Stamps seek to spoil the party once again
By Ian Busby, QMI Agency
|The Calgary Stampeders celebrate after they defeated the BC Lions during the CFL's Western Conference Final football game in Vancouver, British Columbia, November 18, 2012. REUTERS/Andy Clark
VANCOUVER - So the Calgary Stampeders are headed to the Big Smoke looking to spoil the hometown party.
Sounds a bit familiar.
“I knew we would play Toronto,” Stamps running back Jon Cornish said after his team beat the B.C. Lions 34-29 in Sunday’s West final at B.C. Place Stadium.
“It’s a great team. They have made the right things happen. Playing against Toronto in Toronto, it definitely feels a lot like 2008.
“It’s great for the CFL that (the Argonauts) are in the Grey Cup. It’s great for the Stampeders that we’re in the Grey Cup, as well.”
There are so many familiarities between 2008 and this year.
In 2008, the Stamps beat the Montreal Alouettes at Olympic Stadium with a 33-year-old quarterback who was generally thought of as incapable of winning the big game.
Now, Kevin Glenn leads the Stamps into Rogers Centre, looking to do what Henry Burris did four years ago in Montreal — spoil the party.
Just like 2008, the Stamps seem like a team of destiny. They obviously have momentum, but there is also a feeling around this team that they can’t be stopped.
They’ve faced so many hurdles in terms of injuries, but they’ve never made excuses.
Just like they have all season, they overcame injuries Sunday, where they didn’t have the services of No. 1 quarterback Drew Tate or starting middle linebacker Juwan Simpson.
Glenn and rookie Deron Mayo filled those roles instead, and suddenly the Stamps have knocked off the defending champions.
“With all the stuff we’ve been going through this year, today was just another piece of the puzzle,” Stamps receiver Romby Bryant said. “We’re not done yet.”
The Stamps couldn’t have a tougher opponent when it comes to a matchup.
Over the past two seasons, the Argos have owned the Stamps with five straight victories.
They have former Stampeders defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones running their defence and former Stamps head coach Jim Barker as their GM.
When Jones moved to Toronto, he recruited a few former Stampeders to follow him in Brandon Isaac and Robert McCune, among others.
Jones also left on bad terms, as the Argos were fined for tampering after head coach Scott Milanovich — another former Stampeders assistant coach — hired him away from Calgary.
The last time they played the Stamps, both Isaac and Marcus Ball were fined for taking illegal shots at Cornish.
So it’s fitting that the Stamps get the Argos. It wouldn’t be right unless they slayed all their demons in the same calendar year.
It would also be fitting that the Stamps emerge victorious.
“I don’t usually talk about destiny, but I acknowledge when special things are coming to pass,” Cornish said. “Being part of this team is one of the more special things to happen. This year has been one of the most interesting years of my life.”