VANCOUVER -- The Stampeders touched down yesterday in balmy Vancouver without their sweatshirts, turtlenecks and longjohns.
Their luggage arrived safely but the toasty-warm wardrobe -- life-saving supplies all week while trudging out to practice at McMahon Stadium -- has been safely stashed in their lockers back home, replaced by T-shirts and shorts.
The 4-12 Calgary club is particularly hot right now, having won two of its last three contests.
The players stepped off the plane yesterday morning greeted by 12C temperatures but an escape from Calgary's abnormally chilly fall weather hasn't given everyone a warm feeling.
Demetrious Maxie, whose balaclava head gear in practice this week made him look prepared for a bank heist, said the frosty workouts were invigorating, no matter what John Avery says.
"I love cold weather," insists Maxie, a Louisiana native.
"I have to stop from freezing my ears off.
"The cold weather keeps you healthy so that's why I like it."
Avery, the Toronto Argos running back, was left feeling as blue as his fingers last Saturday at McMahon Stadium, fumbling twice against the Stampeders.
Yesterday's move indoors to B.C. Place for final preparations for tonight's clash with the Lions wasn't warmly welcomed by everyone in Red and White.
Quarterback Khari Jones thinks playing at home would have been an advantage this week against an opponent not used to full-fledged winter weather in October.
"When you're a cold-weather team, you don't mind playing in it because the other team is at a disadvantage because you're used to it," said Jones, who bundled up for three seasons with the Blue Bombers.
"I know when I was in Winnipeg, we don't like the cold but it was nice when another team came to town and had to play in it. I think guys will enjoy being (in B.C. Place) and the conditions in there after a cold week of practice."