Figuratively speaking, the Edmonton Eskimos are on fire these days. Give it time, however, and one of them might actually catch on fire.
Considering three odd injuries their players have suffered over the past couple of weeks, they might want to begin wearing fire retardant uniforms.
In the first incident, linebacker Roger Reinson was standing in a bar when a beer bottle, thrown by a woman he didn't know, hit him just above the eye. That got him several stitches, but no vision problems.
Then, just a week later, defensive back Donny Brady got stabbed in the left side of his back during an altercation at another bar.
The puncture wound was only an inch deep, but that's because the unknown instrument dug into one of his ribs.
"Every minute, every second, every day I wake up, I'm more happy when my eyes open up," Brady told the Edmonton Sun. "And when I go to sleep, that's one of the things that I think about.
"It could have went the other way. But I thank God. I have a strong faith in God. Luckily, He was on my side this time."
The final injury -- and this one is really freaky -- happened to rookie fullback Gilles Lezi, who spent almost a week in hospital because of an infected tooth.
He ignored the mouth pain for two weeks until the swelling got out of control.
"It looked like a watermelon was on the left side of my face," he told the Edmonton Journal.
(If you're eating breakfast, stop reading)
Doctors had to punch two holes in his neck to drain the infection, and he spent the next three days with a tube in his throat to assist his breathing.
"I guess I can learn from that," Lezi said. "The next time I have a bum nail or something, I'm going to the doctor. I'm going to have somebody check it out."
LABOUR GAINS: In a brilliant promotion by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats marketing department, pregnant women who attended last Monday's Labour Day Classic against the Toronto Argonauts at Ivor Wynne Stadium were eligible to win a unique contest: The first one to give birth after the game won, for her child, a season ticket for life.
Leanne Wolf, of Waterdown, Ont., delivered the winner -- Julia Lauren -- at 3:21 p.m. last Tuesday, fewer than 24 hours after the game ended.
"We found out in December that Leanne was pregnant," father Craig told the Hamilton Spectator.
"When we heard about the promotion for Labour Day we thought, yeah, we're pretty close. But we never thought we'd be that close."
EXTRA POINTS: It's make-or-break time for the Ottawa Renegades this Friday night against the Calgary Stampeders, according to the Ottawa Sun's Chris Stevenson: "The Stamps stink. If the Renegades can't beat the Stampeders, then they don't deserve to be in the playoffs." ... Note to media everywhere: Stop comparing the career stats of NFL and CFL players ... The Stampeders yesterday re-signed DL Demetrious Maxie, a recent NFL cut ... The following exchange took place in the Frank Clair Stadium press box Saturday, after struggling Renegades K Sandro Sciortino missed a 17-yard field goal against the Lions: "I think Sciortino should change his number (13). That's the problem." The response: "How about changing feet?"
THEY SAID IT
"I looked across the line and I think even (Matt) Dunigan was in the box. There were a lot of people in there to try and keep us from running the football."
- Eskimos running back Mike Pringle, to the Edmonton Journal, discussing the valiant effort the Stampeders put forth last Friday in preventing him from breaking George Reed's all-time CFL rushing record.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: 2
The number of yards Eskimos running back Mike Pringle needs to break George Reed's all-time rushing mark of 16,116.