After Milt Stegall retired from his legendary career with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame receiver joined TSN as an analyst.
That’s where Stegall got to know Chris Schultz pretty well. The former offensive lineman helped the pass catcher transition from the playing field to broadcasting.
“He was a big brother to me. When I first got to the panel, he took me under his wing. Our relationship was more than just football,” Stegall told 980 CJME’s The Green Zone.
“He knew my wife sometimes better than me. He would get on the phone and talk to my kids. I gained so much wisdom and knowledge from the time I had with Chris.”
Stegall was brought on the CFL on TSN panel in 2009 and spent years alongside Schultz on and off camera. The six-foot-eight, 277-pounder took being a pro seriously, whether it was playing football or analyzing the game he loved. Schultz wanted everything to be perfect or as close to it as possible in a live television environment.
“We knew we could get him off kilter. We knew he liked to be on schedule, but we would throw him off just to get a reaction out of him. We would laugh after and he would be mad for a little bit. I made sure I was always prepared, I made sure when I came in everything was on point because I didn’t want Chris Schultz mad at me,” Stegall said.
“When Chris was around and we were in those meetings, you had to be on top of your game because he knew everything that needed to go on. He knew what we needed to talk about, how we needed to talk about it, how much time you had to talk about it, so you had to be on top of your game. If not, Chris was going to expose you in your meeting.”
The 61-year old Schultz was a household name to football fans in Canada, spending more than 20 years covering both the NFL and CFL after becoming a mainstay on the CFL on TSN panel in 1998. Schultz most recently served as colour analyst for the Argos radio broadcasts.
“He impacted my broadcasting career, without Chris Schultz I don’t think I’m still doing this because he helped me out so much, especially early on in my career,” Stegall said.
“He was my big brother when I came to Canada. He made sure I was doing good. He made sure I understood the business, the ins and outs of it, the goods and bads, the pros and cons.”
The gentle giant seamlessly transitioned to broadcast television post-retirement, becoming a fan favourite for his unique brand of insight and humour. Schultz established himself as one of the faces of the game for an entire generation of fans.
“It was unfortunate that he didn’t get to spread that love even more, but the folks who did get impacted by Chris Schultz for the 61 years he was on this earth, there lives are truly changed,” Stegall said.
“It was unfortunate that he left the panel and we didn’t get to spend as much time as we did early on when I was there. I just cherish and remember all the great times we had together.”