Naked ambition

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:20 AM ET

It was late in the fourth quarter of a close football game when a man wearing nothing but a green tuque and goosebumps jumped into the north endzone for the start of a memorable run.

Running briskly through midfield with one hand raised triumphantly, the sleight, southbound streaker wove his way through a horde of B.C. Lions before crashing heavily into an unsuspecting 245-pounder named Ricky Foley.

Annoyed by the impact, Foley reached out to shove the fallen freewheeler, who avoided the confrontation by continuing his southern sojourn.

Despite the roar of an approving crowd, security staff failed to follow him as he travelled through the endzone, climbed a chain-link fence and then a large metal wall before disappearing into parking lot trees.

Not only did it provide, by far, the most entertaining moment of the day, it also marked a feat no one thought possible: Escaping McMahon Stadium naked without being caught.

Minutes later, the Stamps were also able to pull off something few thought possible: They beat B.C.

Both small victories give hope they can be done again in the West final.

Ending a five-game slide against the Lions with a 32-25 win that clinched second place and a home playoff date against Saskatchewan, the Stamps atoned for last week's beat-down in Vancouver that had many believing the Stamps were out of their league.

"That's a good response to what happened last week," said Stamps o-lineman Jay McNeil in a locker-room pumping with music.

"It's a bit of pride and belief that when we play as good as we're capable of, we can beat anybody.

"They're a good team so thinking we were going to blow them out like they did to us was unrealistic."

While the first-place Lions had nothing on the line, they played all their starters. That is, up until quarterback Buck Pierce was yanked with an elbow injury, opening up plenty of questions a month before the West final.

Dave Dickenson told the Sun Saturday he will not play until he's clear of troubling concussion symptoms that still prevent him from driving at night or even watching TV.

As expected, Lions head coach Wally Buono downplayed Pierce's injury after the game, suggesting there was no point in putting him back in harm's way.

"They may have a little quarterback controversy on their hands now," said Stamps linebacker Brian Clark, smiling.

"We always believed we could beat them but now it's hanging on them now."

While some will say it's troubling the Stamps only barely beat a team using its third-string quarterback in a meaningless game, head coach Tom Higgins didn't care as the mood in his locker-room was jubilant.

"(We) were able to find that magic ingredient to be able to say, 'We beat the B.C. Lions,' whether they felt there was anything on the line or not," said Higgins.

Then there was Nik Lewis.

"We didn't accomplish nothing," spat Lewis, always an interesting interview.

"One, we still can't get the record we had last year.

"Two. We haven't won a Grey Cup. A win against B.C. is expected. To the media and fans, it's like: 'OK, they can beat B.C.,' but we knew that already. We've got to learn how to finish."

Same goes for the streaker. Minutes after he appeared to have pulled off his stunt, a trio of cops arrested him in the parking lot.

Must have recognized his hat.


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