Stampeders prepare for the week before the 2012 Grey Cup
By IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency
|Calgary Stampeders QB, Kevin Glenn was all smiles as he and his teammates were getting ready to head to Toronto for the 100th Grey Cup against the Argonauts on Monday Nov 19, 2012.
When the Calgary Stampeders showed up for their morning meeting Monday, there was no revelling in their amazing CFL West final victory from the night before.
No … the main focus was organizing themselves for Grey Cup week.
This is the 100th version of the big game, and the league has put together a crazy schedule of events that makes for big distraction.
While the bags got packed and loaded, the players were given an itinerary of what will happen once they get to Toronto.
The main message Stamps GM/head coach John Hufnagel had for his team was to get all the outside stuff taken care of before they step on the charter flight Tuesday morning.
“It was the same as 2008,” Hufnagel said. “We have 24 hours to get all the distractions out of the way, meaning taking care of the families, hotel rooms, tickets … I mean, it’s a mess.
“But our staff has worked awfully hard before this morning to have everything as organized as possible for the players.
“So when they get on the bus, we’re thinking about the things that need to be thought about, which is the Toronto Argonauts and getting ready to play them (in Sunday’s finale).”
There will be no shortage of people who want to talk with the players and see them in the Big Smoke.
On Tuesday, there will be a gathering for the team as it reaches its hotel in downtown Toronto.
On Wednesday, the Stampeders have an early practice and then will do lunch with the media.
The practice time switches for Thursday, which also happens to be awards night, as several players will be there to root on running back Jon Cornish for two CFL awards — Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Canadian.
By Friday, when the city fills up with people from across the country, the real parties start, and it’s hard to stay inside a hotel room when that’s happening.
“These guys might not understand the media hype and all the time requirements and things we have to do before the Grey Cup,” Cornish said. “The guys might get stressed and weary by the end of the week, but it’s all worth it. We’ve earned this opportunity to use up all our time to have to play in the Grey Cup.
“Last year, I was part of the Grey Cup as a fan (in Vancouver). It was cool. It was fun to party.
“With the festivities, it’s one of the best times to be a Canadian in this country. Playing in the Grey Cup this year, I’m going to be low key. I’m sure some guys are going to get their parties in. For me, there is one goal.”
Most of the attention this week will be paid to Kevin Glenn.
The quarterback went through this before in Toronto, but back in 2007, he wasn’t playing in the game due to a broken arm suffered in the East final.
The 33-year-old veteran pivot knows how to handle this situation, but the Stamps are a young group.
Of the 42 players who suited up in Sunday’s West final win over the B.C. Lions, 28 have never been to the Grey Cup as an active player.
“For guys who haven’t been through this week, it’s going to be a lot of demands with media and appearances,” Glenn said. “The practices are going to be different than what we’re used to.
“Huf’s trying to prepare us for the week. It’s not a regular-season week. The guys understand it. My biggest thing is to enjoy it. You don’t get to do this very often, so you need to enjoy it.
“It’s business, though. We have to handle business out there.”