TORONTO – In a season that saw Chad Owens break Michael “Pinball” Clemons’ CFL record for most combined yards in a single season, become the first player in CFL history to lead the league in both receiving and kick return yards, and become the first player in pro football history to record three separate seasons of 3,000 combined yards, it is only fitting that his dream year be capped off by earning the nomination as the East Division’s Most Outstanding Player in 2012!
Owens commented, “Wow! This is such an honour. With so many talented and deserving players in the East this year: Anthony Calvillo, Chad Simpson, and Chris Williams, I feel both humbled and appreciative. I’m so thankful to have been given an opportunity to excel at both receiver and returner, and blessed to have been able to remain healthy, for the most part, throughout the entire season. I would like to thank the voters, my coaches, my teammates, and especially my family. This award belongs to those who helped me get here – I could not have done it without you.”
During his record-setting season, the Flyin’ Hawaiian averaged over 220 combined yards per game en route to leading the league in both kick return yards and receiving yards. Owens’ best game statistically was during the final Labour Day Classic ever held at Ivor Wynne Stadium on September 3, 2012. He finished the game with 136 kickoff return yards, 90 punt return yards and 176 receiving yards with one touchdown. He totalled an Argos single game record of 402 combined yards, third most in CFL history.
In three seasons in Toronto, Owens has re-written the Argos’ 139-year old record books. As of the end of the 2012 CFL season, Owens sits second all-time in punt return yards, kickoff returns, and total kick return yards behind Clemons. He tops the Argos’ all-time list for most kickoff return yards in a season (1,750), kickoff return yards in a game (245), and total kick return yards in a season (2,701). Prior to 2012, Owens had never registered a 1,000 yard receiving season as a professional. This year saw him explode on offence for 94 receptions for a league leading 1,348 yards and six majors.
This is the third straight season Owens has been nominated for a major CFL award. He was named the East Division Most Outstanding Special Teams Player in 2010 and 2011, and was awarded CFL Most Outstanding Special Teams Player in 2010. This is the first time in his career that he’s earned East Division Most Outstanding Player honours. QB Damon Allen was the last Argonauts player to be named East Division Most Outstanding Player in 2005. He went on to be named CFL Most Outstanding Player that same year.
The East and West Player Award winners were selected by 70 voters, including members of the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) and CFL head coaches. The representative from the Western Division is Calgary Stampeders RB Jon Cornish, who broke a 56-yard record for most rushing yards by a Canadian in one season.
The 2012 Gibson’s Finest CFL Player Awards will be handed out on Thursday, November 22 at Koerner Hall in downtown Toronto. Tickets for the show are available by emailing email@example.com or by calling (416) 341-ARGO. Awards show tickets also provide access to the TELUS Players Party at the MTCC which features performances by some of the hottest names in Canadian music including K’naan, Kardinal Offishall, Mia Martina and Kreesha Turner.
Owens and the Double Blue will host their first home playoff game since 2007, the Eastern Semi-Final, on Sunday, November 11, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are available now by calling (416) 341-ARGO (2746) or by CLICKING HERE.