WINNIPEG - The 'Turtle Man' is hoping for another first when the former Winnipeg Blue Bomber receiver officially gets inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame.
"They'll have to do a full-body bust," Milt Stegall joked during a teleconference call involving four of the inductees Monday. "I'm a good-looking guy but my greatest attributes are my abs."
The Hall usually moulds a bust of inductees' heads, but those abs are the reason he earned the nickname. Stegall's glorious CFL career is the reason he is being inducted, and one play does stick out more than any other.
"My greatest memory is that last-second play in Edmonton," Stegall said of his 100-yard touchdown reception that won the game on the last play in 2006. "That was the greatest play in football history."
He added that he has other wonderful memories of his playing days in the 'Peg.
"You know, I've never done drugs or drunk alcohol and I'm a humble guy, but the greatest thrill for me was looking up into the stands and seeing thousands and thousands of fans wearing my jersey," he said.
Stegall retired in 2008 after playing 14 seasons with only the Bombers. He set CFL records for most career touchdowns (147), most career receiving TDs (144) and most majors in a season (23). He still owns a number of Bomber records, including most career catches (854), most 1,000-yards receiving seasons (10), most yards receiving in a single season (1,896) and most career yards receiving (15,153). Stegall was named the CFL's Most Outstanding Player in 2002, was named a CFL All-Star six times and a divisional all-star eight times.
Stegall also played with a lot of great players.
"(Defensive back) Juran Bolden was an excellent athlete and (quarterback) Khari Jones, of course, were among the best," he said. "But the greatest player I ever played with was (running back) Charles Roberts ó a guy who never worked out and never stretched and still rushed for more than 10,000 yards."
Stegall also fell in love with Winnipeg.
"When I first got to Winnipeg, I planned to get back to the NFL," he said. "But I spent 14 years with the Bombers and the relationships I had and the friends I made there was special. I feel like a different person whenever I go back to Winnipeg."
Stegall, who will be inducted with former Bombers linebacker Tyrone Jones (posthumously) was on the call with Jack Abendschan, Damon Allen and (owner) David Braley. The official induction ceremony will be held at a site to be determined in September 2012.
"The fact that I'm being inducted with these guys is a great honour," Stegall said. "You know, I'll be on time and I'll be looking great."