Stegall vs. O'Shea, perhaps for the last time

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:23 AM ET

WINNIPEG -- A piece of CFL history could unfold at Canad Inns Stadium tonight.

It's possible Argonauts linebacker Mike O'Shea and Blue Bombers receiver Milt Stegall will step on to the same field for the final time. Both will be remembered long after they have put their cleats away -- O'Shea as a tough, gut-it-out bruiser and Stegall as the league's most prolific pass-catcher.

Neither O'Shea nor Stegall has declared his intention for next season.

"I still have the fire (and) the passion for the game," O'Shea said. "It's never really the athlete's decision. (Argos brass) knows I love to play the game and I am going to give everything I have. Whether that is enough, it's for them to decide."

Stegall is the league's career touchdown reception leader and No. 1 in career receiving yards. The Manitoba capital is the only football home north of the Canada/U.S. border Stegall has known, but he never has lifted the Grey Cup, losing in two championship games.

"Every game I relish," Stegall, 38, said. "You get to my age, you never know when it's going to be over or when it's going to be the last one."

SPECIAL-TEAMER

O'Shea, playing mostly on special teams now, has taken his reduced role with grace. He has been chasing down members of the opposition since 1993, a current CFL longevity mark equalled only by B.C. Lions kicker Paul McCallum, and thinks the Argos are capable of shocking the rest of the league if they win tonight.

"It's role I have accepted this year quite happily because I still believe we are going to win the Cup," O'Shea said. "You guys can print that and people will laugh, but I still believe we are going to win it all."

It might sound like O'Shea has taken one too many hits to the head, but he said the Argos, despite four losses under Don Matthews, have been invigorated by the old coach.

"He keeps the guys believing that this is all very possible," the 38-year-old O'Shea said. "Whether you have played all the years I have or you are a rookie, he will find time to give you that 30 seconds of coaching that can make a world of difference in the game."

And as for the future of Matthews in 2009?

"I am sure at 0-4 the owners are considering some things," Matthews said with a laugh. "I can put in 12 hours of work and still have energy at the end. Right now I am feeling good. I just wish I could get a win."


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