Global player Thiadric Hansen makes Grey Cup impact for Bombers with spectacular tackle

By Ted Wyman

CALGARY — It wasn’t a touchdown, a kick return or a big passing play, but Thiadric Hansen’s punishing, highlight-reel hit on special teams exemplified just why the Winnipeg Blue Bombers won the Grey Cup on Sunday.

Everyone knows the most physical team will win in a championship game and Hansen had quite possibly the most physical play of them all.

The global player from Germany absolutely destroyed not one, but two, Hamilton Tiger-Cats players during a second-quarter punt return.

Hansen, who had never even heard of the CFL when 2019 began, levelled both kick returner Frankie Williams and Hamilton blocker Mike Daly with one thunderous hit.

They both went flying in a fashion you rarely see at any level of football.

“I just don’t know what to say,” an almost bewildered Hansen said during the Grey Cup presentation on the field at McMahon Stadium. “It’s just crazy.”

Hansen is the poster boy for commissioner Randy Ambrosie’s CFL 2.0 initiative and the most unlikely of Grey Cup champions. He was driving a school bus in Potsdam, Germany in March, went to the CFL combine that month and wounded up getting selected by the Bombers in the first-ever European draft.

He started the season as a backup linebacker and got eased into the lineup on special teams, but by mid-season he had been converted to defensive end and was making an impact.

That he wound up winning a championship — and playing a role in the final — was simply unfathomable.

“We did it!” he said. “29 years? To be a part of that is crazy. I appreciate everyone on the team. I love everybody.”

Hansen said the entire victory celebration was a blur.

“To be honest I forgot what I did up there,” he said. “It was just flashing by. I’m so proud.

“This is for my family, everybody watching in Germany, so many people.”

Read the rest of the article from Post Media Network’s Chatham Daily News here.