Wade Miller - Linebacker - Manitoba - 1995-05
excerpt - Jim Bender - Winnipeg Sun - April 5, 2011
You might say that Winnipeg Blue Bombers' answer to Rudy was just as surprised as anyone else to be inducted into the club's Hall of Fame.
Then again, he was the club's answer to Rudy, the U.S. college kid who made the team as a backup despite all odds against him.
"Nobody believed that I'd play a game, I know that, right?" Miller said after being introduced as one of four new inductees. "For sure, it's 11 years. It's amazing. I never would have guessed it. Driving out to Brandon for my first training camp, I never would have thought I'd be standing here today."
Miller was introduced along with kicker Troy Westwood and former club presidents Ted Bartman and Bruce Robinson (posthumously) as builders.
The book on Miller was that he was too small and too slow to make it even as a backup linebacker. But he excelled on special teams and is still the club's all-time leading special teams tackler with 184 over his 11 years. He also holds the CFL record for most special teams tackles in a single season (37) and was named a divisional all-star in 1999 when he was nominated the club's top Canuck. Miller was later converted to fullback and even spent some time as a special teams coach while injured.
"Playing in the (2001) Grey Cup," Miller said of his highlights. "Losing it wasn't the best outcome of it. But the camaraderie, the friends, the connections I made and just the guys in the locker room are the highlights, and being able to compete at a high level every day was amazing.
"It's an honour to be honoured like this and to be going in with Troy - two local guys - is an honour and a privilege, for sure."