Was Scott Deibert out of his element the past two months, banished from the football field with a torn hamstring?
Skeptics need only to have witnessed the Calgary Stampeders running back trying to coax a cup of swill out of the coffee machine in the McMahon Stadium press box before a recent game to realize he didn't belong among the haggard media paid to watch football.
Press the button ... nothing.
Punch it again ... zilch.
Finally, a stream of black brew spills into the foam container from which Deibert takes his first gulp of the poison that fuels press-box row.
The twisted expression on his face indicated he enjoyed neither the lifestyle nor the view from above the past eight weeks as his teammates struggled to a 3-12 record.
No, Deibert was built for playing.
He might finally get the chance to strap on the pads Saturday against the visiting Toronto Argonauts (1 p.m.).
"Just as an athlete playing any type of game, it was one of the worst things I've ever experienced just by the simple fact it was a torn muscle -- there's really nothing you can do," Deibert shrugged after yesterday's practice in which he looked fit to return to the lineup.
"You either run or you don't run and I couldn't run, so there's nothing I could do. I was completely helpless. Probably the worst feeling I've ever had."
The Moose Jaw, Sask., product said prior to suffering the hamstring tear
Aug. 14 in Regina he had missed just one game due to injury in seven CFL seasons in Calgary, Winnipeg and Edmonton.
But being laid up with an injury wasn't the only strange twist in the 34-year-old's life. He and wife Krista Platzer won a home in Calgary in a charity lottery, the stroke of luck occurring just nine months after moving the family to Little Rock, Ark., where Platzer is pursuing her journalism career with KATV after stints in both Calgary and Edmonton.
The couple is now selling its U.S. home to move back to the Stampede City after football season.
During the layoff, Deibert also said goodbye to longtime teammate and friend Scott Regimbald, another Canadian back, dealt to Winnipeg a couple of weeks ago.
"It's been a weird couple of months but that's the way this sport goes, whether it's directly related to football or it's your personal life. That's what life is all about, the ups and downs and how you handle them," said Deibert, who also works as a salesman for Alberta Tubular, an oil and gas supply company. "I've had some good ups, some bad downs and I'm just trying to find a balance.
"Less than nine months ago, we packed up everything we had and moved to a place neither of us had ever been and it was tough but it was an opportunity.
"Just the way things unfolded, (winning) a house and I kind of wanted to be back in Canada. Things are going well here in this city and this is home for us I think this is where we want to be."
Next season is the second year of his two-year plus an option deal, with Deibert expecting to finish his career in Calgary.
That might not happen as the Stamps backfield is noticeably crowded these days with fellow Canadian Randy Bowles -- acquired from Winnipeg in the Regimbald deal -- along with imports Joffrey Reynolds and Ronney Jenkins vying for playing time.
"I don't know what the plan is going to be for me," Deibert said.