Stegall riding into sunset

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:14 AM ET

WINNIPEG -- The official announcement can wait, but you can finally call it a career for Milt Stegall.

The future Hall of Famer came just short of making it official shortly after the Winnipeg Blue Bombers bowed out of this year's playoffs yesterday, ending the slotback's quest for a Grey Cup victory.

"Football is football," said the CFL's all-time greatest receiver. "I had a great time and I enjoyed it regardless. Of course, you always want to win the Grey Cup. That's my only goal. But sometimes, things don't work out the way you want them to and you've got to keep moving on, which is what I want to do."

The veteran slotback caught five passes for 56 yards in the 29-21 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos in the Eastern Semifinal at Canad Inns Stadium. After a group prayer, Stegall raced off the field and into the locker room.

"I just wanted to get off the field and try to get in after the game," he said. "Nothing to it."

But it was likely his last one.

"I feel bad for a guy like Milt, who played his whole career here and never won the championship," said Bombers quarterback Kevin Glenn.

"But that doesn't make him any less an athlete. The guy has accomplished a lot. I think he knows and everybody should know that not winning a championship is not a big deal. He still goes down in my books as one of the greatest who ever played the game."

Stegall's teammates felt like they let him down.

"I feel bad personally for Old School down here -- you know, Milt Stegall -- that we were unable to extend the season for him," said linebacker Ike Charlton.

Meanwhile, Bombers DE Gavin Walls got so frustrated by being held throughout the game that he finally took an unnecessary roughness penalty at a critical juncture in the fourth quarter.

"The guy (Edmonton guard Patrick Kabongo) tackled me and grabbed my private parts," Walls said.

"If he'd just blocked me and put me on my butt, I never would have done anything. He tackled me and grabbed my private parts. They called me on the penalty and that's fine. It is what it is."

But the entire Bomber defensive line complained to officials about holding throughout the game.

"They get away with it," said Walls, who recorded three defensive tackles and two hurries but no sacks.

"They won the game. They're holding ... They got away with it, they won. Bottom line is, the refs don't like Winnipeg, it's as simple as that."


Videos

Photos