Monday 15 March 2010

The Greatest Tiger-Cats of My Lifetime: #10

#10: Paul Osbaldiston

Yes, a kicker. I know how people feel about kickers being "real" players, but when it comes to Paul Osbaldiston, those feelings are unwarranted. He is by far the most decorated Kicker in Ti-Cats history, and a true legend for the Black & Gold.

Very few players ever suited up for the Tabbies that had the same passion as the man affectionately referred to as "Ozzy." Osbaldiston's accomplishments are many. He was a 3-time CFL All Star, a member of both the 1986 and 1999 Grey Cup Championship teams – being named the Most Valuable Canadian in the 1986 game – as well as the holder of almost every significant Ti-Cat kicking record.

Osbaldiston also ranks near the top in many of the CFL's career kicking records. He stands third all-time in FGs made with 669, second all-time in singles with 257, and third all-time in points with 2,939 over an 18-year career.

Ozzy provided me with one of my greatest memories involving the Tiger-Cats. It was 1998, the Tiger-Cats were hosting the East Division Final against the Montreal Alouettes, and with no time left, and the Cats trailing 20-18, Osbaldiston lined up for a 54-yard FG to win the game. As the clock hit 0:00, Ozzy booted the winner right down the pipe to send the Tabbies to their first Grey Cup appearance since 1989. The stadium was pure pandemonium. I high-fived and hugged everyone around me. It was a great moment.

Ozzy's accomplishments speak for themselves, but adding in my own personal story is what lets him, somewhat fittingly, kick off the list of the Greatest Tiger-Cats of My Lifetime, coming in at #10.

PREVIOUS: The Greatest Tiger-Cats of My Lifetime (Criteria, Introduction and Honourable Mentions)

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