CFHOF Profile: Milton Stegall


Every now and then special talents come about in sports and they light up the league as one of the best players in the world at their position. More often than not in football these special talents tend to find their way to the NFL one way or another. They either get noticed quickly in the NCAA ranks and are drafted by the NFL or they are not noticed and use the CFL as a way to get to the NFL. This is usually the case as the best players are attracted to the money in the NFL and tend to find their way there eventually. This is a major problem for the CFL as they lose some of their best players to the money and the fame that comes with the NFL. It is not always the case though as there are those players who have the potential to be superstars and choose the CFL like when Rocket Ismail decided to play in the CFL after college and not in the NFL. There are superstars with amazing talent in the CFL and not all choose to follow the money to the NFL. Instead they choose to carve out their legend in the CFL even when they became some of the best players in the game.  This was the story for Milton (Milt) Stegall who began his career in the NFL and then moved to the CFL. After two years in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals, Stegall decided to come to the CFL as a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. It turned out to be a great decision as Stegall became the greatest receiver in the CFL. Despite his ability he never left the CFL and proved that big talent can get what they deserve in the CFL and can be the best player they can be in the Canadian game. Milt Stegall represents the skill that can rise in the CFL and that is why he will enter the Hall of Fame this year.

When Milt Stegall first came to the CFL there was some period of adjustment as he had to figure things out in the new game. Coming from college football in the USA and his two years in the NFL meant that Stegall was used to playing a completely different game. The rules in the US version of the game where very tilted towards the defence with a smaller field and more downs to work with. All of a sudden Stegall came to Winnipeg and saw a field that was much larger and a more pass happy rulebook. It was not an immediate marriage as Stegall struggled coming in midway through the 1995 season he needed a period of adjustment. It wouldn’t be until the third season of Stegall’s CFL career where he would truly come into his own as a CFL receiver. By the third season the loud and brash Milt Stegall had finally come into his own setting a CFL record with 26.4 yards per reception average. It would be the first of many records that Stegall would earn in his career as he quickly became the most feared wideout in the league. The hits kept on coming as Stegall would earn multiple All-Star honours and a most outstanding player award in 2002. Stegall would remain one of the best receivers in the CFL and would continually lead the offence for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. When Stegall finally retired after the 2008 season he would leave the game as the unquestioned best receiver to ever play in the CFL. When he left he held a total of four CFL records including Most Career Touchdowns (147), Most receiving Touchdowns (144), Most Touchdowns in a single season (23), and Most Career Receiving Yards (15,153). The records do not last though and the title of best receiver ever will be disputed when Geroy Simon retires but the fact is he retired on top. Stegall will tell you himself he was the best ever and despite your side of the argument there is no question that his rightful place is in the Hall of Fame as one of the best receivers to ever play in the CFL.

 

Milt Stegall, WR (1995-2008)
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (14 years)
854 rec
15,153 yds
17.7 avg
144 TD
Eastern All-Star (1997, 1999-2001, 2006, 2007)
Western All-Star (2005)
CFL All-Star (1997, 2000-2002, 2005, 2006)
CFL Most Outstanding Player (2002)

Comments
One Response to “CFHOF Profile: Milton Stegall”
  1. steve desio says:

    Indeed Stegall is one of the greatest receivers in CFL History.

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