Lack of experience makes Stamps road kill

BILLY POWERS

, Last Updated: 8:51 AM ET

For openers, let's point out this is not to be considered an excuse in any way, shape or form for the dismal road trip put up by the Calgary Stampeders football club.

That was ugly, it was disgusting and it was brutal as they got outscored 97-23 and at one stage gave up 82 consecutive points, -- 42 in Regina and then 41 in Toronto.

There is a lot of work to be done as losses of 49-8 and 48-15 would indicate.

However, what I want to point out is this club is lacking experience in a large way.

On the Stamps' roster in Toronto, you find on a team of 55 -- when you add on the injured and those on the practice roster -- only eight players had even seven years of Canadian Football League experience.

And of the rest, no less than 17 were in their first year in the league.

They are young, and it's going to take time to learn.

As I said, this is not to offer an excuse, but while a week ago at this time I was pounding the drums big time for quarterback Henry Burris to be the one to lead this club to glory and a Grey Cup, a couple of incredibly sub-par performances in a row have me being swayed a bit by the anti-Burris sentiment.

Two games doesn't make a season, but another stinker next Saturday and you have to know that heads will roll and they may be many.

CITY GIVEN SOCCER BOOT

For some reason, no one is complaining that Calgary was overlooked as a host of even one game for the FIFA under-20 World Cup of soccer which is continuing across the country this month. And I can't understand why.

If they can award a game to Burnaby, B.C., another to Victoria, where does Calgary fit into this overall picture?

In my mind -- and I am not a soccer lover -- this is just another black eye on our city of a million-plus.

The reason is a lack of a suitable facility on which to play the game.

Other than McMahon Stadium, Calgary does not have a field turf layout on which to host such an event. Vancouver, it should be noted, has 20 such fields and Edmonton has five.

In Saskatoon, for crying out loud, there are four, the same as in Regina.

And Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge boast one apiece.

Calgary has McMahon, and we should be ashamed of ourselves as a result.

I know the soccer tournament is a once-every-few-years type of event, but I'm thinking about the minor football program in our city, too.

Those kids could use -- and deserve -- a facility other smaller centers are proud of today.

Of course, there is a local group trying to raise funds to make it happen one day, and the city is totally behind their efforts.

But they need support from other government levels, and I ask why in a city of millionaires we couldn't find at least one or two to spearhead a movement to eliminate the need of government help?

To be honest, the soccer I have watched the past couple of weeks -- and I only concentrated on the winless Canadian entry -- is certainly not of the variety to keep me pinned to the television set.

But it is a world tournament. Canada is hosting it. Every major city in the country has been a host of a game or two.

Calgary, I heard somewhere, is a major city. But it's one on the outside looking in for this tournament.

AJHL GOALIE AN NHL DRAFT

My old Molson connection, Shawn Bailer, was on the telephone the other day saying one story was overlooked after the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

History was made when goaltender Bradley Eidsness became the first Okotoks Oilers player to be drafted by the No. 1 league.

Eidsness played for the Alberta Junior Hockey League team last season posting a 2.87 goals against average and a .904 save percentage in 48 games.

He was named the club's rookie of the year before committing to the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D.

He was taken by the Buffalo Sabres in the fifth round, 129th overall. Bailor, who is on the executive of the Oilers, was pretty close to the story because he and wife, Deb, had Eidsness as a billet last season.

Until next week.


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