Streak recalls glory years

Calgary Stampeders cornerback Tony Tiller does some stretching exercises Wednesday morning in...

Calgary Stampeders cornerback Tony Tiller does some stretching exercises Wednesday morning in advance of their post-Labour Day rematch against the Edmonton Eskimos on Friday. (Calgary Sun/Carlos Amat)

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:38 AM ET

Trivia time took over the Calgary Stampeders locker-room yesterday but there weren't any easy answers.

When was the last time the Stamps won five in a row?

Which two years since 1986 have the Stamps beat the Edmonton Eskimos in the back-to-back Labour Day series?

Who is the only current player to have been part of the team in all those seasons?

Even Jay McNeil can't rattle off the answers.

The veteran offensive lineman was part of the last five-game winning streak (1996) and the two times Calgary swept the Labour Day double-header (1998 and 1995).

"Wow, that's been a long time," said the 13-year veteran offensive guard. "If you look back to 2000, we finished 12-5-1 and were pretty good. I would have thought we would have more winning streaks than that."

The Stamps put their four-game streak on the line tomorrow in Edmonton (7 p.m., TSN) in the rematch of Monday's 44-23 beating at McMahon Stadium.

There is a chance to make some history and prove the Stamps have rekindled the glory of the Flutie, Garcia and Dickenson eras.

"We were a good team back then and this is a good team now," McNeil said. "This is a pretty good motivator for the home stretch.

"If you beat a team like Edmonton, that's a pretty good confidence builder. It would be nice to do it again this week."

When the Stamps swept the Esks in the 1995 and 1998 Labour Day double-headers, the Alberta teams were battling for first in the division. Now, the Eskimos are reeling at 3-7 and likely will have to work toward an East Division crossover for a chance to make the playoffs.

The two years the Stamps swept the Esks have something in common.

Quarterback Henry Burris thinks he has the answer.

"Grey Cup years," said Burris, who was part of the 1998 Cup victory.

The pivot isn't surprised the Stamps ended up in the Grey Cup game after sweeping the Labour Day games.

"It's a big momentum swing," he said.

"It's always the toughest games for us, year-in and year-out. "

If the Esks lose to the Stamps, it would mark their second three-game losing streak this season, which has only happened once since they last missed the playoffs in 1971.

The Stamps have a chance for the franchise record winning streak of 12 games if they run the table this season, which seems unlikely.

But that brings up another question: What's the toughest win streak to attain?

"One," said Burris. "The way the league has been this year -- there's the situation in Hamilton but pretty close otherwise -- it's tough to get just one victory. But we're thinking every week, though, that if we don't get the victory, it's a disappointment."


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