Not quite music to their ears

SCOTT FISHER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:39 AM ET

Good thing the Calgary Stampeders were wearing helmets.

It made it a little easier for the players to resist ripping their own ears off their heads.

Yesterday was 'Black Betty Day' at Stamps camp. The day when equipment manager George Hopkins plays the cruelest of jokes: Pumping Ram Jam's one and only hit over the loud speaker on a continuous cycle.

Linebacker Scott Coe shook his head when asked if he would go home between yesterday's workouts and play a little Black Betty on his home stereo.

"I don't have to go home," Coe said. "I can go anywhere I want and it's in my head for the next two weeks."

Some teams pump music over the loud speaker to prepare for a loud crowd.

But that's not what this is about, said safety Wes Lysack.

"It's George's way of establishing control of the stereo, of the locker-room," Lysack said. "It sends a message to the new guys that he's in control and it sends it pretty loud and clear."

Hopkins said his annual and oh-so-annoying ritual started off innocently enough.

"It started about 15 or 16 years ago," said Hopkins. "One of my assistants brought (the CD) in as a joke. It's a mix of the same song.

"We used it one day just to clear the locker-room out because they were hanging around.

"Then, when rap first started, someone put some rap on and I had enough. I put the Black Betty mix in at about 6:30 in the morning and pushed repeat.

"Now, it's morphed into its own tradition."

Hopkins said he picks his day carefully.

"Today was a good day. It's the second-to-last day of two-a-days.

"Their heads aren't really in it so this gives them something to (complain) about and forget about the practice.

"They actually had a pretty good practice today."


Videos

Photos