For players and coaches active in the CFL they are always interested in the now. The next game up, the next opponent is all that really matters.
Yet for fans there is something enjoyable about reflecting on the history of the game too. Right now it feels like Brad Sinopoli of Ottawa is on a one-man mission to bring back some memories.
It may not be intentional on Sinopoli’s part. It’s just that he keeps setting new receiving benchmarks. Because of that we are reminded of those great receivers of recent times.
We have already been reminded of the all-time individual single-season receptions leader. Canadian Football Hall of Famer Derrell, “Mookie” Mitchell who he covered here: Mookie’s great year
Sinopoli has broken the record for most receptions in a season by a Canadian. A record formerly held by Canadian football Hall of fame member Ben Cahoon.
Therefore it is now the turn of former Montreal Alouette great and the 3 time Grey Cup champion to be put back in the spotlight. All thanks to the Ottawa receiver’s exploits this year.
A Montreal Great
Ben Cahoon played his entire 13-year, 224 game career with the Montreal Alouettes, and is considered one of the great receivers in CFL history. He joined the Alouettes after being their first round draft pick in 1998. It’s a first round pick the Als never regretted.
Cahoon was a big play receiver often coming through when a big catch was needed. He specialised in making the type of tough catches over the middle that can receive a lot of punishment. He may only have caught 33 passes in his rookie season in 1998 but his career really blossomed from there.
Cahoon played 13 years in the CFL. He won East All-Star honours in 10 of them (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009). He also won three CFL All-Star honours (1999, 2004 and 2008) and twice won the Outstanding Canadian award in the CFL (2002 and 2003).
Cahoon had 9 seasons with over 1000 yards receiving, including 8 in a row between 2002 and 2009. He also had two seasons with over 100 catches, 112 in 2003 and 107 in 2008. The former being his most successful season when he caught 112 passes for 1,561 yards.
The great receiver retired after the 2010 season which saw the Alouettes win their second straight Grey Cup and the third in Cahoon’s career (the Als had also won in 2002).
In total, Cahoon had 1017 career catches for 13,298 yards. At the time of his retirement, that put Cahoon in sixth place all-time for yards receiving and first in receptions. That record was broken in 2013 by Geroy Simon and again last year by another Als great, Nik Lewis: Nik Lewis breaks the record
Brad Sinopoli has been the model of consistency since signing for Ottawa in 2015. This has been far and away his most successful and it’s great that he’s reminded us so far of two Canadian Football Hall of Fame inductees. Ben Cahoon was inducted in 2014. CFHOF/Ben Cahoon
There is only one regular season game left. Will that give Sinopoli time for us to remember anyone else? Whatever happens its been fun being along for the ride.
All images from cfl.ca