Kickers comrades off field

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:30 AM ET

There's an old saying suggesting it's wise to keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.

When you're a CFL kicker, there's no other choice.

Calgary Stampeders field-goal ace Sandro DeAngelis bleeds Red and White, but when he needs to chat about the trials and tribulations of splitting the uprights for a living, he knows he can turn to Damon Duval of the Montreal Alouettes.

"Kickers in general, I think, have a real tight-knit fraternity because we understand each other," DeAngelis said. "The only real good analogy I can give for hockey fans is goalies really seem to stick together because they're the only ones that really understand each other.

"It's good to see there are fellow nuts out there going through the same things you are."

DeAngelis and Duval were standing on opposite sidelines last night at McMahon Stadium, when the Stamps and Alouettes kicked off the regular-season slate with a rematch of last year's Grey Cup game, but they aren't exactly bitter rivals.

"If it comes down to a game-winner, I hope he goes out and makes it," Duval said. "I would never wish somebody to go out and miss."

DeAngelis, 28, led the league in field goals and points last season, while 29-year-old Duval finished second in both categories.

Just six months after DeAngelis booted five field goals to vault the Stamps to victory in the 2008 Grey Cup, the Niagara Falls, Ont., product and his counterpart from Morgan City, La., teamed up to host a pair of youth camps.

"Kicking, who are we kidding, is not the most glamourous position in the world, and I know that," DeAngelis said. "To have a kid say, 'Hey, you're one of my favourite players in the CFL' or 'Hey, I spent $150 of my own hard-earned money on your jersey,' it really takes you back to when you were a young tyke.

"It's an honour and it's truly a pleasure, too."


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