After Thursday’s practice, the Calgary Stampeders’ rookie contingent received the annual pie-in-face ‘salute’ from their more-tenured teammates.
On Friday morning, some of the freshmen were dodging snowballs for the first time.
What a week.
“We had a little snowball fight out there,” said rookie running back LaMarcus Coker with a grin. “I think I lost. I was the first one to hit the ground.”
On the eve of their regular-season CFL finale against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2 p.m., TSN, QR77), Mother Nature tossed a snowball at the Stamps, covering the turf at McMahon Stadium with the first snowfall of the season.
While offensive lineman John Bender and kicker Rob Maver were sporting shorts for Friday’s walkthrough, it appeared most of the players had emptied all the warm-weather gear out of their lockers.
“I thought we were actually going to get through the season without any snow at all, but it kind of crept up on us,” said Stamps defensive back Brandon Smith, who snapped photos of a snow-covered McMahon Stadium on his cell phone four years ago after seeing the fluffy white stuff for the first time.
“This cold weather is something you can never adjust to.
“We just have to know it’s coming. I’m more prepared for it now.
“You just have to layer up and expect it.”
Although there are no flurries in the forecast for Saturday’s crucial clash with the Bombers, Calgary’s forecast can change in a hurry.
Even if it doesn’t snow, the projected high for Saturday’s kickoff is a chilly 0C.
“It’s weather that I’m not familiar with, weather I’m not used to. It’s something new to me,” admitted first-year safety Demetrice Morley, who was raised in Miami. “I think it’s just your mindset.
“You just have to let your mind know that I can’t let the cold affect my play or let the cold get into my mind.
“You’ve just gotta to try to get it out of your mind — yes, it’s cold, but you’ve still got to do what you’ve got to do.
“The guys have been preparing me for this. Now, I’m ready to go out and play.
“If it snows, we’ll go out and play in it.”
Coker and Morley were teammates at the University of Tennessee and now live in the same condo building in Calgary.
While Morley raised an eyebrow at the suggestion it could actually be fun to play football in frigid conditions, Coker seems genuinely excited about his first taste of Alberta’s winter.
“When I woke up this morning and saw all the snow, it was crazy,” Coker said. “I was looking forward to it.
“Living in Tennessee, it’s always hot.
“We might get a little bit of snow here and there, but to know that in Calgary I’m going to be able to wake up every morning and see the snow and experience the cold weather, I think it was something I was looking forward to.”