'Mountain people' the worst fans

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:16 AM ET

Calgary Stampeders receiver Ken-Yon Rambo expects a rude welcome Sunday in Regina but nothing compared to his college days on the road with Ohio State.

The toughest assignment?

"West Virginia -- the worst fans, man, just the worst," smiled the former Buckeye, a native of Long Beach, Calif.

"They've got good fans if you play for West Virginia but to a visiting team, to play in front of those mountain people? They go crazy, man. They throw everything, all types of stuff. They throw everything in the book. It's funny to me. I just laugh at them, to hear what people say."

Former 'Rider Sheldon Napastuk, a Stamps defensive tackle the past three seasons, has fond memories of game day in Regina where he played four years(1999-2002). A sellout crowd of more than 28,000 is expected where the Stamps are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. With the Stamps and 'Riders tied in the CFL West with 16 points, the game is a pivotal clash.

"It's just a great atmosphere to play football in and it's one of those places where, if you let them, the crowd turns it into a very vicious place to play," the North Battleford, Sask., product said. "On the other hand, if you really come out and play your best game and get them behind early, it's always fun to see the crowd flip on them."

COVERT OPERATION: The Stampeders slammed the door on the prying eyes of media carnivores for a second consecutive day yesterday, this time for the entire two-hour session.

That suits o-lineman Jeff Pilon just fine.

"I think this is the way practice should be, period," the o-lineman said. "I don't think the media should see our practices. I don't think anybody else should see our practices."

Head coach Tom Higgins chose to limit media availability to the Stampeders locker-room afterward, something Pilon supports.

"It does a disservice to a team when media and other people can see our practices and I would like it to be like that for the rest of my career. But I don't have a say in it and it would make (the media's) jobs a lot harder. It's just something Tom wanted to do."

For the second consecutive day music was pumped into the stadium to simulate crowd noise expected at Taylor Field.


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