Former Roughrider Brooks Findlay inspired Corey Mace’s pro football career

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Corey Mace is new to Rider Nation but it was in fact a Roughriders connection that started his football journey.

It’s a story the team’s new head coach wanted to tell in his first remarks to the fan base.

“I know I’ve told a couple of people. I hope he’s watching. As a young man, being the size that I was, there were only a couple of sports that I could play. I aligned with football pretty quickly. I always watched it from a distance on TV but never had a ton of opportunity to watch it up close,” Mace explained.

“A gentleman by the name of Brooks Findlay afforded my family tickets to go watch the Saskatchewan Roughriders take on the B.C. Lions. So, I went to that game.”

From 1993-1997, Findlay enjoyed life as a CFL linebacker, playing primarily on special teams with a brief comeback in 2001.

“I ended up getting an autographed card from Brooks Findlay,” Mace said with excitement. “You have to understand what that means to a young, aspiring athlete. That was the first professional athlete autograph memorabilia that I had.”

Mace didn’t clarify which year this happened but since he grew up in the Vancouver area, one might assume it occurred in 1997, the one season Findlay played for the B.C. Lions and not the Riders.

“I used to stare at that card often and dream about being a player,” Mace said. So, does this mean something to me? I’ve seen the retweets and stuff about [how] I want this job, it’s true and it aligns with my football career to this point.”

Findlay, a well-known realtor who spent many years plying his trade in Regina after his playing days ended, was reached by 3DownNation and had this to say about Mace’s recollection.

“I love Corey’s passion for the game, I’m very humbled to be mentioned in his journey. He leads by example and he’s one of the hardest-working coaches in the league, the fans should be receptive for that reason alone,” Findlay said through social media from Vancouver where he has continued his real estate career since 2012.

“Corey will be a great coach for Saskatchewan. He’s a standup guy with great family values. Saskatchewan received an early Christmas gift with Corey Mace.”

Sounds like Mace might have an old football card with a story that could gain some serious value one day and be a memorable Christmas gift if he leads the Roughriders to greatness.

Brendan McGuire has covered the CFL since 2006 in radio and print. Based in Regina, he has a front-row view of Rider Nation.