Stamps wins running down drain

BILLY POWERS

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

Please tell me we haven't seen this before.

Like back in 2004, or what I refer to as the Disaster of Dunigan.

The Calgary Stampeders put all their eggs in Matt Dunigan's basket naming him head coach and GM, two tough jobs for a guy with limited experience at one and none at the other. The main reason it failed miserably was no running game. They ended the season with four wins.

Fast forward to 2007 and the struggles of the current band in the Red and White and, of late, Black uniforms. Three road losses and another at home. Why? Well, in part, no running game.

In '04 they had Victor Ike, who looked promising, but under the direction of offensive co-ordinator John Jenkins never had a chance to strut his stuff. So after a 2-5 start, Jenkins was given the boot and Ike was out shortly after.

Ike was replaced by Joffrey Reynolds which brings up the current problems for a club that has a 3-4 record -- no running game.

It's embarrassing, to be honest, as the club has been wasting the talents of Reynolds much like the team did with Ike in '04. In Thursday's 30-18 loss to Montreal, Reynolds ran with the biscuit four times picking up 20 yards. This is the same guy who ran the ball 259 times for 1,541 yards and nine touchdowns last season and the year before, ran for 1,453 yards on 247 carries scoring eight majors.

Reynolds, against Montreal, also caught the ball four times picking up 22 yards, but even that isn't satisfactory. He is a superstar running back being used as no more than a decoy. Part of the offensive plan is working in that quarterback Henry Burris -- who will be unjustifiably blamed for the loss to the Alouettes -- is picking up big time yardage through the air but putting no points in the standings.

I guess you can point the finger at offensive co-ordinator George Cortez, much like they did Jenkins, but that might not be the answer. Instead, why not make it an offence with variety tossing in the odd running play to let Reynolds earn his keep.

The fans chanting 'Run Joffrey, Run' would make a lot of them forget what has happened to this point and maybe turn an up and down season into one of many ups.

HOPKINS SERVING THEM UP

In his 35 year career with the Stamps, George Hopkins has worn several hats -- from equipment manager to a repair man to a moving van driver. Today he adds food services to the list.

The club is providing a continental breakfast four days a week for the players. "Hoppy" is responsible for picking up muffins, yogurt, cereal and fruit while his dad, George Sr., puts off his daily 10-km walk to serve it up each morning at 6:30. The idea is to make sure these young men are fed properly before they get onto the practice field. The players pay $25 a month for the service.

Until next week.


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