Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Johnstown Native Leaves Mark on Cfl

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Johnstown Native Leaves Mark on Cfl

Article excerpt

JOHNSTOWN --- Geroy Simon went out on top of the Canadian Football League on multiple fronts.

The Greater Johnstown High School graduate officially announced his retirement Wednesday after 15 seasons in which he caught more passes for more yardage in the history of a league that is more than 100 years old. Of most significance to Simon, 38, was his being part of three Grey Cup championship teams, which is the equivalent of winning the Super Bowl in the NFL.

"Hands down, those are the three most important times in my career and my most cherished accomplishments," Simon told The Canadian Press. "When I first got here, winning wasn't that important to me, it was my individual success.

"I think the maturity of being here and evolving as a person, as a player, with a few great organizations switched my thinking to where it stopped being about my individual success as opposed to winning games and winning Grey Cups."

Simon migrated to Canada and the CFL after he went undrafted and several shots at landing an NFL job didn't work out for the 6-foot, 198-pound receiver from the University of Maryland.

Two years on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad was as close as Simon got to a regular NFL job. He also had tryouts with the Steelers, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Kansas City before heading north to play two seasons (1999-2000) with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Initially, Simon viewed the CFL as an opportunity to showcase his talents and perhaps again grab the attention of an NFL suitor. But a decade-and-a-half later, Simon realized the CFL was an ideal fit.

Simon truly found his home with the British Columbia Lions (2001- 12), where he evolved into a prolific receiver, shattering records and winning two Grey Cups. Simon was named the CFL's Most Outstanding Player when he had 105 receptions for 1,856 yards and 15 touchdowns on a championship team in 2006. …

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