Ricky Foley ready for emotionally charged evening

Foley returns to Toronto for the first time since Grey Cup
Reported by Joel Gasson
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Emotions are nothing new for Roughriders defensive end Ricky Foley.

They're what fuel him on the football field and the former Argonaut should certainly have plenty of fuel to light that fire Thursday night in Toronto.

It's the first time Foley will be back at the Rogers Centre turf since last year's Grey Cup game. It's a field he dreamed of playing on while growing up in Courtice, Ontario, a town about an hour north east of Toronto.

"I'm just trying to not worry about it right now," said Foley, who's actually getting his Grey Cup ring before the game from Argos general manager Jim Barker. "I'm sure that will be emotional, but I feed off that, so maybe I'll have a little extra juice in the tank."

It was in November last year when Foley earned that ring. The Argos beat the Stampeders in the 100th Grey Cup and he was named top Canadian in the game. Afterwards he had an emotionally-charged interview with TSN.

Then the off season came around and the cold, hard truth of football started to rear its ugly head. For whatever reason someone with his hometown team didn't want him back.

Foley admits that there's certainly some resentment to how the whole thing went down.

"I don't want to get into detail with it," said Foley. "Going another direction, whatever it is, there's going to be an extra edge there."

Despite being cast aside by the team he grew up watching Foley says he has no hard feelings for Barker, the man in charge of the double blue ship.

"Me and Jim are really good, he's like a father figure to me there," said Foley. "I got no ill will towards Jim at all."

Foley adds that Barker was very good to him during the free agency period, even saying that Barker wanted him back.

Adding to the emotion of the evening will be a number of friends and family that will be in attendance to cheer Foley on, along with the slew of other green and white jerseys that normally invade the Argos home turf.

"Die-hard Argo fans, they're great. I think they compete with the Rider fans," said Foley. "But there's just so many Rider fans. It's going to be awesome, we're going to have a little bit of noise when Toronto's on offense."

Foley actually isn't sure how many people will be there to see him, as it's his mother who takes care of all those logistics.

But sometimes emotions can be too much for a player. Riders Head Coach Corey Chamblin knows the homecoming scenario is certainly ripe for Foley to perhaps be a little overcharged. He's looking for Foley to channel his emotion in the right way.

"If he's staying onsides and sacking the quarterback we're good," said Chamblin. "If that emotion runs over and he's headed in the other direction, we're bad."

For his part, Foley isn't too concerned about that happening.

"If anything I need to get off the ball a little faster. I'm always worried about jumping offside," said Foley. "I'm not too worried about the stage being too big."

The stage of the 100th Grey Cup in his own backyard wasn't too big so you have to imagine that this is a moment Foley should be able to handle. But either way it still won't be easy.

What will make it easier is a "W" against his former team.