The first thing Tristan Black did when he was acquired by Toronto Argonauts via a trade with Calgary was eat a home-cooked meal made by his mom.
The day of the trade, Aug. 20, was one for the books as the 26-year-old was sent back home. It’s a transition he’s ecstatic about.
“When it sank in I realized what a great opportunity it was — a feeling of not being traded away, I was feeling like I was being acquired,” the Oakwood area resident said.
Black’s football career is quintessentially home-grown.
Playing at Central Tech and Northern, Black went to Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.
He even has a Cinderella-story memory from his college experience.
“The part I remember the most was we were trying to turn the program around,” he said. “It was a losing program before my class got there.”
He captained a Warriors team that went from 1-9 — before he arrived — to 7-3. They even won a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title.
That championship pursuit and the work put into it earned him the Ultimate Warrior award.
“I was captain of the team and I really motivated others to be their best,” he said. “I was always the first guy in the weight room and worked hard to try and set the right example.”
While he was in the States, his brother Everton was keeping pace with the CIS’s University of Manitoba.
Being the older brother, Black shared his experience with the Bison during the CFL’s combine.
“I just told him to relax and do what he does best: be an athlete and don’t let the hype and the cameras get to him,” he said. “I think he’s more of a natural athlete than I am.
“Guys cut themselves before they get on a team all because they’re nervous.”
Everton is not in the CFL yet, but Tristan is loving every minute of donning the Double Blue.
“Every moment I put on the jersey I have to go and look in the mirror and take it in for a second,” he said. “Being from Toronto it was a dream playing here.
“It’s not that I can’t believe it but it’s easy to get excited about it every day to be on this team.”
Black certainly has something in common with his new team: a thirst for the Grey Cup.
“Getting into the playoffs isn’t really good enough for us right now,” he said. “We’re not the team that made to the playoffs, we’re trying to go all the way.”