Saskatchewan Roughriders

Chris Getzlaf - Receiver - 2008-15 - Sam Houston State

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A salute to Getzlaf and his helping hands - Rob Vanstone - Regina Leader-Post - 05-01-2018

Chris Getzlaf announces retirement from football


It is better to give than to receive, or so the saying goes, but Chris Getzlaf was able to do both.


In addition to being an accomplished CFL receiver, the Regina-born Getzlaf was able to give back to the community in myriad ways.
This thoroughly admirable individual was celebrated Thursday in Mosaic Stadium’s media room, where he announced his retirement from professional football after an 11-year career that was most memorable for his time with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.


Suitably, many of the seats that are ordinarily engulfed by reporters were reserved for members of Getzlaf’s family. The standing-room-only crowd included an assortment of teammates.


The enduring bond with fellow members of the Green and White is such that Getzlaf had to gather his composure only once during Thursday’s media conference. He mentioned his teammates, paused, and had to collect his thoughts for a few seconds.
That aside, most of the session was appropriately upbeat. It was a time to reflect upon a remarkable, and perhaps improbable, home-grown success story.


“Every single football team that I’ve ever played for, I was a backup before I was ever a starter,” said Getzlaf, who turns 35 on Tuesday. “I don’t think there’s a lot of professional players who can say that.


“It just goes to show the kind of work and time that needs to be put in in order to play at the professional level.”
Getzlaf put in that time and work at all levels, from Regina Minor Football to the Usher Unicorns to the Regina Thunder to the University of Regina Rams to the CFL.


When he did turn pro, back in 2007, it was as a fifth-round draft pick of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.


The stop in Hamilton proved to be a blip. The Tiger-Cats traded him to Saskatchewan on Aug. 19, 2007 in a larcenous exchange that also brought all-purpose player Corey Holmes to Regina. The Roughriders surrendered receiver-returner Jason Armstead.


At the time, Holmes and Armstead were the marquee players in the transaction. But Eric Tillman, the Roughriders’ general manager of the day, presciently pointed out that Getzlaf could very well become the key to the deal.


Over 119 regular-season games with the Roughriders, Getzlaf caught 368 passes for 5,694 yards — totals that place him fifth in franchise history. He is sixth all-time in touchdown catches, with 37.


Twice a 1,000-yard receiver and a West Division all-star, Getzlaf played for Saskatchewan in the Grey Cup games of 2009, 2010 and 2013. After the latter contest, in which the Roughriders defeated the Tiger-Cats 45-23 at Taylor Field, he was named the Grey Cup’s most outstanding Canadian.


“Not only that, but there was the way that we got there,” Getzlaf noted. “We went through a four-game losing skid that season, where a lot of people tried to write us off, and we walked into Calgary (for the West Division final) and were able to handle them very easily — not easily, but we pounded them — and we got the opportunity to come back home and play in front of our home crowd.
“It was the highlight of my career. If I could pick out one thing, that would obviously be it.”
Getzlaf also produced highlights off the field.


A tireless ambassador for the team, he assisted innumerable good causes — travelling across the province, and even to Mexico. Just a few days ago, he even dressed as Santa Claus to assist the Lucky Paws Dog Rescue.


“I’m just super-thankful that football has given me a platform to be able to do those things — to team up with the Red Cross and to help put a stop to bullying and to be able to travel throughout the province and give those kinds of speeches,” he said.


“All of a sudden, players from across the league are reaching out to you to go down to Mexico and help work at a spay-and-neuter clinic. Football has given that all to me. It has given me a platform to go out in the community to talk and try to give back.


“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give back as much as this game has given me.”
 

 

-- statistics --

Chris Getzlaf   Regina  
  Receiving      
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
2008 Ssk 15 244 16.3 55 3
2009 Ssk 41 531 13.0 65 6
2010 Ssk 55 946 17.2 85 5
2011 Ssk 60 1,071 17.9 70 10
2012 Ssk 65 864 13.3 40 2
2013 Ssk 63 1,045 16.6 72 7
2014 Ssk 36 591 16.4 57 1
2015 Ssk 33 402 12.2 55 4
2016 Edm 41 455 11.1 24 2
2017 Edm 5 43 8.6 13 1
Total 10 414 6,192 15.0 85 41