Undersized Petros Proved His Worth in Calgary
The phone rang while Petros was sweeping up one night, a voice on the other
end telling him he’d been selected by the Calgary Stampeders in the 1983
Canadian Football League Draft. Petros was gobsmacked: He wasn’t even aware
the draft was taking place.
“I always wanted to play in the CFL. It was my dream to play for the Stampeders,
but I didn’t know it was going to happen then,” says Petros, who was picked in
the fth round, 42nd overall. “I didn’t even know what I was going to be the next
Petros, who by then had packed about 20 more pounds onto his ve-foot-10
frame, would carve out a solid career in the CFL. He played an even 100 games
over parts of seven seasons with the Stamps before retiring in 1990 with over
2,200 rushing and more than 1,000 receiving yards to his credit.
“I was nominated for some awards, but just playing and making the Stampeders
was my highlight in the CFL,” Petros says.
Upon bidding goodbye to the gridiron, Petros became a regular xture at Nick’s,
involved in pretty much every aspect of the operation. Eventually Petros and
his wife Laura, a successful Calgary realtor, moved with their two children to an
acreage just outside Calgary.
Taking the role of stay-at-home parent, Petros built a small commercial kitchen
at the acreage and began baking pizzas that he sold frozen at area markets. With
their distinctive taste, creative combinations, and made strictly from highquality
ingredients, the pies were a hit.
Finally, once his kids had graduated high school and moved onto university,
Petros turned his attention towards a long-standing aspiration, if not his destiny.
In September 2013, the rst slices were served at Tim’s Gourmet Pizza.
“Restaurants take time - you work and work and work, you can’t leave them
alone, you’ve got to be there,” says Petros, 56. “So I always told my wife, when
the kids get older, and I don’t have to be home as much, we should open a
The pizza menu includes basics like pepperoni, alongside a number of signature
specialty varieties from “Honey Bunch” to “Good Golly It’s Gouda”. The three
sizes - Little Tim’s, Tim’s, and Big Tim’s - seem rather poetic given the erstwhile
halfback was once deemed too small to make the cut before he sliced through
extra-large lineman like a pizza cutter through thick crust.
“In Grade 1, there were three Tims in my class,” Petros explains. “My teacher
would go, “Tim?’ and we’d all say yes. So she goes, ‘Ok you’re ‘Little Tim’, ‘Tim’ and
“So when we had the three (pizza) sizes, I said, ‘I remember this, let’s do ‘Little
Tim’, ‘Tim’, and ‘Big Tim’.
“I was Little Tim back then, but I’ve turned into Big Tim.”
CANADA WEST YEARBOOK 23