Retro day hits Harris

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 3:13 AM ET

Wearing his familiar No. 55, Wayne Harris was hit by the memories.

The Calgary Stampeders unveiled their uniforms for Friday's retro game against the Toronto Argonauts, and seeing as the night will honour the team's great players from the 1960s, it was appropriate Thumper was on hand to be a model.

"It's been a long, long time now, but I remember the uniforms and the players that played in them, and they were great guys," said Harris, the linebacker who starred from 1961-72. "You see some guys you know, and it's hard to recognize them if you haven't seen them for a long time. Myself, I got up to 250 lb., but I got myself back down to my playing weight."

The Stamps' throwback uniforms feature a very basic red jersey with white trim, while the helmets have the players' numbers on them instead of the horse logo. The pants they will wear Friday night are gold with a red stripe down the side.

The Argonauts will also wear throwback uniforms.

Top players from the '60s will be feted at halftime.

"It's nice to go back," said offensive lineman George Hansen. "There's a lot people that don't remember those teams. Half the people in this room, or more, weren't here in the '60s, so this gives people an insight to what went on and the type of guys we had.

"You bring somebody like Wayne in here, and he's somebody people have heard of, but that's all. They haven't had the pleasure of watching him play, which I have. He's one of my best friends, but he's the best linebacker that ever played here, bar none.

"He's very shy, but don't tell anybody he played against he was shy because he knocked the crap out of them."

For the players of today, donning retro uniforms is not only a chance to wear something different but also an opportunity to learn about the franchise's history.

"Just to look back on the team's history and look at what came in before you, the team, this is a good thing," said Stamps running back Demetris Summers.

"I like the outfits. It looks good. I'm looking forward to the game."

What's especially unique to the players of today is the numbers on the helmets.

"It kinda reminds me of Notre Dame," Summers said. "It's something different."

Of course, all involved hope the Stampeders can use the game to turn back the clock a bit, too. Having started the season with a pair of losses, the fans players and alumni would welcome watching the defending Grey Cup champs revert to their winning ways.

"These guys will come together -- you can write that down," Hansen said. "They'll come together and surprise some people that have been scraping their knees getting off the bandwagon.

"They'll be trying to get back on again."

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA


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