John Chick was one of the most mild-mannered football players I ever met.
Until he stepped into the football field. Then that shy, aw-shucks demeanour disappeared and he became an unstoppable locomotive.
During one of our earliest conversations, early in his 2007 rookie season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, we talked about his family, his journey to Canada and the insulin pump he wore during CFL games.
Chick wanted people to know that Type 1 diabetes wasn’t a weakness, that he wore the pump out of necessity but it wasn’t going to slow him down.
It didn’t. Through eight CFL seasons, with a three-year sojourn in the NFL, Chick never stopped playing at full speed.
He won two Grey Cups with the Riders before being unceremoniously dumped and winding down his career in Hamilton. After half a season in Edmonton, Chick has retired at age 35.
He and his wife have eight kids, so Chick still won’t be slowing down.