Bahamian presence with Stampeders significant through Karl McCartney
Published: Oct 29, 2013
Karl McCartney is crafting an excellent career in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Drafted 37th overall, in the fifth round of the CFL Draft of 2010, McCartney signed with the Calgary Stampeders and is carrying on as a Bahamian presence in place of Godfrey Ellis who played his last season with the Stampeders in 2009.
McCartney, as did Ellis, has to make do with competing in the shadow of the higher profiled leagues in the United States, the National Football League (NFL), in particular. Nevertheless, he is determined to do his best to heighten the status of the CFL. He is quite dependable as a linebacker and special teams performer and is proud of his career highlights to date. McCartney played with the rest of his teammates in the 2012 Grey Cup and he considers that a special milestone despite the defeat at the hands of the opposing Toronto Argonauts.
McCartney began to demonstrate his true abilities afield in his rookie season as a special teams standout. He led the team with 19 special teams tackles. In 2012, he was the CFL’s No. 3 player in special teams tackles (23). He played 17 regular season games in 2010, seven in 2011, and 18 in 2012, plus the playoff contests.
What’s going on in 2013 for McCartney? This is an update he gave me recently:
“The Calgary Stampeders have the best record in the CFL (31-3 as of October 25). I was having a great season (but) then I broke my hand after Week Six. I had surgery and now I’m back in the line-up.”
He is the modest one but has high hopes for another trip to the Grey Cup Championship game. McCartney knows he needs to keep getting those opportunities in order to be successful in matching Ellis who was with the team in 2008 when the Stampeders won their last Grey Cup.
McCartney is conscious of the global sports stage and strives for his “special” place in Bahamian sports history. A Grey Cup Championship would put him directly in the company of the Bahamian forerunner on the Stampeders, Ellis. Ever cognizant of playing a bit under the radar in the CFL, McCartney acknowledges being that more determined to make his fellow Bahamians proud by attaining milestones that enhance the country’s sports image.
In an earlier interview, McCartney talked about how important it was for him to be representing his country.
“It’s about team play in the CFL and not a national team that competes in international events, but it’s still about representing my country,” he emphasized.
In truth, he runs onto the field in the uniform of the Calgary Stampeders, but it is also as a player born in Nassau, from the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Just 26, barring career-hampering injuries, McCartney should be around for about another five years and put up numbers that every Bahamian would appreciate.
Continued best wishes Karl!
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com)