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

North York Post - - Cityscape - By Ron John­son

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


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.

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