George White walked into McMahon Stadium as a B.C. Lion yesterday wearing a wide smile, sharp suit and distinctive piece of Calgary Stampeders colours.
Although the former Stamps linebacker is now a member of Calgary's rival, he went with comfort for his footwear.
White was still wearing Stamps Crocs sandals when trying to explain he didn't join the Lions just to stick it to the team that cut him a little more than six weeks ago.
"That really didn't factor into it at all but that's just how it turned out," said White, who joined the Lions as a free agent this week. "God works in mysterious ways. He wanted me to play Calgary this year for whatever reason."
If things work out as expected, today's matchup at McMahon Stadium between the Stamps and Lions (2 p.m., TSN) won't be the final one this season.
B.C. has already clinched first in the division and will host the West Final, meaning the road to the Stampeders' Grey Cup goes through Vancouver and their old pal White.
Since the Stamps let White go Aug. 30, their defence changed on a week-to-week basis, including today when newcomer Shannon James will get a chance to play at White's old spot.
White, 28, said it was no coincidence Stamps defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan's three-four system struggled last week against the Lions after shuffling was needed over the past month due to injury.
"That defence was based on us knowing each other and not mixing in different players here and there," White said. "That makes it so you don't know what the guy next to you is going to do.
"I don't think the guys there know what's going to happen."
Brian Clark, John Grace, Scott Coe and White were great friends when they made up the starting four starting in 2004 until this year.
The other three were happy to see White find another job this season, although they would have preferred it be an East Division team.
"He didn't want to do that," said Coe, who will be up against White on special teams. "He wanted to play us right away. He wants to play with or against us.
"He'll probably take a few cheap shots. I'm expecting a gouge to the eye. That's the fun part we're going to have. We'll try to keep it away from the stripes.
"I'm going to lick his ear. No one has ever tried that before. It hasn't been done but I will try. He likes the blowing in the ear. Not too many people know that."
Clark isn't happy to see White as a Lion because his he makes them stronger.
"They could probably put him anywhere," Clark said. "It's a good security blanket for them. If somebody gets hurt, they have a good linebacker waiting. Plus it also lets them evaluate him for next year."
The Lions aren't sure how much White will play on defence but the linebacker will help wherever he's needed. He savours the chance to win the Grey Cup this season but is also playing to make sure he finds a job next season.