Stamps to finally face a worthy foe

ERIC FRANCIS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

Despite having an easier schedule than a sports columnist, the Calgary Stampeders have proven conclusively they’re the CFL’s team to beat.

However, we’re about to find out how good they really are.

Yes, they’ve beaten the only other Grey Cup contenders — the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Montreal Alouettes already. But to do it Friday in Regina will demonstrate just how superior the Stamps are.

Surrendering a meagre total of 18 points in third quarters and grabbing one more interception already this year than it had all last season, the defence is all-world. So, too, is an offence that is even deeper and more dynamic than in 2009.

Outside of a rookie kicker, who likely won’t be able to calm doubters until he wins a playoff game or two, the 9-1 Stamps have it all. A few more wins and they’ll clinch the west, fighting then only to stay interested.

Have they peaked too early? Is complacency the only thing that can beat them?

These questions will start to be answered Friday, and with the leadership and coaching in place — not to mention the two points the Riders scored yesterday in an embarrassing loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers — few doubt the response will be overwhelmingly positive.

Now more notes, quotes and anecdotes from a sports world wondering how governments at any level can justify offering cash to build stadiums amidst all the cutbacks.

Around the horn

How appropriate — not only have the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks been split up, so to have The Fratellis, the singers of the Blackhawks’ catchy little goal-scoring anthem. You know the one, do-do-da-do … It’s only natural for Canadians to bristle over the NHLPA’s hiring of Donald Fehr. After all, Fehr was in charge of MLB players when they chose to strike in 1994, costing the front-running Montreal Expos a possible World Series, and ultimately, the franchise … The most amazing stat of the year doesn’t belong to Tiger Woods but to fellow PGA star Matt Kuchar, who hasn’t shot over 75 in 2010. The only other player ever to do that over an entire season is Woods … Yes, it’s evident Dave Dickenson will be a CFL head coach. The only question is how many years it will take for Wally Buono to make the hire … Interesting game being played by Rogers, hoping half-page ads in the Calgary newspaper will pressure Shaw to add Sportsnet One to its cable packages before locals start missing out on Flames games … In an effort to bolster preseason attendance, Flames season ticket holders who attend all four games will be entered into a draw to win a trip to Chicago … Jesse Newman is a perfect example of how the Edmonton Eskimos’ indecision on hiring a new GM is costing them weekly.The former Stamps offensive lineman, who was traded to the B.C. Lions, should have been snapped up by the Esks as their porous o-line is the root of their problems.

Parting gifts

Let me get this straight — Reggie Bush is on the verge of losing two trophies in one year? The Heisman and girlfriend Kim Kardashian? … Sorry, Rona, but the fact some dude installed his own composter and rainwater collection system is not worthy of mention every fourth commercial on TSN … Not the start the AJHL wanted with coaches of the Okotoks Oilers and Calgary Mustangs stepping down mere days before the season kicks off … Oh, and who knew? AJHL games can be seen on the league’s website for $6.99 a game … Funny e-mail from reader Frank Rusk during the Labour Day beating at McMahon: “ Would the lady who left her 12 kids please come pick them up. They are beating the Eskimos 44-to-3 at the half.” … It took four years and the absence of Tiger Woods, but the FedEx Cup is actually intriguing ... Jay Leno, after Tom Brady’s car accident last week: “Even though Tom was completely fine, over a dozen of his teammates rushed to (supermodel wife) Gisele Bundchen’s side to console her.”

eric.francis@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos