Fans help Ticat track down TD ball he threw into the crowd

Mike Daly followed up a celebration of his first touchdown for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats this weekend with some serious second thoughts.

The defensive back was pumped after intercepting a pass and rumbling 58 yards for the final touchdown of a comprehensive 40-10 dismantling of the B.C. Lions on Saturday.

“I took it to the house and I was pretty fired up, ” recalled the 28-year-old former McMaster Marauder. “I just sort of turned and let loose, threw the ball into the crowd.”

Video of the grinning safety high-fiving fans shows just how excited he was after the momentous TD. But not long after, a member of the team’s coaching staff asked him why he gave away the pigskin memento.

It was “blind excitement, ” said a chagrined Daly, who appealed Sunday to “Tigertown” fans online to help him track down the unidentified “man in the brown coat” who caught the special ball.

It took all of a couple of hours.

“It was pretty wild, a real tribute to our fans, ” said a laughing Daly, whose online appeal was retweeted 180 times on Twitter, repeated on Instagram and picked up by the Cats Claw Fan Club on Facebook.

Daly offered up in trade a signed jersey and other “swag.” Teammate Shamawd Chambers also quickly jumped in on Twitter to offer a jersey and signed Upper Deck playing cards.

It turns out “Doug” – the Ticat fan who caught the TD ball – lives in London, Ont., and isn’t on Twitter. Luckily, his niece and nephew saw the social media plea and vowed to connect their uncle with Daly.

The Spectator couldn’t reach Doug on Sunday night. But Daly said the two men spoke by phone and agreed to swap the TD ball.

“He was really great about it, ” said the fifth-year Ticat.

Daly kept fans and online sleuths up-to-date on the search on Twitter and was able to thank fans for their help around 1:30 p.m. “We got the ball back! Found the man in the brown coat thanks to you guys!”

He tweeted one more piece of online advice Sunday night: “Final Lesson of the day. Don’t throw away things you want.”

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