Stamps won't dwell on the past

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 6:42 PM ET

Call it a case of collective amnesia.

Just two days before boarding a flight to Montreal, the site of last year’s Grey Cup triumph, nobody in the Calgary Stampeders’ locker-room is feeling even a hint of nostalgia.

At least that’s the company line.

“This is just another trip, another game on our list. It’s just somebody who’s next in our way of accomplishing what we want to accomplish,” said Stamps slotback Jeremaine Copeland. “What happened last year is all in the past. It’s a new year, and you’ve got to focus on that.

“You can’t live in the past. If you’re thinking about what happened in the past, you’ll still be living in it when game time comes around and everything in front of you will pass you by.”

The Stamps will travel to Montreal Saturday to prepare for a Thanksgiving Monday matchup with the homestanding Alouettes (11-2), who clinched the East Division crown with a victory over the Toronto Argonauts last weekend. The Red & White (8-5), meanwhile, swiped sole possession of top spot in the West with a win over the visiting Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Sticking with their focus-on-the-future mentality, most of the men who earn their paycheques at McMahon Stadium don’t even want to talk about that.

Stamps boss John Hufnagel aired his frustrations Thursday, telling reporters he’s tired of answering questions about the team’s cold-as-ice offensive performance against the Ticats six days ago.

So wax nostalgic about something that happened last November? Not a chance.

“Because we played a game there at the end of the season, it has nothing to do with this football game,” Hufnagel said.

As several players pointed out after practice yesterday, a lot has changed since last year’s championship tilt.

There’s plenty of new personnel on both teams and both sides of the ball. The Stamps will be spending their nights at a different hotel. And the Thanksgiving battle will be waged at Percival Molson Stadium, not the cavernous Big O, which played host to the Grey Cup game.

Still, for some Stamps, it probably wouldn’t hurt to remember the details of their last visit to La Belle Province.

Star signal-caller Henry Burris, who has failed to hit the 200-yard mark in three straight games, tossed for 328 yards and one touchdown and was named the most outstanding player in the Stamps’ 22-14 victory over the Alouettes last November.

Slotback Nik Lewis, who’s coming off one of the worst statistical outings of his career after grabbing only two passes for a measly nine yards against the Ticats, had a monster game in Montreal, leading all receivers with 11 receptions and churning up 122 yards of turf with the ball in his mitts.

And kicker Sandro DeAngelis, whose heroic effort against Hamilton makes it easier to forget he’s now missed once in four consecutive contests, was perfect on five field-goal attempts at Olympic Stadium in November.

Surely, somebody at Stamps headquarters must remember that, right?

“I think we’re just looking to now. There’s no reason to dwell on the past,” Lewis said. “Last year’s game is not going to help us win this game. There’s nothing that we did last year that is going to help us win this game ...

“(The Alouettes) are the only ones that are supposed to remember last year.”


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