The Calgary Stampeders are the class of the CFL through half a season, but that doesn’t always indicate playoff success, especially in Cowtown.
The Stamps (8-1) have dominated opponents this year while getting off to their best start since 1996, when they built a 9-1 mark and finished with a 13-5 record, only to lose the West final. In fact, 15-3 records in 1993-95 also ended in playoff disappointment.
Although their first-half record is exemplary and at times the team has looked unbeatable, the record hardly guarantees post-season success.
Buck’s Elbow Is Shot
You have to feel bad for injury-prone QB Buck Pierce, but nobody feels as bad as the sidelined Blue Bomber. The Winnipeg free agent acquisition was expected to jump-start the team’s floundering offence this year, but another injury has likely ended the 28-year-old’s season … again.
This time it’s a dislocated elbow. The fragile Pierce has left 10 of his last 27 games with injuries and has only started four of nine Bombers games this season, leaving two contests with injuries. The trend isn’t surprising after five injury-riddled seasons with the B.C. Lions, when his brilliant play was constantly punctuated by painful knee, shoulder and head injuries.
CFL fans lucky enough to have attended games at Ivor Wynne Stadium can’t help but get nostalgic to see 30,000-plus fans crammed into the old barn for the annual Labour Day Classic. But times have changed and modern football fans expect modern amenities.
Yes, a stadium bordering a freeway in Hamilton’s suburbs won’t ooze the character of Ivor Wynne, but the old girl has outlived her usefulness. The sooner the Cats and Hamilton city council can settle on a site for the 2015 Pan Am Games stadium, the sooner Tabbies fans can join the 21st century.
Loonie Goes Green And White
Have you seen the Saskatchewan Roughrider loonie, launched last week? Not likely. Hundreds of fans lined up in Regina to get their hands on one of three million Saskatchewan Roughrider loonies unveiled by the Royal Canadian Mint.
Considering the passion of Riders fans and their penchant for anything with the giant ‘S’ on it, it’s doubtful you’ll find one in your change. Green and White fans are quickly pocketing the collectables, minted to celebrate the club’s 100th anniversary. Best nickname floated so far: “The Loon-caster.”