Reed's a Stegall fan

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:46 AM ET

Milt Stegall stood deep in his own zone, waiting for the football to come his way.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers slotback hauled in the pigskin, broke a few tackles and was gone.

Nothing but daylight.

Into the endzone he went.

The kick-return touchdown was the record-setting 138th of Stegall's illustrious CFL career, breaking the mark of 137 shared by running backs George Reed and Mike Pringle.

Stegall, of course, has not broken the touchdown mark yet, but the aforementioned scenario played out in his mind about a month before training camp ... while he was sleeping.

"I don't think about the record, but I just happened to have a dream one night," Stegall said yesterday. "I dreamed that I returned a kickoff for a touchdown and that broke the record. That's crazy."

The part that made Stegall chuckle was that the record-breaking touchdown was scored on a kickoff return, a job he hasn't performed for the Bombers since 1997.

"We know that's not going to happen," he said. "We need every-body to get hurt before I return kickoffs."

What will happen, either this week or next week or the week after that, is Stegall catching touchdowns No. 137 and the record-setting 138th. His first chance to make CFL history is in Edmonton on Thursday night when the Bombers take on the Eskimos.

The CFL got Stegall and Reed together on a conference call yesterday (Pringle had to cancel at the last minute), and Reed said he couldn't be happier to see someone like Stegall ready to assume the role of Touchdown King.

"I had a long and great career, and did a lot of things," said Reed, who starred for the Saskatchewan Roughriders from 1963 to 1975. "The record has stood for a long time, so if somebody's going to break it, there's nobody better than Milt to do it.

"... He's had a great career, and when he breaks the record I'll be the first one to cheer for him."

Stegall doesn't care where his landmark catch happens, but he admitted it wouldn't be terrible if it happened at Canad Inns Stadium, where the Bombers play next week and the week after that.

He said the record-tying football will go the Bomber organization, and the record-breaker will go to his wife Darlene and son Chase. When asked which former teammates will be in his thoughts when the record falls, Stegall mentioned Wade Miller, Harold Nash Jr. and Robert Gordon.

"The record is not just for myself," he said. "It's for my family and all they've done for me, and these great fans and this organization that are Winnipeg."

Reed said his major that broke Dick Shatto's CFL record of 91 touchdowns in 1973 stands out in his mind, as does the one that helped the Roughriders win their first Grey Cup in 1966.

It's funny that Reed mentioned the Grey Cup, because that's the only blank spot on Stegall's resume.

"That's all I need," said Stegall, in his 13th and final season. "The record is nice, and I won't sit here and lie and say I don't want to break the record, but I need the Grey Cup."


Videos

Photos