Friday, May 19, 2006 - 02:30PM


One of the stalwarts of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ defensive line announced his retirement today. Defensive tackle Joe Fleming announced that he is retiring from professional football to spend more time with his family.

“It’s basically for family reasons,� Fleming said of his decision. “It was a very hard decision to make. I’ve been doing this job for nine years. I was blessed to do it for as long as I did. I loved what I did. But at the end of the day it comes down to family and that takes precedence. I would like to thank the Winnipeg Football Club for supporting me in my decision and allowing me the time I needed to make this decision.

“I had the opportunity to play for three great organizations in the CFL, many great coaches and have had amazing teammates. Except for my wife Stacy and my kids Madelyn, who was born in Canada, Erin, and Joe Jr., the CFL is the best thing that ever happened to me. My memories of this amazing game and the friendships I have made will last a lifetime and for this I am most thankful.�

Blue Bombers president and CEO Lyle Bauer said that while Fleming’s retirement is a huge loss for the football club, the team’s management and coaching staff understand the reason for it.

“Joe Fleming was a class act and a tremendous asset for this organization,� Bauer said. “He provided leadership in the dressing room and on the field. His presence will be missed by every member of the Blue Bombers’ family.�

Blue Bombers general manager Brendan Taman echoed those sentiments.

“Joe Fleming is the epitome of what a professional football player should be,� Taman said. “He worked tirelessly for this football club, both on and off the field.

“But there comes a time when a player has to move on with his life and the Blue Bombers organization wishes him the best of luck in the next phase of his life.�

Fleming rejoined the Bombers in a blockbuster trade that brought him east from the Calgary Stampeders late in the 2004 season. He played in 22 games for the Bombers following the trade, registering 42 defensive tackles, six quarterback sacks, one fumble recovery and one pass knockdown.

It was Fleming’s second stint with the Bombers. He originally signed as a free agent with the team in 1998 and played in 18 games that season, collecting 44 defensive tackles, four special teams tackles, 15 quarterback sacks for 115 yards and seven tackles for losses of 22 yards.

In 1999, he played in nine games for the Bombers, registering 15 defensive tackles, three quarterback sacks for 11 yards and one tackle for a loss of one yard.

Fleming, who broke into the CFL in 1996 with the B.C. Lions, finishes his CFL career having played 145 games. His career totals include 273 defensive tackles, 10 special teams tackles, seven pass knockdowns, five forced fumbles, 70 QB sacks and 28 tackles for losses of 65 yards.

Fleming was named a CFL All-Star on four separate occasions (1998, 2000, 2001 and 2003) and was a four-time West Division All-Star (2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004). He was also the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2003 with Calgary when he collected 33 defensive tackles, 11 quarterback sacks and three tackles for losses.


maybe he didnt want to play the BB :lol: and gave that reason not to play besides the team not going anywhere in the east anyways lol :mrgreen:

You know , Kanga, Fleming just wanted to spend time with his family. There may be other reasons, but the bottom line is, kids will change your outlook on life, and I suspect that is what happened here. You have to respect his decision, even if you dont like it. It will affect the team, but you have TC and pre-season to find out if there is someone willing to step up and play.

I'm not mad, I just curious is this is a major blow that we have to fill.

..Fleming was either going to be cut or traded....we are deep at D' in his postiion....Joe was really under-performing last year.....and his big salary didn't help.....Sorry to see ol' Joe go.....and i hope
he has a great retirement...but its best for the Bombers and Fleming..... :idea: :arrow:

ok, good, I trust you, Papa


2006 GC CHAMPS!!!

....i won't let you down Kanga.....we might miss Joes experience for awhile....but it was pretty evident last year that he didn't have anything left in the tank...i would say he finally realized it... :idea:

i think legault gets his spot. not as good but is canadian at least.

In all due respect for Joe who did serve us well, he was not the same Joe last year. Like all good players he ws the victim of Mr. Time who catches up to everybody at some point. Still, he will be missed.

the last paragraph in the article should have given me a hint that this guy wasn't a huge lose to us.

All the best in the future, Joe!