CFL fan-favourite tries his luck at the NFL
Article: Brady Lang – Sports WriterIt is the end of an era in Saskatchewan.
For the past six years, the Saskatchewan Roughriders have been headlined by North Dakota native, Weston Dressler. Unfortunately, Dressler will not be wearing the Green and White in 2014.
Dressler has signed with Kansas City to join the Chiefs in the upcoming NFL season, pending a physical.
Many fans shutter at the thought of the long-time Rider wearing something other than a green and white Rider’s uniform, yet we will have to succumb to the inevitable with Dressler. It is just the nature of the beast when it comes to the CFL.
Dressler definitely isn’t the first Rider or CFLer that has decided to make the trip down south of the border. In the past few years, many Riders have tried their luck in the NFL such as Andy Fantuz, Kenton Kieth, Cameron Wake, and, of course, newly crowned Super Bowl Champion Brandon Browner.
I have no doubt that Dressler can make it big in the NFL with the Chiefs. Despite not being drafted into the NFL in his draft year in 2008, Dressler established himself as a mainstay on the Riders. In just his first year with the team, he amassed 1,123 yards en route to winning the Rookie of the Year award. Dressler was also named the most popular player on the Riders.
During the six years Dressler was a Rider, the famed number seven posted incredible numbers. Over 6,500 yards, 43 touchdowns, and dressing in 98 games for the Green and White. Many could argue that Dressler peaked in his final season with the Riders, winning his only Grey Cup Championship and amassing his fifth 1,000-yard season with the club.
Even though Dressler’s impact on the field was outstanding, it was his work in the community that really made all of Saskatchewan fall in love with the Bismark, North Dakota native. Dressler was a mainstay in the community and instantly became a celebrity within all of Saskatchewan.
As his career with the Riders grew, Dressler became one of the biggest celebrities on the team and because of that, publicity grew his name in the states as well. A standout receiver in the CFL garnered much attention and at the start of the 2013 season and many fans in Saskatchewan knew Dressler’s time with the Riders would soon be coming to an end.
With Kansas City, Dressler has released information saying that it was just the right timing with the right team. The receiver also announced that he had asked to wear the number 13 in honour of the 13th man of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
To think that an American coming up from North Dakota has offered something of this nature to the Riders and the city definitely is flattering and it should be taken with a sense of pride for all of Rider Nation. Every time he will put on the Chiefs jersey we will be reminded of great times in Rider Nation.
But, from Saskatchewan, I think that we should all thank Dressler, even though his time has come to an end for the Riders – at least for now. Dressler has helped the franchise win a Grey Cup and participate in another during his time in Riderville.
Dressler will be missed, but as I said before, it’s the nature of the beast in the CFL; it was his dream to play in the NFL and now he gets to live it.
Thank you, Weston. You will be missed, but never forgotten.Image: Arthur Ward