Much ado about Belli
By TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency
|Adriano Belli exits the Argos practice field after a steamy workout last summer. Belli will exit the field for good tomorrow, when he announces his retirement. (GREG HENKENHAF/QMI Agency)
TORONTO - Adriano Belli is going to cruise into retirement on Wednesday.
Rather than hold one of those teary retirement news conferences where everyone looks like they would rather be somewhere else, the 10-year Canadian Football League veteran has chartered a tall ship to tell the world he is leaving pro football behind after a sometimes-controversial and always-colourful career.
Belli, known as ‘The Kissing Bandit,’ spent the past four seasons with the Argonauts and has raised thousands of dollars for the Hospital for Sick Children through his Big Kiss Fund.
A foot injury kept the Toronto native on the sidelines for much of the 2010 regular season. Belli runs a food business year-round and simply can’t devote enough time to football.
Belli is a free agent, but his desire was to retire as an Argo. Had he returned to the gridiron for the 2011 season, it would have been with the Argos, though he was courted by several teams, including the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Many of Belli’s Argos teammates and friends from around the league are expected to be part of his retirement cruise on Lake Ontario. An official release from the Argos says the boat will return to shore at 5 p.m. We’re willing to bet Belli and his buddies try to stay afloat a little longer than that.