'What's the big deal?'

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:03 AM ET

The television reporter phrased it that the Eskimos were going over to the "dark side" in the game plan to chose to use an announcer to prod the crowd to make noise.

"Dark side?" said quarterback Jason Maas.

"Why not do what everybody else is doing? Why not create the same home-field environment to help our fans to make the same kind of noise we have to deal with everywhere else and nobody has had to deal with here?

"As I understand it, we're not going to do anything that isn't legal. What's the big deal?

"We're not going to do what B.C. does when they crank it up. Last year the guy in Calgary was calling out Ricky Ray. Now that's going over to the dark side.

"We're just going to be asking our fans to give us the same advantage at home the fans get in Calgary, Saskatchewan and Hamilton, where they play in stadiums where the fans are right on top of you.

'WHAT'S THE CRIME IN THAT?'

"What's the crime in that?

"Everyone else does it.

"I can hardly hear myself talk in the huddle in those other places where the guy is screaming into the sound system. Why shouldn't the visiting quarterback have to deal with that when the come to play on our field?

"We have a massive stadium. Our fans aren't right on top of us. When you come here, noise isn't a factor. We want to make it a factor.

"I'd never say this is going over to the dark side."

The Eskimos gave the project a test drive in the final home game against Winnipeg, and the players were pleased. This will be the first time the Eskimos have decided not to take the high road when it comes to the decibel debate.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, says head coach Tom Higgins. He maintains the league, instead of outlawing the screaming banshees on the sidelines shouting into microphones to make it so receivers can't hear quarterback audibles and cadences, has rules.

NOT BREAKING RULES

Higgins said the Eskimos won't be breaking any rules, something he says can't be said for some of the other teams in the league.

"You can use the P.A. system and the scoreboard," he said, adding that the league rule is the sidelines announcer must stop the second the team breaks the huddle.

"You can urge the crowd to carry on. We will do nothing outside the law," he said of league rules.

"We will not use artificial noise," he said of canned crowd noise pumped through the P.A. system.

Eskimo players were taking advantage of any interview time to urge fans to bring noisemakers and be as loud as they can be.

"Anything you can do to make the opponent hesitate helps," said Singor Mobley.

"Just so they remember to be quiet when our offence is at work."


Videos

Photos