Mike Morreale - Receiver - 1997-01, 04-06 - McMaster
Brian Snelgrove - Ticats.ca
He was born in Hamilton, played high school (Cardinal Newman) and university (McMaster) football in Hamilton and spent most of his CFL career with the Tiger-Cats.
Perhaps it is only
fitting that he would be named the Most Valuable
Canadian in the Ticats 1999 Grey Cup victory.
The year was 1999 and Mike Morreale was named winner of the Dick Suderman Trophy. The Ticat slotback grabbed three passes for 51 yards including one for a key 32 yard gain. Ironically, Morreale's recollection of his best play of the game was a shoestring tackle of Marvin Coleman on a Calgary punt return. "It was at an important part of the game and I wasn't normally on special teams," says Morreale. "That was a highlight for me."
"It was a year of redemption," says the former Ticat star of the 1999 edition of the Cats. "Beating the same group of guys that had beaten us a year earlier, helping contribute to a winning team in a Grey Cup, and winning for the City of Hamilton were all redemption in many ways. What a great year."
knew we had
their number. We were very confident without being
It was Morreale's second Grey Cup ring as he garnered one in 1996 with the Toronto Argonauts. "I was really a back-up in '96," he says. "I played much more of a role in this one and it was more special. My season wasn't up to par with '98 and I never really found my groove."
1998 was a season in
which Morreale topped the 1,000 yard receiving mark,
yet the Hamilton native still managed 46 receptions
for 573 yards and one touchdown in the '99 regular
"They were a tough
team," Morreale says of the Stampeder squad. "Alondra
Johnson was one of the toughest guys I ever played
"It was one of those
teams that just jelled," says Morreale of the '99
Tiger-Cats. "(Head Coach) Ron Lancaster said from day
one that he hoped that the guys that were here now
would be the same ones that were here at the end of
the season. And for the most part, other than
injuries, it was the same guys."
Morreale enjoyed an
outstanding 12 year career in the CFL including eight
seasons with the Tiger-Cats (1997-2001, 2004-06). He
was named the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian in
1998 and was also the Ticat nominee in 2004. In his
Hamilton career he caught 402 passes for 5,179 yards.
He is fifth on the team's all-time receptions list
with 402. He is ninth in team career receiving yards
lives in Ancaster with his wife and young daughter and
works with his former teammate Rob Hitchcock for
Walton Capital Management. He is also a colour
commentator for CIS football on The Score and is
Director of Marketing for Pro Players, the marketing
arm of the CFL Player's Association. "Life is busy but
lots of fun," says the former Ticat Grey Cup hero. "I
don't miss the game as much as I miss the guys. We
weren't necessarily the best athletes but we were
totally unselfish. It didn't matter if you caught ten
passes or one. I have never played with a better group
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