Lions’ great, Simon, becomes Hall-of-Famer
When Geroy Simon first came to Canada, he wasn’t expecting to stay long.
After being released by the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, Simon joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1999 figuring Canada was a means towards kick-starting his career south of the border.
But Simon never left. He has a permanent residence in his adopted homeland and is now one of the headliners of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017.
“I thought I’d be here for a year or maybe two, then go back to the NFL,” Simon said. “But I’d always played in a passing offence growing up and when I got to the CFL it just felt very comfortable for me playing in this type of game.
“Once I made the decision I was done with the NFL and was staying here, my career just took off. This (Hall of Fame induction) is very special . . . it says you were one of the best to ever play in this country. For someone who didn’t grow up in Canada and thought I’d be here for a year or two, it means a lot to me.”
Joining him were running back Kelvin Anderson, quarterback Anthony Calvillo and linebacker Mike O’Shea in the player category.
Former Calgary Stampeders president Stan Schwartz and longtime Saskatchewan Huskies coach Brian Towriss enter as builders.
The formal induction ceremony was Thursday night in Hamilton.
Simon, 42, played 15 CFL seasons, including 12 with the B.C. Lions (2001-12). The six-foot 198-pound native of Johnstown, Pa., retired on top in 2013 after helping the Saskatchewan Roughriders win the Grey Cup on home soil.
It was the third CFL title of Simon’s illustrious career.
Former B.C. Lions receiver Geroy Simon was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame on Thursday night in Hamilton.