Kevin Glenn’s nine-team odyssey an ‘only-in-the-CFL’ tale

It’s a story that began in Regina in 2001, and weaved its way through Winnipeg, Hamilton, Calgary, B.C., Regina again, Montreal, Winnipeg again, and Regina for a third time, before finally finding the final stop on the tour in Edmonton on Monday.

In took almost 17 years, but Kevin Glenn finally did it, signing with Edmonton and completing his CFL tour of all nine cities. It’s one of those records, odd as it may be, that’s unlikely to be broken.

We all know the accomplishment has a slight asterisk next to it since Glenn never suited up for Toronto or Ottawa. He was an Argo for less than a day, and he was a Redblack for a few months after they took him in the 2013 expansion draft, but was traded to B.C. a few months after Ottawa signed Henry Burris.

But all of that is neither here nor there; Glenn has now completed the cycle and has been a member of every team currently in the CFL.

Glenn’s journeyman status the last few years has helped him achieve what many only dreamed he would after he made Montreal stop No. 8 on his Canada-wide tour. But when a team needs a solid backup who can start in a pinch, it seems No. 5 is the guy that always gets the call.

Glenn’s story is truly one of those only-in-the-CFL-type tales. Yes, the NHL has Vic Lynn, who during a 20-year career played for all six Original Six teams, but his journey started in 1942. That was 76 years ago. What we have seen from Glenn could now only be accomplished in the CFL — I feel comfortable in saying that you won’t see someone belong to every team in the NHL, MLB, NBA or NFL ever again — and even that is remarkable since we have never seen it before.

You don’t see a player play long enough to hit every team in a league, and circumstance usually keeps a player from doing it. Glenn did three tours of duty in Saskatchewan and two in Winnipeg before ever being on Edmonton’s radar. But once Edmonton needed a veteran backup, who did that call?

It tells you a lot about Glenn that even though he has been released or traded or otherwise discarded 11 times, there is always a team willing to bring him in. His tour around the league might not end in Edmonton. He signed a one-year deal, but if he still has the desire to play beyond 2018 and Edmonton doesn’t bring him back, he will probably find a host of suitors around the league who would gladly bring him in. Maybe he can even remove the asterisk and land in Toronto or Ottawa and actually play a game for them.

But I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the one negative associated with any Glenn signing. I’m talking, of course, about The Curse.

If you follow the CFL, you know of what I speak. If a team signs Kevin Glenn as their backup, he will eventually become their starter during the season. Like the Madden Curse, it occurs far too frequently to be a coincidence. It happened in Winnipeg in 2004, Hamilton in 2009, Calgary in 2012 and 2013, B.C. in 2014 and Saskatchewan in 2015. So let me take this time to wish Mike Reilly a speedy recovery for whatever injury that will unfortunately befall him during the 2018 season.

But curse aside, this is a feel-good moment. Everyone has wanted to see Glenn hit for the cycle since he left Montreal in 2016 and we finally had the moment on Monday.

Now, what do we have to do to ensure Kevin Glenn is still playing when Halifax hopefully joins the league in a few years? Nine for nine is great, but 10 for 10 would be much better.

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