On the day the Saskatchewan Roughriders cut ties with quarterback Kevin Glenn, they also said goodbye to another long-serving member of the club.
On Thursday, Chris Getzlaf announced his retirement after 11 seasons in the CFL, nine of which were with his hometown Riders.
“Playing football as a career is amazing, but the interaction every day with your teammates — that’s what you will never forget,” said an emotional Getzlaf, who was surrounded by family, friends and former teammates while he called it a career.
‘Playing football as a career is amazing, but the interaction every day with your teammates — that’s what you will never forget.’ – Chris Getzlaf
“Throughout the years I have had so many teammates, going through 70-odd guys every single season. The relationships I’ve developed with teammates throughout those years is something that’s going to last forever.”
Weston Dressler was one of the many former teammates in the room for the announcement. He said he learned so much from Getzlaf by watching him play.
“The way he ran his routes, the way he did things on the field, was very unique at times — but very effective,” said Dressler, who played eight seasons with Getzlaf in Saskatchewan before signing with Winnipeg.
“Trying to adapt some of those things (to my own game) was not easy to do because just the way he does it, he’s a special player.”
Selected 33rd overall in the 2007 CFL draft by Hamilton, Getzlaf was traded that same year to Saskatchewan.
He retires after collecting nearly 6,200 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns in 147 regular season games played.
Getzlaf also played in eight career playoff games and three Grey Cup games with the Riders.
He played in the 2013 Grey Cup and was named the Most Valuable Canadian after registering three receptions for 78 yards.