Hamilton Tiger Cats

Mike Morreale - Receiver - 1997-01, 04-06 - McMaster

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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."

 
"To a man we knew we were going to beat them," he says of that championship team. "We

 knew we had their number.  We were very confident without being cocky."
 

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 season.
 

"They were a tough team," Morreale says of the Stampeder squad. "Alondra Johnson was one of the toughest guys I ever played against."
 

"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 with 5,179.
 

Today, Morreale 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 of guys."
 

-- statistics --

 

 

Mike Morreale    McMaster
  Receiving      
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
1995 Tor 19 285 15.0 35 0
1996 Tor 19 378 19.9 47 0
1997 Ham 38 466 12.3 48 2
1998 Ham 67 1,076 16.1 92 6
1999 Ham 46 573 12.5 43 1
2000 Ham 49 778 15.9 50 2
2001 Ham 43 464 10.8 41 2
2002 Tor 32 345 10.8 57 1
2003 Tor 37 462 12.5 51 4
2004 Ham 75 876 11.7 42 5
2005 Ham 58 624 10.8 42 1
2006 Ham 26 322 12.4 31 0
Total 12 509 6,649 13.1 92 24