November 29, 2015 - 8:43 AM
WINNIPEG - Released by Saskatchewan in early July, kicker Chris Milo had to think of other ways to pay the bills.
"After two, three weeks I started wondering what I was going to do with my life," he said Saturday. "You never know if that call (from another team) is going to come — ever.
"So you start thinking about things. I was actually working for Honda in Regina for about a week. And then Marcel (Ottawa GM Marcel Desjardins) rang the phone and I said 'I'm coming.'"
The 29-year-old Milo, who sold two cars during his brief stint in the dealership, will be kicking in the 103rd Grey Cup on Sunday. And he has played a key role in getting the second-year Redblacks to the CFL championship game.
"Those kicks he made in the Hamilton game, those are some big kicks — and into the wind," said Ottawa coach Rick Campbell, referencing Milo's four field goals in the Eastern Division final. "Chris has been great.
"The other thing that's nice about him is he's a pretty level-headed guy. When you ask him to punt or do everything, he's not fazed by it. We're glad we have him."
Milo will face another recycled kicker in Edmonton's Sean Whyte, who joined the Eskimos in early September after being cut by Montreal the previous month. The 30-year-old Whyte, a seven-year CFL veteran who played two seasons with B.C. prior to joining the Alouettes, was considering a job as a cable installer and repairman when Edmonton summoned him.
The two ran into each other earlier this week and compared notes.
"I said 'Sean, it's kind of weird. We were both out of a job and now we're playing for a Grey Cup,'" said Milo. "Good things happen to good people. Sean's a great kid. He's been really consistent throughout his career and he serves to be in this league.
"It's going to be a battle of the unwanted, I guess. It's fun. We kind of laugh about it now that we're in the Grey Cup and those teams aren't. So we'll take advantage."
Whyte has collected 882 regular-season points while Milo has 601.
Milo, who won the Grey Cup in 2013 with Saskatchewan and two Vanier Cups with Laval, said he never lost confidence despite being out of a job.
"I knew that I can do it. I've done it. I've played in the big games, I've have success in the big games. So I had full confidence in my abilities.
"That's just the way it goes sometimes. I was out there kicking every day and waiting for a phone call. And sure enough it came about a month later. And here I am."
Milo, who started with Saskatchewan in 2011, says his journey this season has made him appreciate how special the Grey Cup experience is.
"I'm definitely taking advantage of every opportunity, every moment. I'm really taking it all in. It's things that don't happen every often, especially the way things played out for me this year — I definitely didn't expect to be in this game."
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News from © The Canadian Press, 2015