The type of person Mike is...

I know i could put this in a thread but considering my phone was ringing off the hook today with friends asking me “how i took the news” i figured i would put it here… mods feel free to move it if its overkill.

By now most of the people on this site (and probably more from the old site) know im the biggest Mike Morreale fan around… well perhaps its time i really explain why…

Almost 10 years ago I was a high school student looking to take Radio Broadcasting in College, I was doing co-op at McMaster radio learning as much as I could about the business. The time came for an end of the year project… something to show what I could do. I figured an interview would be perfect for me, since at the time I wanted to be a sportscaster of some sort.

I called Philthy McNastys and left a voicemail for Mike Morreale… asking if there was any way he could give me an interview for my assignment, not expecting to hear back I tried to figure out what else I could do in the line of sports. Then one night the phone rang at home and i answered it… The person asked for me and he said “Its Mike Morreale from the Hamilton Tiger Cats returning your call”… i was shocked… not even 24 hours later he returned my call and told me he would love to meet me at McMaster one day (this is in the middle of the 1998 season) to do my interview.

The next week Mike came down and gave me a full 30 minute interview about football, personal and everything else I could think of, but the part that most impressed me was that he didnt care to see the questions first… what started as a structured interview turned into two people talking football, and at 16 years old he treated me with the upmost respect and dignity like this interview was a national interview on CBC.

I thanked Mike for his time and told me to stop in to the restaurant and ask for him next time so we could chat. For my birthday I asked for a #18 jersey and went in to get it signed, months later Mike remembered me, asked how the interview went and as I told him it helped me get into my program of choice he congratulated me and again gave me as much time as he had to talk.

From that day forward every time I saw him he took the time to stop and talk… never too busy to say hi, ask how things were and talk football. Never too busy to sign something else I had to add to my collection, he really did treat me better then “just another fan” saying hi at the stadium.

When Mike went to Toronto he actually apologized to me, saying he was upset on how things went down and wished he could remain a Ticat forever. As much as i was mad on the outside, almost betrayed… i supported Mike even though the fans in section 29 were ready to kill me every time Toronto was in town, make no mistake, im a Ticat fan first, but this was different.

The day Mike came back was one of the best days i can remember, the press conference was to announce Matt Robichaud, DJ Flick, and the return of Mike Morreale. I remember him coming through the crowd right over to me to say “thanks for the support, i cant believe im back.”

The last 3 years has been like Mike never left, i often remind myself that he actually went to Toronto… but seeing today’s press conference was difficult for me like everyone else. I really dont get attached to players, friends tell me not to because none are bigger then the team, they’ll get traded, leave for free agency, retire. This was different, this was Mike. The guy that respects his fans and appreciates them so much he would do anything to help them out. Thats just the type of person Mike is, but most of all you could tell that it was from the heart and not fake. We’ve all had a pro athlete or celebrity shrug us off or give the impression they wanted to be somewhere else… not Mike, what you get from him is real.

I want to thank Mike for everything he did while being a Hamilton TiCat. The way you handle yourself through professional and personal turmoil, makes you an inspiration to young athletes and young people, but most of all you are 100% a class act and one of the nicest athletes I have had the pleasure to meet.

Not only am i proud to wear the #18 to every game i go to, i am proud to call you a friend.

Good Luck with whatever the rest of this year brings.

Crash

He is a classy, classy man. I wish him all the best.

Oski Wee Wee,

I would like to share something also. When Mr Morreale was with Toronto after they won the Grey Cup he Came back to the bar at McMaster. He brought the Grey Cup with him and let people hold it and drink out of it. He even poured his drink in and let me and my boss who was thew DJ that night and an old school friend of his drink his drink from it. He didn't forget where he came from and shared that experience with total strangers. He always had my respect for that. He is a great person and it's a sad day to see him go. I wish him all the best in the future.

Killic

Well written CRASH. People like Mike and the way you described him are few and far between.

We should all be so furtunate to have a friend like that.

:cowboy:

Thanks Mike... I didnt say much about the moves this offseason but this one hits home. I hope the next season or two are worth it. If they prove to be it will make this much easier.

