Fights taking toll on Stamps?

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 4:00 PM ET

The week began with two defensive backs publicly apologizing for an in-game dispute.

The ensuing days included the realization the top receiver was done for the season due to a knee injury, a fist fight between the kickers and a screaming match in practice between a defensive back and fullback.

Then it concluded with a loss.

Could it add up to a mess in the Stampeders dressing room?

"People are going to ask that because we lost the game," said safety Wes Lysack.

"Last year, we won a lot of games and (Jeff) Pilon and I were fighting every day in practice and coaches were screaming and yelling.

"That's football. It comes and goes on a daily basis.

"Questioning it comes with losing. If we win, nobody says anything about it."

Lysack's theory may be true, but the facts are the Stampeders are a losing team with a 2-3 record, which includes a pair of home defeats -- the latest of those being Saturday's 24-23 defeat at the hands of the Saskatchewn Roughriders.

Considering all the wild and wacky turn of events that took place leading up to that match, maybe it's a good sign the Stampeders weren't blown out of the water.

Still, you can't help but wonder whether life among the Red and White is all that rosy.

It sure wasn't a treat this past week.

Davanzo Tate and Dwight Anderson hugged each other the day after Calgary beat the B.C. Lions, a public display of affection after skirmish on the field during their game.

In an event that nearly superceded the loss of Ken-Yon Rambo to a knee injury, place kicker Sandro DeAngelis and punter Burke Dales got into a fist fight.

The result is the black eye sported by DeAngelis, who also changed spots in the locker room.

That same day, Rob Cote tangled up with linebacker Shannon James while they battled for a ball, which saw James suffer a sprained ankle and defensive back Brandon Browner loudly voice his displeasure with Cote.

The culmination was Saturday's loss.

The defending Grey Cup champions look nothing like the club expected, and you can't wonder if all the issues show cracks in the crew.

"It's stuff that happens every year with this team and every team," insisted quarterback Henry Burris.

"You're always going to have scuffles and arguments, and stuff like that, but that's the competitive spirit of athletes.

"It happens to every team, the Flames, the Roughnecks, the Stamps. There's always stuff that goes on behind the scenes.

"When things don't go well, you're always going to have a disagreement with your brother, but the No.-1 thing is you guys love each other and you'll go to war and fight for each other.

"That's how our guys are in this locker room."

Among Lysack's jobs as captain is to have a finger on the pulse in the room.

Sure, there are issues -- as is the case in any workplace -- but he said none have required leaders to step in and diffuse the situation.

"Nothing too major," he said. "When you're playing a game like this, there's going to be fights on the field and guys screaming and yelling at each other.

"There's a lot of testosterone, and it's a high-pressure job.

"Things are going to happen, and usually, they resolve themselves.

"Guys will fight and then figure it out on their own."

What Lysack and the rest of the Stampeders are more concerned about figuring out is how to get the team back on-track.

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA


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