An Uncle Rico Production
(CFL MVP Front-Runner & Toronto Argonaut QB Chad Kelly celebrates rushing TD with team)
“Ask, and you shall receive…”
Bleacher Brothers is a media company whose main purpose is to serve the people; it’s people. We are nothing without our fans, followers, & audience. To make sure that the fans in the highest nosebleeds, the dirtiest bleacher seats, are reassured that they have a voice, we ask our audience members what topics they would like to see our writers tackle. Within minutes, one of our twitter followers by the handle @CVolavka asked for a write up on the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts:
And while I may not pretend to be a guru of Canadian football, I will always give the people what they want (if they ask politely). So, CDV, this one’s for you…
Chad Kelly is no amateur when it comes to the hype surrounding the spotlight.
As a kid, the nephew of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly participated in the youth football competition “Punt, Pass, Kick” winning four national championships. By the end of his high school career, he became one of the top dual-threat QBs in the country, eventually signing with top-tier BCS team (Bowl Championship Subdivision/top division for college football) & ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) legacy Clemson Tigers. But this would not be his last stop.
His first real adversity came in the form of a dismissal from Clemson as a redshirt freshman for “conduct detrimental to the team.” As a result, he turned the lemon into lemonade by deciding to drop down to the junior college level, joining the JUCO powerhouse EMCC (East Mississippi Community College).
Here, Chad Kelly led the EMCC Lions to back-to-back NJCAA National Championships (2013, 2014) granting him the opportunity to once again return to the NCAA as the starting QB for SEC (South-Eastern Conference) debutantes Ole Miss. A victory over conference-rival #2 Alabama catapulted Kelly to a BCS Bowl Game victory, a Sugar Bowl MVP award, and 1st-Team All-Conference honors.
Chad Kelly would return for his senior season, waiving his option to enter the NFL draft. Unfortunately, he would tear his ACL & lateral meniscus by mid-season and be sidelined the rest of the year. He would attempt to enter the NFL Draft, but the NFL rescinded their invite to Kelly to participate in their Scouting Combine, and as a result, he would garner the title “Mr. Irrelevant”; a nickname for the 253rd (last player) taken in the draft.
He was drafted by the Broncos, but it would not last. He bounced around from team to team while also creating issues for himself outside of football (Von Miller’s famous Halloween Party incident. Eventually, his reality of playing significant downs in the NFL became more of a fantasy. After the Indianapolis Colts cut him in 2020, he would briefly return to East Mississippi to join their offensive coaching staff.
But Chad Kelly’s football career hadn’t finished being written. He would add yet another chapter with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts.
He was brought on merely as insurance for Argos’ starting QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, but fate would intervene yet again in the football career of Chad Kelly.
Chad Kelly would start the final game of the 2022 season, losing in a game he would not consider one of his best. The Argos returned to MBT, but an injury in the 4th quarter of the Grey Cup to his throwing hand would sideline MBT for the remainder of the CFL’s championship game. Trailing 23-17, Kelly was thrust back into the captain’s chair, converting a 2nd & 15 by showing off his dual-threat capabilities with a 20-yard run on the Argos’ game-winning drive. 4-6 for 43 yards and a clutch run later, Kelly would seize destiny again, celebrating a Grey Cup championship with a come-from-behind victory.
Fast-forward to 2023, the Argos are at the top of the league; Kelly is the front-runner for the MVP (Top 3 in all passing statistics), leading the CFL in passing efficiency (120.2) & rushing touchdowns (5), and it looks like their title defense is becoming more of a reality.
Kelly is an absolute gamer. This writer has been a fan of his since 2014, and believes that had an NFL team actually gave him a real opportunity to start in the NFL (not pulling the plug after an immediate failure), that he would still be playing on Sundays underneath an American fall & winter.
Fortunately for the CFL, and Canada as a whole, Kelly belongs to your league. And for the citizens of Toronto, I am truly jealous.
And no lie, I would trade you Kyler Murray for Chad Kelly right now. Straight up.
Just think about it…