewis, Calgary's leading receiver, was 13 when he became a Williams fan. The running back made his debut with the Longhorns in 1995 and broke Earl Campbell's Texas freshman rushing record at a time Lewis was still looking forward to his high school career in Jacksboro.
"He's a great athlete and he works hard. Nobody can say he doesn't work hard. It shows up in his game," Lewis said.
Williams was suspended for the current NFL season after violating the league's substance-abuse policy a fourth time.
The CFL has no drug policy and the workday is 41/2 hours long. So, Lewis expects Williams to return to Canada after his NFL obligations are complete. "He may have more fun up here," Lewis said.