Monday night at Rogers Centre will mark just the third time in eight CFL seasons that Byron Parker will suit up and play against the Toronto Argonauts. Parker spent seven of his eight CFL seasons as a member of the Double Blue from 2004-2011. During that span, Parker also made several attempts at the NFL but he always seemed to find his way back to Toronto one way or another.
Parker’s prior two games against the Argonauts came when he was a member of the Edmonton Eskimos in 2009. The Argonauts traded Parker to the Eskies on September 28, 2009 where he would conclude the season with Edmonton and have the opportunity to play his former team in the process. In two games against the Argonauts late in the 2009 season, Parker recorded a total of five tackles and two interceptions, leading the Eskimos to two very important victories en route to earning a playoff appearance.
Following the conclusion of the 2009 season, Parker was a free agent and Parker’s first choice was to return to the Argonauts. Parker signed with the Argos on February 16, 2010 and played two more seasons as a member of the Double Blue. On October 28, 2011, Parker recorded his ninth career interception return for a touchdown against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, setting a new CFL record for most defensive touchdowns of all-time.
Parker will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the greatest Argonauts defenders of all-time and will definitely hold a special place in the hearts of Argos fans for his incredible dedication and loyalty to the Argonauts organization.
Following the 2011 season, Parker was on the open market yet again and on February 16, 2012, Parker signed with the B.C Lions. He has obtained more of a depth role with the Lions and is playing in the one of the best defensive systems in the CFL. Not to mention, he is also a member of the defending Grey Cup Champions, which will likely increase the importance of this game on Monday night because as they say: “To be the best, you have to beat the best”.
The Argonauts have put great emphasis on this upcoming football game on Monday night. They know how important it is to be able to defeat the defending Grey Cup Champions on your own home turf. It sets the tone for a long season that they hope will culminate in a Grey Cup victory at home later this year.
As for Parker, Argonauts fans will definitely give him a warm welcome when he first steps foot on the turf at Rogers Centre but following warm-ups and the national anthem, they will without a doubt want to see him get beat by one of our young, talented Argonauts receivers.
Despite all the success Parker had as a member of the Argos, he now dons the Orange and White of the B.C Lions. This week will certainly bring back memories of all the sensational moments Parker has experienced as a member of the Argonauts but the past is the past and at the end of the day he is now a member of the opposition. On Monday night, the Argonauts will without question, do everything in their power to make sure that Parker’s return to Toronto is as difficult as possible.
– Daniele Franceschi –