Stamps protest on all fronts

Calgary Stampeders' receiver Sulecio Sanford had a touchdown reversed by a referee's call in...

Calgary Stampeders' receiver Sulecio Sanford had a touchdown reversed by a referee's call in Friday's CFL game in Vancouver. (Calgary Sun/Jim Wells)

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

Sulecio Sanford was wearing his heart on his sleeve and a photo on his chest, a poster child for a team that feels it isn't getting enough love.

The Stampeders receiver had a picture of Friday's night's missed call pinned to his practice jersey yesterday, offering his own protest.

At the same time in Toronto, team president Ron Rooke was having a heart-to-heart chat with CFL commissioner Tom Wright, pleading that the team's 19-17 loss to the Lions be overturned.

Hours later the CFL, as expected, announced the final result would stand.

After the morning practice, Stampeders still unaware of the league's ruling weren't confident the decision would be reversed.

"I don't think it's going to be overturned," acknowledged Sanford, who scored the apparent game-winning touchdown only to have it wiped out by head referee Jake Ireland.

"I doubt it will be overturned but a lot of people are saying maybe the official should be fined for messing up the call. Maybe they'll get it right in the future. In a situation like that, they've got to be on top of those plays."

Rooke also handed a $5,000 cheque to the CFL as part of the official protest, a gesture the players feel is money well spent, although it's unlikely the result will be overturned.

"That just shows the attitude of this team," Sanford said.

"Ron Rooke and coach (Matt) Dunigan said we were robbed of our victory and they're going to stand up for this team and that's the thing you need from an organization.

"We won that game and we're going to take the necessary steps so that everybody knows in this league that the Calgary Stampeders won that game."

"I'll leave it in the commissioner's hands and we'll move forward," Dunigan said.

"We spoke our piece, we've pled our case, it's a clear case ... This win is so important to us ... those guys deserve that victory."

Veteran offensive lineman Jamie Crysdale is disappointed CFL officials aren't held more accountable for mistakes.

"They're not going to change anything," Crysdale shrugged.

"It's a point of making the league aware that if the officials are missing obvious things they should be watching for in the games ... that's the disappointing thing. It's the end of the game and we're doing our jobs, so we expect them to be doing their jobs.

"It's unfortunate when they miss a play to win the game."


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