Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Argos QB Ricky Ray Expects Boos as He Returns to Edmonton to Play Eskimos

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Argos QB Ricky Ray Expects Boos as He Returns to Edmonton to Play Eskimos

Article excerpt

Ricky Ray expects boos in Edmonton return


EDMONTON - Ricky Ray isn't banking on any love from Edmonton Eskimo fans when he leads his new team, the Toronto Argonauts, against his old teammates Saturday.

"I'm expecting boos," Ray said after arriving at Commonwealth Stadium on Friday prior to his team's CFL season-opening matchup.

"I've just travelled enough around the CFL, going to Regina, Hamilton and some of those places, (like) Winnipeg, and you get haggled pretty good, so I'm just expecting it to be the same."

Ray played for nine years in the Green and Gold, winning two Grey Cups and racking up more than 40,000 yards in passing before getting traded to Toronto last December.

The 32-year-old said if hears boos, he's OK with it.

"The fans here don't owe me anything," he said.

"I owe so much to (the fans) for the support they've given me throughout my career here.

"I'm a visitor coming into their stadium and I expect the worst."

Ray admitted it will be strange to walk into the visitor locker-room and not the Eskimo room on game day, but said it's good to get it over with.

"It's nice to play this game early and kind of put it to bed," he said.

"It feels different from a regular regular-season game. There's extra media and different emotions that you're going through."

Ray was traded by Eskimo general manager Eric Tillman to the Argonauts for quarterback Steven Jyles, kicker Grant Shaw, and a draft pick.

Eskimo fans writing, blogging and phoning sports call-in shows have been generally critical, saying Edmonton gave away too much for Jyles, a quarterback with fast legs and a strong arm but one who has been a backup for much of his six-year CFL career.

Ray said he was shocked at the trade, but said he's made his peace with it.

"You feel like (the Eskimos) didn't believe in you anymore," he said.

"You just wish you could have been the guy they thought could get them to the Grey Cup again. …

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