Mike Morreale and Rob Hitchcock, who were released by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on June 19, will be officially retired by the team during halftime of the annual Labour Day game against Toronto at Ivor Wynne Stadium, Sportsnet has learned.
The two Hamilton natives were popular players in their time with the Tiger-Cats, but were released by the club in a move which caught the two veterans by surprise. The team is expected to reveal details of the plans to officially retire Morreale and Hitchcock on Monday.
Hitchcock, one of the hardest hitting safeties in the Canadian Football League, played his entire career for Hamilton, beginning in 1995.
Morreale, a versatile receiver, joined Hamilton in 1997 after two years in Toronto and was voted the CFL's Top Canadian in 1998 and the Outstanding Canadian in 1999 when the Tiger-Cats won the Grey Cup. He returned to play for Toronto in 2002 and rejoined the Tiger-Cats in 2004.
I heard on CH this morning that the Ticats will be honouring Rob and Mike on Labour Day....and....retiring their numbers.
They said details will follow but they did say "retiring" their numbers.
I don't want to be a drag....but honour them, yes. Retiring their numbers????
What about 26, 68, 1, 82, 14, 10 etc......?
[quote="mr62cats"]Maybe Rob and Mike can bring their equipment with them and help out on the field against the ___
Please tell me you're joking. Rob and Mike were done two years ago!!!! I don't wanna here about how we need veteran leadership they did sweet fa the last two years!!!!
Honour them yes but Ticat management made a difficult decision during training camp and IMO it was the right one!!!
My tongue was very slightly in my cheek. I think the defence is coming along better than the offence but we still are a long way from getting it all together.
It probably was the right decision to release Rob and Mike but the way things are now.........forgive me for just wondering.
Mike "perennial little yardage after the catch" Morreale, and Rob "arrive after the catch with a hit" Hitchcock, were done years ago. Mike had a few good seasons years ago when Danny Mac made everyone look good. But retiring these numbers? lol I don't think so.
I don't want to seem argumentative here but given our lack of locker room leadership now and our 1-7 record, how can you say this was the right decision.....
Those guys ran around the stadium in diapers as kids like the rest of us pretty much and their blood, sweat and tears are splashed into the turf and on the sideline walls....
I submit that their spirit and leadership is sorely missed this year and the results are evident. Those two guys could have been a huge help as de-facto player/coaches this year to help the new coaches out and oversee the new guys on the player side.
Their release was premature in my opinion and a bum move.....the one mistake that GM Desjardins made in my opinion. (assuming it was his call of course)
I was with Mikey as he cleaned out his locker all alone in the locker room and I saw the hurt and bewilderment in his eyes....sure, I tried to console him as best I could, but, never having gone through what he has as an athlete (training camps, pain, elation and heartbreak), it was tough to really put myself in his shoes.....I'm just a fan ....but I did try hard to imagine the hurt and say some words that might ease the pain a bit.
It was so hard for me to hear him say good-bye to the locker room and watch him walk out that door to the parking lot one last time with nothing but a green garbage bag....
I know who's name went on his locker a few hours later but that's not my place to say....I'm sure Mikey approved.
Anyhow, the retirement now of Mike and Hitch is truly the end of an exciting era for a lot of players and fans.....I'm hoping dearly a new era is on the horizon soon.....like it or not, The Tiger-Cats and Ivor Wynne Stadium are and is the rally point for this city and represents far more than just another sports team....it's where we all collectively hang our pride.....
Go Cats and thanks to Mike and Rob for a job well done !
I proudly wore my Hitchcock jersey on Saturday night and won't switch to a new one until I see someone on this current team step up, lead this team and start taking games over.
Lumsden's leading so far but I'm hoping for Moreno or Chang or even NML.
The only number the Ticats have officially retired is Bernie Faloney's 10. I thought they had also retired Tom Pate's number after he died, but I have never received official confirmation one way or the other from many sources I have contacted.
General Ticat policy is to not retire numbers; they would have run out years ago.
".....given our lack of locker room leadership now and our 1-7 record, how can you say this the right decision..."
Well Hitchcock played the season we went 1-17, and both players were on the '05 and '06 teams that went 5-13 and 4-14 respectively. I dont' think were lacking that "kind" of leadership.
".....I was with Mikey as he cleaned out his locker all alone in the locker room and I saw the hurt and beweilderment in his eyes...."
He didn't have to have it end that way. It was his choice not to retire at the end of last year and go out in style. I mean come on, he's 36, slow, and definitely no Stegall. Probably another season of the "dropsies" anyway.