Receiver Ken-Yon Rambo retires a Stampeder

It’s a new business, Rambo Transport, hauling cars in the Dallas area.

And if there’s anyone who knows about hauling — as in passes — it’s Ken-Yon Rambo.

“It’s a new chapter in my life,” mused Rambo, over the phone. “I always wanted to own my own business.”

He’s also always wanted to be known as a Calgary Stampeder first and that will happen. On Friday it was announced that the Stamps signed the 36-year-old receiver to a one-day contract just so that he could retire as a member of the Red and White.

“It’s always been on my mind,” explained Rambo, who played seven of his eight CFL seasons with Calgary. “I’ve been a Calgary Stampeder basically all my CFL career. I’ve made a lot of good friends, the organization treated me right, the fans were the best fans I ever had. It was a hands-down, no question thing about it.

“I didn’t want to leave, but it was a business thing. I left, went to Toronto, won a Grey Cup there, and even though Toronto has good fans, there’s nothing like being a Calgary Stampeder.”

In 2008, Rambo enjoyed his finest season, catching 100 passes for 1,473 yards. Leg injuries played havoc with the latter part of his career, an ACL in 2009, then tendinitis. That led to his release by Calgary in 2012, where he finished off his playing days with the Argos.

On Friday, his old teammates and friends spoke volumes about him.

“Ken-Yon Rambo is the best receiver I’ve ever thrown to in my entire life, I will say that,” said Stamps’ quarterback Drew Tate. “No one, still to this day, has been able to create separation the way he’s been able to, running routes, stemming routes, wiggling his routes … he’s the best receiver I’ve thrown to. I’m sure there’s been other receivers out there on other teams that were pretty good, but he’s the best.

“And he was really tough. He was strong to the ball, he would take hits, he wasn’t scared. I think he just loved to play the game, loved to compete.”

“It’s awesome,” submitted linebacker Juwan Simpson. “He always spoke highly of this organization. Even when he left here, he didn’t want to leave, I knew this was where his heart is.”

Simpson described Rambo as a mentor.

“A good friend of mine told me to go train with him and I ran across this loud-mouth guy from Calgary,” related Simpson, who has since taken over that role. “He just taught me the professional way to do things, on and off the field. We just fed off each other; we have pretty much the same personality. He’s considered a brother of mine and a guy I’ll never forget, that’s for sure.”

“The funniest thing actually, I was sitting in a meeting, playing dominoes on my phone and for some reason he popped into my head,” said Tate, who used to train with Rambo in Texas and shared happy times on a pontoon boat on Lewisville Lake. “I was like, man, I miss him, he was fun to have around. And then Huff about four minutes later said what he said and I was like, holy cow.”

The feeling, it appears, is mutual.

“I still keep in contact with them,” said Rambo, who would love to give coaching a go. “Simp is one of my boys. When he came in, he was a youngster, he asked me a lot of questions and I tried to help the young guys out. Drew is still one of my guys. A lot of friends and a lot of good guys.”

A team that he still watches with great interest.

“Oh yeah, they’re always doing well,” he noted. “It’s just the winning tradition Calgary has. We’re the top dogs in the CFL. Everybody wants to play their best game against the Calgary Stampeders. They always try, but they always come up with a loss and it’s still happening now. And that comes with great coaching and great game planning.”

“I was pleased when I heard he wanted to retire a Stampeder,” said Calgary GM-head coach John Hufnagel. “He had a fantastic career wearing the Red and White … 2008 was an exceptional year for him. I wish him the best of luck in whatever he’s going to be doing.”

It’s a new business, Rambo Transport, hauling cars in the Dallas area.

And if there’s anyone who knows about hauling — as in passes — it’s Ken-Yon Rambo.

“It’s a new chapter in my life,” mused Rambo, over the phone. “I always wanted to own my own business.”

He’s also always wanted to be known as a Calgary Stampeder first and that will happen. On Friday it was announced that the Stamps signed the 36-year-old receiver to a one-day contract just so that he could retire as a member of the Red and White.

“It’s always been on my mind,” explained Rambo, who played seven of his eight CFL seasons with Calgary. “I’ve been a Calgary Stampeder basically all my CFL career. I’ve made a lot of good friends, the organization treated me right, the fans were the best fans I ever had. It was a hands-down, no question thing about it.

“I didn’t want to leave, but it was a business thing. I left, went to Toronto, won a Grey Cup there, and even though Toronto has good fans, there’s nothing like being a Calgary Stampeder.”

In 2008, Rambo enjoyed his finest season, catching 100 passes for 1,473 yards. Leg injuries played havoc with the latter part of his career, an ACL in 2009, then tendinitis. That led to his release by Calgary in 2012, where he finished off his playing days with the Argos.

On Friday, his old teammates and friends spoke volumes about him.

“Ken-Yon Rambo is the best receiver I’ve ever thrown to in my entire life, I will say that,” said Stamps’ quarterback Drew Tate. “No one, still to this day, has been able to create separation the way he’s been able to, running routes, stemming routes, wiggling his routes … he’s the best receiver I’ve thrown to. I’m sure there’s been other receivers out there on other teams that were pretty good, but he’s the best.

“And he was really tough. He was strong to the ball, he would take hits, he wasn’t scared. I think he just loved to play the game, loved to compete.”

“It’s awesome,” submitted linebacker Juwan Simpson. “He always spoke highly of this organization. Even when he left here, he didn’t want to leave, I knew this was where his heart is.”

Simpson described Rambo as a mentor.

“A good friend of mine told me to go train with him and I ran across this loud-mouth guy from Calgary,” related Simpson, who has since taken over that role. “He just taught me the professional way to do things, on and off the field. We just fed off each other; we have pretty much the same personality. He’s considered a brother of mine and a guy I’ll never forget, that’s for sure.”

“The funniest thing actually, I was sitting in a meeting, playing dominoes on my phone and for some reason he popped into my head,” said Tate, who used to train with Rambo in Texas and shared happy times on a pontoon boat on Lewisville Lake. “I was like, man, I miss him, he was fun to have around. And then Huff about four minutes later said what he said and I was like, holy cow.”

The feeling, it appears, is mutual.

“I still keep in contact with them,” said Rambo, who would love to give coaching a go. “Simp is one of my boys. When he came in, he was a youngster, he asked me a lot of questions and I tried to help the young guys out. Drew is still one of my guys. A lot of friends and a lot of good guys.”

A team that he still watches with great interest.

“Oh yeah, they’re always doing well,” he noted. “It’s just the winning tradition Calgary has. We’re the top dogs in the CFL. Everybody wants to play their best game against the Calgary Stampeders. They always try, but they always come up with a loss and it’s still happening now. And that comes with great coaching and great game planning.”

“I was pleased when I heard he wanted to retire a Stampeder,” said Calgary GM-head coach John Hufnagel. “He had a fantastic career wearing the Red and White … 2008 was an exceptional year for him. I wish him the best of luck in whatever he’s going to be doing.”

VIA: http://calgaryherald.com/sports/football/cfl/calgary-stampeders/receiver-ken-yon-rambo-retires-a-stampeder

 

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