Hénoc Muamba continues search for first Grey Cup with new-look Argos

Photo courtesy: Toronto Argonauts

There are a number of things that every great CFL player hopes to achieve before their playing days are over.

Hénoc Muamba has already accomplished most of these goals over the course of his ten-year professional career. He was the No. 1 overall pick of the 2011 CFL Draft, named a CFL all-star in 2013, made the Indianapolis Colts in 2014, reached 100 single-season tackles in 2018, and won Most Outstanding Canadian in 2019.

The obvious hole in the Canadian linebacker’s resume is a championship, which is something he’s hoping to win in 2021.

“The reality is every single year I play to win a Grey Cup,” said Muamba in a videoconference. “[General manager Mike ‘Pinball’ Clemons] addressed the team last night and he had a really good question. He asked everybody, ‘Are we here ready to compete?’ and he said, ‘That’s not even the goal. We’re not here to compete, we’re here to win.'”

Muamba played in the Grey Cup as a rookie with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2011, though his team fell to the B.C. Lions by a score of 34-23. He has yet to appear in another championship game and, at age 32, he knows he’s running out of opportunities to win a ring.

“It speaks to the level of competition that exists in the CFL and speaks to how difficult it is to be a champion and live as a champion,” said Muamba. “I’m just embracing my journey, trying to grow as I’m continuing on and definitely chasing it. I’m excited to be part of a new team that’s also excited to compete and get to a place where everyone wants to get to right now.”

The six-foot, 230-pound defender signed with the new-look Argonauts in March and is part of a revamped roster that also includes quarterback Nick Arbuckle, receiver Eric Rogers, defensive end Charleston Hughes, linebacker Cameron Judge, and defensive back Chris Edwards.

Muamba’s teams have finished near the bottom of the CFL standings through most of his career, which is a trend he and the Boatmen are looking to end in 2021. Though the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are favoured to win the Grey Cup, Toronto will look to play spoiler at Tim Hortons Field in December.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.