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Wandering Glenns making Grey Cup debut in Calgary

The Wandering Glenns (clockwise) Dan McLaughlin, Joe Pritchard, Sheldon Jones, Stephen Safinuk, Coren Jones, Andrew Hoskins, Stephanie Hudson, Carter Ballantine and Ryan Ballantine pose for a photo while wearing several Kevin Glenn jerseys at the Grey Cup Festival Tim Hortons Kick-Off Party. Wednesday, November 20, 2019. Brendan Miller/Postmedia
The Wandering Glenns (clockwise) Dan McLaughlin, Joe Pritchard, Sheldon Jones, Stephen Safinuk, Coren Jones, Andrew Hoskins, Stephanie Hudson, Carter Ballantine and Ryan Ballantine pose for a photo while wearing several Kevin Glenn jerseys at the Grey Cup Festival Tim Hortons Kick-Off Party. Wednesday, November 20, 2019. Brendan Miller/Postmedia

Kevin Glenn holds a distinct honour in the world of sports.

When the quarterback retired from the Canadian Football League in June on his 40th birthday, he did so after having spent time with every one of the league’s nine teams.

The distinction likely makes him the only professional athlete to be on the roster of every team in a major pro league at some point during their career.

Glenn’s unique accomplishment is what led Ryan Ballantine and a dozen other football fanatics to honour the veteran.

“The Wandering Glenns are a celebration of the CFL, and nothing is more CFL and more Canadian than a guy whose rights were owned by every team at some point or another,” said Ballantine.

“We thought, in what has been a rather divisive time in Canada, why not find the thread that sows us all together, and that’s the CFL and Kevin Glenn.”

The members of the group know each other through a series of podcasts they each host covering the CFL and its individual teams. Ballantine, who hosts a Calgary Stampeders podcast dubbed the Horsemen Radio Podcast, said getting everyone together has been three years in the making, as logistical issues have kept them from all getting together.

Until this year, that is, when many of the Wandering Glenns will meet for the first time.

“We’re pretty hyped up — we’ve been talking about it now for the past couple of months and the events we want to make sure we hit,” said Ballantine. “Each of the shows is sending someone into town . . . and represent our hometowns — we even have an American Glenn. He’s our Bombers fan, he lives down in Minnesota.

“We’re really excited the Grey Cup is where many of us can finally put a handshake to the name and face we’ve seen on video calls.”

The Wandering Glenns were taking in the sights of the Grey Cup Festival kickoff party Wednesday night and are planning on being around the party all the way through the weekend to the pinnacle of Sunday’s game.

While the group won’t be sitting together for this year’s Grey Cup, the hope is that will change in future years.

“After the kickoff party, it’s really going to be about enjoying the festival, wandering around . . . and seeing what it has to offer,” said Ballantine. “We do have a Wandering Glenns patch on our jerseys and a team-coloured, two-tone wig, so if you see us, come up, say hello, and maybe get yourself some podcast network trading cards we’re going to hand out.”

zlaing@postmedia.com

Twitter: @zjlaing

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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