History beckons Stegall

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:20 AM ET

WINNIPEG -- It would be entirely fitting if Milt Stegall made history tonight.

If the Bombers' all-star receiver scores just one major, he will set the all-time CFL regular-season touchdown record.

No 138 will eclipse the total he now shares with all-time greats George Reed and Mike Pringle.

And doing it against the Edmonton Eskimos would be ironic but appropriate because of the tie-in with Paul Jones.

The Esks' current director of player personnel, Jones is the main reason Stegall is in Winnipeg.

Before coming to Edmonton, Jones was the head talent bird dog and assistant general manager for the Bombers.

"I found him at Miami of Ohio when I was watching another player," Jones said of Stegall.

He saw enough to eventually put the receiver on Winnipeg's negotiation list.

"When my three years with the (Cincinnati) Bengals were up, I signed with Green Bay. I got released from there and that's when I found out that Winnipeg had my rights because Paul Jones had been looking after me," remembered Stegall.

"I got released from Green Bay, I got up here at the end of 1995 and I guess as they say, the rest is history."

It's entirely possible that Stegall could have ended up elsewhere in the CFL if Jones hadn't secured his rights.

"I might have been somewhere else, you never know," remarked Stegall. "Was Paul Jones the reason I've done all this? He's part of it."

Ironically, Jones' first impression of Stegall once he arrived in Winnipeg wasn't exactly great.

"When I first saw him at camp I didn't think he was fast enough," remembered Jones.

All these years later, Stegall now sits at 137 career regular-season TDs entering tonight's game against Edmonton.

If he breaks the record this evening, his wife Darlene and son Chase will be there to see it. The record will also mean another chapter in the journal he's keeping.

"I want to have a way of remembering those profound things just in case I take a couple of hits and get some amnesia," continued Stegall.

It's not an award-winning piece of work, but the journal is accomplishing the goal.

"My spelling is not the best," he admitted. "I'm not a good writer because you writers don't make much money, and I'm great with money. You guys have no understanding of that."

But there has never been a problem with his mouth.

"I can talk with the best of them," he remarked.

"I am very loquacious. I (initially) thought that was the name of a girl from my neighborhood from back in the day, but it means talkative."

Reporters should also tip their hat - or their notebook - in Jones' direction because his scouting also produced one of the CFL's most quotable stars.


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