Sack-masters celebrating

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

The first sack dance perfectly summed up the play.

The second one just honoured a video game.

Just as it seems the Calgary Stampeders receiving corps is done with touchdown celebrations, the defence is taking it to another level.

Against the Saskatchewan Roughriders Saturday night, the Stamps defensive linemen were the revellers.

When Odell Willis blew through the Riders offensive line and sacked Darian Durant, thanks to Mike Labinjo clogging up the middle, the celebration was on.

Labinjo threw a fake baseball pitch. Willis hit it out of the park.

"It's all teamwork," Willis said. "They had the push in the middle and I came around free. That's what it is, he sets it up and I take it out."

Later in the game, Willis pushed Durant into Juwan Simpson for his sack and the pair held each other's shoulder pads and danced like crazy.

Colour Jeremaine Copeland and Nik Lewis impressed with the moves inspired by standup video game Dance Revolution.

"It was one thing I started doing during camp," said Simpson. "When I made the sack, I wasn't sure what to do and we just started with it. You don't have to practise that. It's one of the things that came naturally."

Willis said the extra celebrations are for the fans and are part of the show.

The CFL thought it was getting a bit excessive a few weeks ago when defensive back Brandon Browner was fined for splashing a beer in his face when he went into the stands. B.C. Lions receiver Paris Jackson was also fined for taking off his shoes as if his feet were hot.

A few years ago, Copeland and Lewis were the instigators of some creative celebrations that drew ire around the CFL.

By the time John Hufnagel took over as head coach, those were long gone, but Labinjo said the sack dances haven't been frowned upon so far.

"As long as it's not getting out of hand and we're doing our jobs," Labinjo said. "What we did wasn't too excessive at all. There were some celebrations that were fined, but ours was pretty playful.

"It's nice to have fun on the defensive side. We've seen offensive players and all their celebrations.

"It's been good because the past couple years we weren't near the top of the league in sacks. It's great to be getting them. So it's fun to celebrate."

The Stamps only managed two sacks against the Riders, and the defence allowed 132 yards rushing, so it wasn't entirely an outing worth celebrating.

In the previous two games, the Stamps had sack totals of six and four in victories. They expect to get back to that Saturday against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Simpson said they won't practise new ideas.

"It's not anything planned," Simpson said. "As a defensive guy, you think about it sometime if you EVER get a chance to score, what would you do? It sits in the back of your head but it's not something you worry about.

"We take the celebrations as they come along with the big plays."


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