There will never be another Weston Dressler

When I first started covering the Saskatchewan Roughriders, there was no bigger name than Weston Dressler.

To the current day, one of the smaller players to ever put on the green and white in recent times might still remain one of the more revered players.

That became pretty obvious early on during my time on the beat at an event at one of the Co-op grocery stores in Regina. It was for the launch of the famed “Dario’s” named after then-quarterback Darian Durant.

There were all kinds of Co-op branded foods named after players at the time, ask anyone in Saskatchewan and they can probably name them all, including All Dressler potato chips.

So, I asked Durant if he could sell more cereal than Dressler could chips. It was a dumb question that was meant to be dumb. I mean really, we were scrumming a guy who was one of the league’s best players about player-branded food. So, yeah.

Anyway, he said no one could touch Dressler around here. He was on another level.

That was coming from the quarterback. You don’t hear that very often in football. Especially from a quarterback who was actually good (despite what some people might have thought at the time.)

It’s a moment that I didn’t really quite understand as a transplant from Ontario via Alberta who was covering a professional sports team for the first time. Not that I didn’t get that Dressler was popular, it was just different.

It didn’t take long to see why, though. Dressler was everything you wanted in a football player. If he had the right measurables for the NFL, you know the stuff he can’t control, the North Dakota product probably never would have ever stepped foot north of the border. With his heart and work ethic, there’s no question a six-foot-three Weston Dressler is playing on Sundays.

Instead, Dressler’s dream never really stood much of a chance thanks to his height. Yes, he had a try out with the Kansas City Chiefs, and while you can never blame a guy for trying to live out his dream, the odds were stacked against Dressler.

He probably could have made it as a returner, but that’s generally a young man’s game. Since the NFL changed their training camp rules, allowing more bodies to stick around longer, we’ve seen plenty of CFLers basically become camp bodies. Was Dressler that? Perhaps.

What was the NFL’s loss was the CFL and mainly the Riders’ gain.

Yes, Dressler ended up in Winnipeg, but for the most part will anyone really remember that? Probably not. If he had won a title? Maybe, but Dressler will always be fondly remembered as a Rider. (I applaud him for not signing a one day contract. You retire with who you played for last and it literally doesn’t matter.)

Dressler remained a topic in Saskatchewan for the rest of his time in the CFL after being let go by the Chris Jones-led Riders. It was a difficult decision that had to be made at the time. Out of the big names Jones let go, Dressler was the most successful but still wasn’t really the same player as he was during his time here.

Looking back on it, it could have been a lack of closure that left some yearning for Dressler. Maybe Dressler calling it a career will provide some.

If not, there will be closure in three years when Dressler should be a unanimous selection to the Plaza of Honour. It would make even more sense if he was inducted with his cereal-selling teammate who happened to throw him a lot of passes.

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