The battle in the trenches started yesterday, a full 30 hours before anyone was schedule to take a hit.
Bobby Singh started it off, in two sentences complimenting B.C. Lions defensive tackle Tyrone Williams and throwing down the gauntlet at the same time.
"I spent three years practising against him and there's no one stronger," said the Calgary Stampeders right guard, who spent the past few season in B.C.
"He's really good, runs hard and doesn't quit."
So how do you stop him?
"Knock him right in the mouth, the way I plan to."
Williams just laughed, because he and Singh are still friends who will become enemies tonight at 5 p.m. when the Lions take on the Stamps at McMahon Stadium.
"I can handle it because it happens from time to time," Williams said about shots to the teeth. "It's a wakeup call. It's something that may get me going, too. I may have to hit him in the mouth, too."
Singh is excited to see how his new offensive line does against one of the strongest defensive fronts in the league.
With Williams and Aaron Hunt in the middle, reigning Canadian and defensive player of the year Brent Johnson and Cameron Wake on the ends, the Lions come at the quarterback from all angles.
"So I have something for Tyrone, I have something for Aaron. I hope to catch Brent on a line slide so I can show him how hard I hit," Singh said.
"I don't want to say too much because I want to say it on the field and not see it in print. The guys on this team know how excited I am, and even guys on the B.C. o-line know how excited I am.
"I will let it all out."
The line battle will be crucial on the other side too, where Calgary's first-year starting three line up against hoggies anchored by the reigning lineman of the year in left tackle Rob Murphy.
But the import doesn't impress Stampeders defensive end Terrence Patrick.
"I understand Rob Murphy was o-lineman of the year last year, but when I went against him, I didn't see anything special," Patrick said.
"He's a good player, but I go against a good tackle every day in practice in Jeff Pilon."