Curb your enthusiasm

Stampeders receiver Nik Lewis tries to work a kink out of a sore leg yesterday. During games, his...

Stampeders receiver Nik Lewis tries to work a kink out of a sore leg yesterday. During games, his mood is lighter and filled with showboating. (Calgary Sun/Carlos Amat)

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:39 AM ET

Whenever Nik Lewis steps on the football field, he sheds the shy, laidback Texas exterior and almost becomes another person.

In fact, the Calgary Stampeders receiver has already named this his alter ego -- Geronimo Jones.

As much as that persona is a treat to have -- a reliable receiver who can't be brought down by one tackler -- there comes with it a downside.

The Stampeders have to forgive the showboating, dancing and various celebrations Lewis is starting to become known for around the CFL.

It has started to cost the team with penalties. In Friday's game against B.C., a fourth-quarter drive stalled when Lewis made a 17-yard reception.

After getting tackled, Lewis threw the ball into the air and made a gesture, prompting a 15-yard objectionable conduct penalty.

"The ref gave me a personal foul call," said Lewis, much more calm and collected at practice.

"They can make whatever calls they want to make. I just have to be more careful."

Jeremaine Copeland scored a touchdown against the Lions and Lewis didn't waste any time, running directly over to the receiver and joining a dance sequence.

Lewis put the bug in Copeland's ear to start practising dance moves as soon as the free agent arrived from Montreal.

But the veteran Copeland doesn't usually make a big deal about receptions that don't end up in touchdowns and doesn't often practise his moves with others.

There's no telling what Lewis will do once he gets a first down, no matter what the score.

"I do have a flashy, cocky way that I play," said the 23-year-old.

"I just like to have fun. It's not that I'm trying to be cocky or flashy. I'm just trying to entertain the fans and anybody that's watching.

"I'm not going to stop my creativity around the field. I like doing what I'm doing. I'm just trying to let everybody in the stands have some fun. It also provides energy to my team."

Head coach Tom Higgins, the opposite of Lewis' alter ego in almost every way, doesn't mind the odd celebration in the heat of the moment.

But if it crosses the line and costs the Stamps yardage, he won't stand for it.

However, Higgins isn't the only one in the league who won't put up with undisciplined play.

Montreal shipped receiver Kwame Cavil -- Copeland's old dance partner -- to Edmonton last weekend, a couple of days after he poked Toronto's Mike O'Shea in the eye when the linebacker tackled him. It was likely not a coincidence.

"We've talked about it with all our receivers," Higgins said. "We have a code of conduct that we feel is acceptable.

"It might take more than just talking to them. It seems like something that's (ingrained), that they've done it for a long time and when they get into the heat of the battle, they do it.

"Me, personally, I don't coach that way. I don't like being flamboyant."

Lewis does lead the Stamps in receiving yardage and was rookie of the year last season. Don't expect Higgins and the Stamps to give up on him for a long time.

So the Southern Arkansas product is going to keep performing the same way and hope the refs give him a break.

"I'm an entertainer. I see myself as an entertainer first," said Lewis, who has acted before and has talked about a career in cinema.

"People perform on stage, I perform on the football field. That's my job. My job is to entertain everybody in the stands."


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