The whistle stops, Randy Chevrier will readily acknowledge, had become something of a blur.
Big places, small places, exotic places and so-so places. Across the U.S., back home to Canada and even to Europe. From Jacksonville, Fla.; to Cincinnati, Ohio; to Dallas, Texas; to Barcelona, Spain; to Edmonton; and then to New York.
“I moved around so much for football,’’ mused the three-time Grey Cup champion who spent 11 seasons as a defensive tackle and long snapper for the Calgary Stampeders. “How many cities? Kind of lost track.
“From a guy who’d lived in one place until I was 25 (Montreal), I bounced around the world for four or five years. Everywhere I went, I wound up renting because of the nature of sport.”
After signing on with John Hufnagel’s crew as a free agent on Jan. 31, 2005, by that point weary of the constant relocating, Chevrier and his wife decided to make a commitment to Calgary.
That attachment would prove mutual, as he went on to become one of the Stamps’ most popular, visible and accessible players during his time with the team. After retiring from football, Chevrier joined the Calgary Fire Department as a community safety officer.
“Our first home was three bedrooms, 1,700 square feet, had an attached garage and we got it for $275,000. Right now, you couldn’t get a two-bedroom condo for that.”
“I had some money from the year I played in the NFL, so we decided to start laying down some roots,’’ he said of the decision to buy a home in Calgary.
“Tuscany was a new development and in proximity to both of our workplaces at the time – McMahon Stadium for me, she was working at Foothills Hospital. We both came from Montreal, where being considered close to work is 45 minutes away, so the 10-to-15-minute drive seemed pretty sweet.
“Our first home was three bedrooms, 1,700 square feet, had an attached garage and we got it for $275,000. Right now, you couldn’t get a two-bedroom condo for that. I always say we were very lucky to come to Calgary when we did, in terms of affordability.”
The neighbourhood, Chevrier recalls, “was dirt when we got there,” so construction on the home took approximately seven months.
“Naturally, as the work progressed, we’d go over to take a look to see our house was coming along, and we saw, interestingly enough, houses that were brand new on the street just standing on their own, up for sale – selling for double the price of ours,” he said.
“About three days after we took possession of our home, we looked at each other and said, ‘Something’s happening in this city.’ We went to see the showhomes of the estate section in Tuscany – that would now sell for $800,000 to $1 million – and they were selling for $450,000 at the time. So, decided to buy a forever home, sell the home we’d just moved into and make up the difference.”
The build on the estate home took “about 14 months,” with the couple moving into the second home in October 2006. They stayed there for about six years before the arrival of children and the accompanying change in priorities led the pair to move to Hawkwood and, eventually, Brentwood.