Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Former Stamps Star Nik Lewis Set to Visit McMahon Stadium for Likely the Last Time

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Former Stamps Star Nik Lewis Set to Visit McMahon Stadium for Likely the Last Time

Article excerpt

Lewis's latest return to McMahon likely his last

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CALGARY - Given his professional career filled with awards and records, controversy and championships, Nik Lewis says his rookie season feels like a distant memory.

"Like a million years ago," said Lewis, the CFL's all-time reception leader, before his Montreal Alouettes faced the Stampeders on Friday in Calgary. "Because so many things occur throughout a career, positive and negative, it seems so long ago."

Some details, however, remain vivid. Lewis can precisely recall the circumstances of his first reception. On June 20, 2004 at Regina's Taylor Field -- as a member of the Stampeders, with quarterback Marcus Crandell at the helm -- he got his mitts on a pass.

"I ran a 10-yard out ... broke two tackles," Lewis said of the 19-yard gain against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. "I got up screaming. It was kind of, 'Nik is here.'"

Who could have predicted that there would be 1,047 more catches, 13,729 more yards? That there would be nine straight 1,000-yard campaigns, 71 touchdowns? That there would be top-rookie honours, two Grey Cups and six all-star nods?

"Those numbers are crazy," said the 35-year-old Lewis, in his third year with the Alouettes. "When you're thinking about catching three, five, six balls a game, it's crazy to think you're going to catch a thousand and be around for 200-plus games."

It's nearly time to let the ink dry on the slotback's portfolio as he makes perhaps his final visit to McMahon Stadium. After all, he is "98 per cent" sure this is his last season.

Anticlimactically, a lower-body injury will keep him on the sidelines. Nevertheless, the Stamps plan to acknowledge Lewis during the game.

"Obviously, you want to see the guy play, right?" said Calgary receiver Anthony Parker. "That said, to be able to come back to where it started, especially late in the season, and get a chance to toast the fans ... I have no doubt the fans are going to show him awesome respect.

"For him to be here is still going to mean a ton. …

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