I am glad you shared that story here, Crash.

It clearly demonstrates to everyone
the classy athlete and person Mike is.

Thanks for sharing that Crash. Both Mike and Rob have not only been tremendous players for our Ticats through the years but as you note even better people and representatives of the team in the community.

From everything I have read, this had to be a difficult day for the guys and for the organization. It sounds like we have some outstanding young Canadian talent in camp who we needed to keep or lose to other teams and those youngsters have some big shoes to fill - on and off of the field.

Good luck to Mike and Rob in everything they take on!

Mike is The kind of guy You want to be friends with.

Loyal Trustworthy just a Great Guy.
When Ever I met Mike
He allways Ask me how I was.
Always Took Time to Chat with me .
At The Kick Off Bash Just to Sit and have Beer with Mike was an Honour.

If there where More People like Mike Morreale
This would be a Better Place.
One day He be on The Ticats Wall Of Honor

Mike is a reflection of his parents. "The apple don't fall too far from the tree".
Pat Lynch (the old guy in section 7 )

Mike always had time for the fans. He was always very nice to me and my kids whenever we saw him. It's tough to see such a great guy leave the team. I wish him all the best. He's been an asset to the team and the community and when he came back from TO I was thrilled as well.

Wear that jersey with pride Friday night, my friend...maybe you should continue to wear it all season long in his honour...

...with the cape...

Dunno Parker, thinking after Friday i'll retire it, and Sig the cape was gone years ago :slight_smile:

Parker, do you know anyone with a Maas jersey lol

Both Mike and Rob were great TiCats and will be missed. However, in professional sports you are only as good as your last game. There is no job security if someone else can do yours better. The Montreal Canadians are one of the greatest successes in pro sports and their great teams of years past lived by the adage of passing the torch. Hopefully, the young TiCats will pick up the torch and follow in the tradition Mike and Rob displayed.

There is no doubt that Mike is a nice guy. (Most people are.) He was good for the team and the city. He was a face that people could identify with. He was even part of Marketing Marcaroni.....hence why so many called him that, but at the end of the day he really only had solid season (thanks for your rookie year Mike)and eventually was fearful of going over the middle. Others will disagree I'm sure but hey, that's why opinions are opinions.....just mine anyway.

:cowboy:

I don't know what Mike you've been watching, but it certainly couldn't have been Morreale. He NEVER shied away from taking a hit from his first touch of the ball until his last.

i disagree completely with both statements, and he had more than 1 good season... his job was to catch 10-15 yard passes and 8 yard passes on 2nd and 6.. he did both beautifully throughout his career. His job wasnt to have 1500 yards it was to compliment the guys around him.

I really dont think this is the thread to debate Mike's accomplishments, considering the title alone.

Thanks for the cool story Crash.
Mikes was a very good reciever ,tough and I was always a fan of his.... :cowboy:

Uhhh, maybe....

I spent a bit of quality time with Mike today and it kinda hurt to see a friend going through a sad day. The right words just don't come that easy for a guy like me whose career is so different in that I get to choose when to go.

One thing I have learned is that the Tiger-Cats players share a special bond in that no-one quite knows what it is like to fight for your very career day in and day out in front of the public. One game can make you either the "toast of the town" or the 'whipping boy' for all the fans.......Mikey has experienced both ends of the spectrum over the years....and held his head high, represented his Tiger-Cats well and walked proudly amongst us Hamiltonians.....and in his mind, as an equal.

I'm a better person the last four years having gotten to know Mike as a person in private and I just have this gut feeling that he's not done with football quite yet....

Once a Tiger-Cat, always a Tiger-Cat

It's fitting a friend and a fan was there today to help him through what he had to do....because there's no bigger fan of the Tiger-Cats than # 18 himself.......probably since he was in diapers like the rest of us.

I'm behind ya Macaroni!

see ya soon

mike

(thanks for the thread Crash....we may biotch at each other but I can attest that you are a true friend of Mike's also....and very loyal too)