Flyin’ Hawaiian lands in Toronto permanently
Chad Owens, arguably the Argos most flamboyant star, talks candidly about becoming a permanent resident of the GTA and moving to a new stadium
The Toronto Argonauts are set to begin another campaign in the team’s long history that dates back to their founding in 1873. But this season is unique in that the Argos will play their home opener on June 27 in northern Alberta before heading out on the road for another four weeks. Their first regular season game at home isn’t until Aug. 8. It ain’t pretty, but the blue and white, led by Chad Owens, is ready for another run at the Grey Cup. Post City chatted with Owens about the coming season. We’ve heard you’ve now moved to Canada full time from Hawaii, and you made it through one of the worst winters on record. Any second thoughts? We talked about doing it the past three years but never pulled the trigger. My kids were always the ones who wanted to go back home to Hawaii, and that made it easier for us. The kids want to go back, it got a little cold, and you know, “Let’s go back.” This time around they were excited to stay. They were at the same school, with the same friends and this is my family. I do what’s best. What’s top of mind for you heading into training camp and a new season? You know, do what I do on the field and then continue to be a leader, be a voice for the guys, being that veteran the young guys can come to — just to be one of the pieces, the glue that holds this thing together. Your home opener is actually on the road in Fort McMurray, Alberta. How do you guys prepare for that? It’s unfortunate, but it’s the circumstance that we’re in. Last year was a similar situation. The schedule wasn’t the best, but we can make excuses all we want. The CFL has changed the rules in a way that makes it easier for receivers. Thoughts? Definitely it’s in the favour of the offence, but let’s face it, man, that’s what the fans want to see — that offensive production. It’s a slight rule change. It is what it is. If a receiver wins on his release and gets past that [fivemetre] mark, he should earn the right to catch a ball [without interference from a defender continuing to make that sort of contact made before the receiver caught the ball — the case before the rule change]. Are you guys going to win it all this year? Well, I don’t think you ever go into a season thinking you’re going to lose. The objective is to win every game. How important is it to get out of the Rogers Centre and into a more fanfriendly stadium? Obviously, I wish we could sell out the Rogers Centre every week. It would be a great atmosphere and I’d love it. Indoors, 50,000 fans wearing double blue — we wouldn’t lose a game that way. But that’s not the case. We want every seat in the house taken, we want that atmosphere. Trust me, we’ve got great fans, and those fans that get really excited, hey, I love you. When are you most happy? Personally, spending time with my family, having good company. I’m very family-oriented, that’s what makes me happy. Where in Toronto would you take a tourist? Taking a drive down to the lake along Lakeshore is just beautiful. There is something about the water, at the edge there in the Port Credit area by the water. It is just beautiful, man. You can see downtown Toronto, but seeing that open water is just a beautiful sight.