Rob Maver was completely unaware of the Wally Pipp story prior to Sunday’s post-workout gab session at McMahon Stadium.
Of course, when explained how Pipp was sick (or decided to rest — the history is hazy) one day in 1925 and some guy name Lou Gehrig took over at his position, Maver wasn’t impressed at the analogy.
Gehrig — baseball’s legendary Iron Horse who went on to play 2,130 straight games with the New York Yankees — never gave the job back. And Maver sits now wondering if the same thing happens to him.
“Thanks, man,” said the Calgary Stampeders kicker. “Obviously, you want to know what’s going to happen. It’s part of my job as an athlete to be patient.”
If Stampeder GM/head coach John Hufnagel has made his mind up about who his kicker is this week, he isn’t telling anybody just yet.
When asked about who would do his kicking Saturday at home against the B.C. Lions, all Hufnagel would say is he’s “not in any hurry to make a decision.”
Certainly, the players in question don’t have a clue which direction Hufnagel is leaning.
With Maver coming off the nine-game injured list, Hufnagel must decide if he’s going back to the sophomore or sticking with rookie Rene Paredes.
Maver suffered a torn quad in the season-opening loss to the Toronto Argonauts and was put on injured reserve. The Stamps conducted an audition for the job, and Paredes won due to a booming leg that allowed him to hit a 50-yarder on his first CFL field-goal attempt.
In nine games, Paredes has hit on 21-of-27 attempts, including going 5-of-6 Friday night in a 30-20 win over the Edmonton Eskimos.
All Maver could do during the past two months was get healthy, watch and wait.
“This season has been the epitome of frustration and disappointment for me,” Maver said. “I will understand whatever decision they go with.
“It’s not frustrating seeing (Rene) do well, because he’s contributing towards wins, and that’s what I’m all about. At the same time, you want to be the guy out there. It’s more frustrating on a personal level rather than anything with him.”
Last season, Maver went 37-of-47 on field goals for a 78.7% average, which is only slightly better than Paredes is doing now. The difference is Maver went 3-of-10 from outside the 40-yard line last year while Paredes has shown the ability to hit those long-distance shots.
So far this season, Paredes is 6-of-9 from long range, and Hufnagel has shown confidence in giving him a shot in difficult situations.
“I know Huf likes the long kicks,” Paredes said. “If I’m making them, he will think I’m pretty good.
“I feel more confident, and it’s getting better every game. I just stay focused and kick the ball.
“There’s nothing I can do about the situation. The only thing I could do is make my field goals. They haven’t approached anybody, so we don’t know what is going to happen. I’m just ready to kick the ball Saturday night.”
Clearly, the Stampeders are not going to give up on Maver no matter if Paredes continues this performance.
The Guelph product has the ability to punt, and he could eventually take over from Burke Dales in that area and let Paredes focus on the kicking side.
In that case, he and Pipp would have nothing in common.