Geroy Simon is the CFL’s all-time receptions king.
But the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ slotback was in no mood to celebrate after his team lost a fourth game in a row on Sunday.
Simon made the 1,018th catch of his 15-year career when he hauled in a seven-yard pass from Darian Durant nearly 10 minutes into the first quarter of the Roughriders 17-12 loss to the Montreal Alouettes.
“It’s tough to put it into words after a fourth loss in a row,” a dejected Simon said. “It means a lot, but it will mean a lot more in a while.
“I’m not about individual accolades. I’m about winning and right now we’re not doing a good job.”
The 38-year-old had three catches on the day to give him 1,020.
Simon set the historic mark in the same place, Percival Molson Stadium, where the man whose record he broke made many of his grabs — former Alouette Ben Cahoon.
Cahoon, who played 13 seasons, all with Montreal, set the record when he passed Terry Vaughn’s 1,006 receptions on Oct. 11, 2010, and added 11 more in the regular season. He retired after winning the Grey Cup that season.
Simon did not celebrate on the field. His catch was short of a first down. He just went to the bench and sat down, to polite applause from the crowd of 24,106.
“Congratulations to Geroy Simon: a superb talent, valued teammate, consummate professional and now, one of the all-time greats,” said CFL commissioner Mark Cohon in a statement.
The veteran receiver will be honoured in a special pre-game ceremony at the next Roughriders home game on Oct. 12. It was Simon’s preference not to have an in-game ceremony.
A scoreboard message was played from Cahoon congratulating Simon.
“It represents tens of thousands of frequent flyer miles and hundreds of dollars buying all those quarterbacks dinner so they’ll get you ball,” said Cahoon. “Congratulations Geroy, you earned every one of those balls.”
Simon appreciated the gesture from the Alouettes and Cahoon, but wanted to focus on winning the game.
“I’ve been friends with Ben for a long time, before we ever got to this league,” said Simon. “He’s a first class guy.
“I didn’t want them to stop the game or anything like that. I just wanted to play good football. Ben sent me a message last night and I appreciate that. He’s been a great player in this league.”
Simon broke in with Winnipeg in 1999, but rose to stardom after joining the B.C. Lions in 2001. The Johnstown, Pa., native moved to Saskatchewan this season.
Last season, he became the CFL’s all-time leader in reception yards. His 47 yards Sunday gave him 16,188 in his career.