The Calgary Stampeders, ranked by oddsmakers at the season’s outset as co-favourites with the B.C. Lions to capture the Grey Cup, are in turmoil as they wallow in the cellar of the CFL’s West Division.
“There’s unrest,” one of the Stamps told Metro yesterday. “It ain’t pretty. We have issues.”
Receiver Marc Boerigter, who returned to the Stamps this season for a high salary (by CFL standards) of more than $150,000 after five years in the NFL, is fuming because coach Tom Higgins has made him a healthy scratch for Friday night’s game against the Lions.
Star running back Joffrey Reynolds is irked about not being handed the ball enough.
Punter Burke Dales is upset because journeyman Duncan O’Mahony has replaced him.
Some team members wouldn’t mind if Higgins were replaced.
Offensive players are questioning the philosophies of new co-ordinator George Cortez.
The club is irked by the schedule, which has the Stamps playing on fewer days of rest than any team in the CFL.
Strangely, the Calgary defence is staying out of controversy — even though the Stamps have allowed the most points (210) in the league.
• The NBA is preparing a new advertising campaign with the theme “Where Amazing Happens,” and is hoping the overhauled branding effort will negate some of the fallout from the recent referee/gambling scandal that jolted the league … Former NHL star and assistant coach Rick Tocchet will be sentenced Friday for his involvement in a gambling scandal (Operation Slapshot) and NHL sources figure commissioner Gary Bettman will follow up by banning Wayne Gretzky’s good friend from the league … The whole David Beckham thing in Los Angeles is losing its gloss. A month after his much-ballyhooed arrival with MLS’s Galaxy, Beckham has played exactly 37 minutes in two token appearances over eight games.
• Montrealer Eric Gagne has been horrible since joining the Red Sox recently (you can look it up) but Boston manager Terry Francona insists he’ll keep him in the vital closer role for the stretch drive … The Colorado Rockies covet a starting pitcher ASAP and are working on trades for Josh Towers and Steve Trachsel with the Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles, respectively … The Jays, unhappy with Gregg Zaun’s obvious inability to throw out base stealers, will hunt for a new catcher in the off-season … And the Dodgers will try Shea Hillenbrand as a bench player. The ex-Jay has been cut by two MLB clubs this season, but the deep thinkers in L.A. think he will be able to help them in the stretch drive.