Moments after Mike Reilly found his name engraved on the Grey Cup and gleefully took a quick picture with his cell phone, former Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive back Omarr Morgan walked by and glanced longingly at the silver trophy.
“Man, I wanted to win a Grey Cup!” said Morgan, who spent 11 seasons in the CFL and inconceivably missed winning a championship despite being among the Roughriders’ most prolific and popular players.
Morgan, Reilly and the Grey Cup were all in attendance at CFL Week in Regina. Between the autograph sessions, panel discussions and media interviews, hundreds of people stopped to gaze at the cup, touch it, or have their picture taken with it. Morgan didn’t.
Reilly, the Edmonton Eskimos’ winning quarterback in the 2015 championship game, spent part of his day onstage with fellow CFL quarterbacks Kevin Glenn, Bo Levi Mitchell and Matt Nichols. Host Brodie Lawson asked Glenn, Saskatchewan’s quarterback and a father of two, if he had advice for recent, first-time fathers Reilly and Mitchell (who had just retrieved his backpack and opened a pouch to reveal a disposable diaper). Said Glenn: “Cherish them before they learn how to walk.”
Afterwards, like the rest of the CFL players in attendance, Reilly and Mitchell mingled among the crowds and visited local radio shows. Upon spotting the Grey Cup on display, Reilly told passersby he hadn’t seen the chalice since before it had been engraved with the Eskimos’ winning roster. So he hadn’t seen his name etched in silver. It took him only a few seconds to find his name and snap the sort-of selfie.
Morgan tried to win a Grey cup in Edmonton. After playing 2000-06 with the Roughriders and making three all-star teams, he joined the Eskimos as a free agent for one season, 2007, when Saskatchewan incredibly marched to a Grey Cup victory without him.
Morgan struggled in 2007 and was released by Edmonton, so he rejoined the Roughriders for three more seasons, including Grey Cup losses against the Montreal Alouettes in 2009 and 2010. In 2009 the Roughriders had apparently won the game after the Alouettes missed a game-winning field goal, but a penalty for having too many men on the field against Saskatchewan allowed Montreal to attempt — and make — another game-winner on the final play.
After being waived by the Roughriders following the 2010 campaign, Morgan returned to California. Now 40, Morgan stays in touch with former teammates LaDouphyous McCalla and Hall of Famer Eddie Davis, plus he does some scouting for the Roughriders. In 2014 the Roughriders wanted to put him in their Plaza of Honor to commemorate his 10 seasons wearing green and white. Those plans fell through for several reasons, Morgan said, but it wasn’t because they couldn’t find him.
“That’s not what I play for,” said Morgan.
He was looking at the Grey Cup again.