Esk Jonesin' for piece of Stamps

CON GRIWKOWSKY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:29 AM ET

EDMONTON -- Kitwana Jones dislikes the Calgary Stampeders.

Really, really dislikes them.

No half-way about it.

The Edmonton Eskimos defensive lineman and special teams stud has been through four Labour Day Classics before as a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Never felt this way about the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Only the Calgary Stampeders.

"I know what the rivalry is like," said Jones. "I've watched it for the last four years, watching these guys go at it ... fight, scratch, pull, whatever you needed to do to get the win."

He knows how intense the Edmonton-Calgary rivalry can be. He's like a kid in a candy shop to finally be part of it. He didn't have to say it, but it seems like Labour Day in Calgary is one day Jones had circled on his calendar since he was traded here in May.

"I'm very enthusiastic about it because I don't like Calgary at all," said Jones. "Everybody has their team that -- know what I'm saying -- rubs them the wrong way.

"Every time I see that red, every time I see Henry Burris, it burns me up, it pisses me off."

In a much different way than the Stampeders fans when Henry turns into Hank.

It's not as if Jones is steamin' about a team that dominated his former squad on the field.

"When I played with Saskatchewan, we had a good record against Calgary," said Jones.

"At the same time, I just didn't like them. They're too cocky, arrogant, front-runners. I've just got a thing about it and I'll be ready."

There's not many Eskimos veterans around who could tell tales of many past battles. In fact, only about a half-dozen Eskimos have played in two previous Labour Day games.

Defensive lineman Kai Ellis spend part of his rookie season in Calgary and part of last season in Winnipeg. Curiously, though, this will be his first-ever Labour Day game.

"I know the Battle of Alberta where there's a tradition of people don't like each other," said Ellis. "It's a chance for fans to get together and talk trash about which team's the best."

CON.GRIWKOWSKY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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