Cornish a head­line ma­chine

Never a dull moment with Stamps’ star run­ning back

SundayXtra - - SPORTS - By Lori Ewing

TORONTO — Be­tween the award, the game, and the rev­e­la­tion about his mom, Jon Cornish has made more head­lines this week than ever be­fore.

But the spot­light has been kind to the Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers run­ning back, who hopes his open­ness has al­lowed fans to get to know him a lit­tle bit bet­ter.

“I cer­tainly think that if you just see my ac­tions and you don’t hear any rea­son­ing be­hind it, I can come off as sort of random or odd,” Cornish said Satur­day on the eve of the 100th Grey Cup. “I wouldn’t mind be­ing called random. But I cer­tainly wouldn’t con­sider my­self odd.

“I’m just not a typ­i­cal foot­ball player, that’s all.”

The 6- 0, 217- pound Cornish had a record- set­ting sea­son on the field.

He led the CFL in rush­ing with 1,457 yards, be­com­ing the first Cana­dian to do so since Orville Lee achieved that feat in ’ 88 with Ot­tawa. He also broke Norm Kwong’s 56- yearold record for most rush­ing yards in a sea­son by a Canuck ( 1,437 yards).

The 28- year- old from New West­min­ster, B. C., was named the CFL’S Most Out­stand­ing Cana­dian ear­lier this week and was run­ner- up to Toronto’s Chad Owens for Most Out­stand­ing Player.

But he also made head­lines for the wrong rea­sons.

Ear­lier this sea­son he was fined by the CFL for moon­ing the crowd dur­ing a loss to the Roughrid­ers in Regina.

“I let go of all my im­ma­tu­rity at that point,” he said of the in­ci­dent.

Fans have seen a dif­fer­ent side of Cornish this week, in his heart­felt de­tail­ings of his mom’s re­la­tion­ship.

Cornish’s mom — a mother of five kids — is mar­ried to a woman, and that fact turned into a story this week when the run­ning back spoke so elo­quently about the woman he called “quite a re­mark­able woman.”

In his ac­cep­tance speech at the CFL awards, Cornish thanked his mom Mar­garet.

“Well, my two moms,” he added. “Be­cause who are we with­out our fam­i­lies?”

“I think it opened peo­ple eyes when he talked about his fam­ily,” Stamps coach John Huf­nagel said. “So hopefully it’s taken in the right proper way, and ( fans) un­der­stand there is sub­stance to Jon Cornish.”

Quar­ter­back Kevin Glenn sat el­bow- to- el­bow with Cornish in the news con­fer­ence when the run­ning back re­counted how he came home for Christ­mas one year to dis­cover his mom had fallen in love with a woman. It took Cornish 15 sec­onds to process, he said, be­fore de­cid­ing that it was “pretty cool.”

“I think that even shed some light on the type of per­son that he is,” Glenn said.

“He’s the type of guy that you have to get to know him, be­cause be­fore I got here, I’m not go­ing to say I was judg­ing a book by its cover, but I didn’t know Jon,” the quar­ter­back added. “But get­ting here, I know him now, I un­der­stand and I know what type of per­son he is, and he’s a great per­son.”

The Toronto Arg­onauts should have their hands full try­ing to con­tain Cornish to­day at the Rogers Cen­tre.

“They’re ex­plo­sive ver­ti­cally and ob­vi­ously Jon Cornish can pound you,” Ar­gos coach Scott Mi­lanovich said of Cal­gary’s of­fence.

But Cornish has been held to un­der 50 yards by the Ar­gos in their two pre­vi­ous meet­ings this year, both Cal­gary losses.

Cornish said as much as he’d love to win the Grey Cup for him­self, more than any­thing he’d love to help his team­mates do it.

“There’s a bunch of peo­ple on this team that I would really love to see hoist the Cup,” Cornish said.

“At the end of the sea­son, I won’t be look­ing so much back on my own ac­com­plish­ments, the num­bers I’ve got­ten and stuff like that, but most of all that I helped a few peo­ple on this team achieve their dreams.”

Cornish and his team­mates were in good spir­its as they held their fi­nal prac­tice be­fore the cham­pi­onship.

“It’s the best feel­ing,” Cornish said. “I was men­tally count­ing down ev­ery rep un­til zero. And it’s nice to know af­ter to­mor­row I’ll have a few months with­out foot­ball.”

— The Cana­dian Press

RYAN REMIORZ / THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Be­tween them, Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers run­ning back Jon Cornish ( left) and quar­ter­back Kevin Glenn have pro­vided some ex­cel­lent sto­ry­lines this week.

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