Regina trip comes early for new Stamps

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:29 AM ET

CALGARY - The realization came to Obby Khan in the film room Tuesday morning.

For the first time in seven years, Khan won't be going to Regina for Labour Day.

No matter. The wild crowd at Mosaic Stadium shouldn't be much different Saturday.

It's an afternoon start on a summer day against a team at a turning point in its season.

So what if it's not the annual holiday extravaganza against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers?

"I had to pause and think about it," said Khan, a former Blue Bomber who will likely make his Stampeders debut after signing as a free agent last week.

"Plus, we're going to be back there and play them again in a month.

"Regardless, it's a great atmosphere and I love playing there. The energy of the crowd excites me just as much as it excites them. We're looking for a good game to go out and kick some butt."

To prepare for the trip into Riderville, the Stamps pumped in crowd noise for practice Tuesday, although it wasn't cranked to its normal earsplitting volume.

Still, with quarterback Kevin Glenn going into one of his former CFL homes for the first time as a Stampeder, he felt the sound was enough to disrupt what he was doing.

"It was pretty loud," Glenn said. "The speaker is directly above the field. It generates the noise right down on you. We know what gravity does. It pushes the noise right down into our ears.

"Practising with it is a little tougher because it's a constant noise. When you are dealing with stands and fans, they are usually grabbing a drink or taking a bite of a hot dog. It's not usually as loud. This constant noise is kinda tougher."

Glenn and the Stamps can maybe take some credit for the Roughriders struggles recently.

In Week 4 at McMahon Stadium, the Riders were cruising towards a fourth-straight victory when Glenn engineered a 17-point comeback in the fourth quarter.

Since then, the Riders have yet to get back in the win column.

The Stamps, meanwhile, have gone on a win-one, lose-one run that sees them sitting at 3-4, as well.

If the fans don't come out and scream for their team in this matchup, it would be a surprise.

The last time Khan played there, the crowd didn't disrupt him. He should know, too, being the centre and the one who needs to hear the quarterbacks calls.

Of course, the Riders were basically eliminated from the playoff race midway through last season.

"On Labour Day last year, I still heard the snap count," Khan said. "It wasn't an issue last year. I remember playing in the Grey Cup was more of an issue than Mosaic Stadium.

"I don't think the noise has an outcome on the game. It shouldn't have an outcome on the game. We're professionals. We should know the snap count.

"It's always going to be an energetic stadium. It's on us to take them out. If we don't and it's a close game, we have to block out the noise.

"The biggest cliche is we're pros, so we have to act like pros."

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter @SUNIanBusby


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