Terry Greer - Wide Receiver - 1980-85 - Alabama State University
By Rob Malich - Toronto Argonauts website - 1996
In 1983, a new Canadian sports magazine named MVP came out, and on the cover of its first-ever edition, there was a picture of Terry Greer balancing a football on the end of his finger.
When going through a list of Canadian sports heroes in the 1980's, many would have come before Greer and therefore warranted cover status on the historic first copy, names such as Gretzky, Bossy and Podborski, among others. But the year that the Argo receiver had in 1983 warranted some special status, and proved that the editors of the magazine, which lasted some five years, had made a wise decision.
Greer was the first receiver in professional football history to go over 2,000 yards that year, finishing with 2,003 yards on 113 catches. It's a mark that ranks with O.J. Simpson's smashing of the 2,000 yard rushing barrier and Warren Moon's shattering of the 5,000 yard passing mark. Unfortunately for Greer, Moon beat his own passing record that same year, and ended up with the league MVP award ahead of Greer.
"Yeah, it was a little disappointing, but losing to a great player like Warren Moon isn't too bad," said Greer. "I kind of felt they would give it to him anyway."
Apart from losing the Schenley Award, 1983 was everything a player could dream of, culminating in a Grey Cup championship along with all the records.
"To have a great year and not to win, it doesn't make it the same," said Greer, who admits the records sort of caught up to him by accident. "Everything just kind of happened in stages. There were
three big games in a row, and all of a sudden, I was ahead of everybody."
By the end of the 16-game season, Greer was in reach of three different milestones: the league reception record held by Brian Kelly, the league yardage record held by Hal Patterson, and the elusive 2,000 yard plateau.
"I remember one game vs. Ottawa, (then Argo play-by-play announcer) Bob Bratina called down to the bench and said I was only one catch short of the record," said Greer, who then caught a quick hitch pass from quarterback Condredge Holloway for the reception record.
The next week, Greer passed Patterson's record of 1,914 yards, which stood since 1956, in the first half. "Then somebody said at halftime, all I needed was eight yards for going over 2,000," said Greer, who then caught an 11-yard quick out from Holloway to go over the mark.
"It hadn't dawned on me what I was achieving; my teammates were probably more excited than I was," said Greer, who was saluted and carried off the field after the catch. "That was almost better than the record itself."
Greer had other records with the Argos, for career yardage (8,144) and single game yards (246). He left the Boatmen in 1986 for a five year stint in the NFL, with Cleveland, San Francisco (where he won Super Bowl rings in 1988 and '89) and Detroit. He returned to the CFL in 1996 with the arch-rival Hamilton Tiger-Cats, to serve as their receivers coach.