Stamps hope to be seeing red

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:32 PM ET

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. -- They spent Saturday in the land of red soil, so the Calgary Stampeders hope that colour overtakes the crowd in Moncton.

All week long, the Stampeders have tried to make themselves accessible to Maritimers leading up to Sunday's Touchdown Atlantic against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

That goodwill extended to another province Saturday, and now the team wants to see if they've gained any new fans.

"There should be a lot of red," said Stamps quarterback Henry Burris. "The colours of Touchdown Atlantic are red.

"Hopefully everybody will remember what we've done over the last few days and bring that energy and emotion to the stadium for us."

This entire trip was a unique one for the CFL team, but Saturday was the biggest change from their usual schedule.

They hopped on two buses and drove from Moncton to Charlottetown, crossing the Confederation Bridge to get to the Island.

On a misty, dreary afternoon, the Stamps went through their usual walkthrough at the University of P.E.I., but then they lit up some young faces.

The position groups broke off and put a couple hundred kids through some drills before a lengthy autograph session at midfield.

"Football has grown so much in Canada, it's great for me to foster and help grow the sport," said running back Jon Cornish. "These kids certainly enjoyed it. For me, it's always great to be respected. Being around them and seeing the smiles on their faces is great."

From the moment they arrived, the Stamps have been visible in Moncton. They've visited the hospitals, made numerous appearances, and the Stamps House -- a bar on Main Street -- had a horse visit on Friday.

The only question now is whether they will be worn out from all the activities this week.

Before leaving the Island on the nearly two-hour bus ride back to Moncton, the entire team went to Lobster on the Wharf for a feast.

"Our focus has been good for the environment we've been in," said Stampeders head coach John Hufnagel. "It was a long day today, but a long day by themselves.

"I would rather them be thinking about the game on the way home from P.E.I. rather than dancing in the streets of Moncton."

The Ticats are technically the home team, but clearly this will be, at best, a neutral-site game.

Marcel Bellefeuille's team tried to get as much done before leaving Hamilton as they could, and they arrived a day after the Stampeders did.

The crowd will likely be split, giving no one a real advantage.

"We will try to get as many fans out there who love the Ticats," said Ticats quarterback Kevin Glenn. "We need as much black and gold as we can get. That will make it feel like a home game. It feels like a Grey Cup week.

"I'm putting my money on having some fans here."

On Twitter @ianbusby57


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