They've got personality

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:34 AM ET

If the Calgary Stampeders receivers took on the personality of their coach, the celebration after touchdowns would consist of a smile and a handshake.

Instead of behaving like the button-down Tom Higgins, the likes of Jeremaine Copeland, Nik Lewis, Ken-Yon Rambo and MarTay Jenkins turn revelry into an art form.

Last week against the Edmonton Eskimos, Copeland pretended to lead Lewis away in handcuffs after the sophomore slotback scored a touchdown.

Earlier that game, Jenkins pretended to dribble the football like a basketball before tossing it through Copeland's arms in a mock three-pointer.

Higgins doesn't want to stifle anyone's creativity but doesn't want to promote exhibitionism.

"We don't devote any time for that in practice but I'm sure they come up with some," Higgins said. "But we don't want the team to be like Tom Higgins because people don't like watching paint dry or grass grow. I understand it. I don't want to take that away from them."

Still, going overboard on a first-down catch, like Jenkins and Copeland did, isn't what Higgins wants. Getting excited about a touchdown is another story and acceptable to the coach nicknamed Ned Flanders in Edmonton.

"The celebration has to be choreographed and in a short period of time," Higgins said. "I don't mind it. I don't pay any attention to it because I have other things to do."

- - -

RUN BATTLE: Because the Eskimos brought in Troy Davis late in the season, the odds on which is the best cold-weather team is probably even money for today's West semifinal.

The Stamps have Joffrey Reynolds, the CFL's second leading rusher, in their backfield, while Davis is a powerful north-south runner for Edmonton who won the 2004 rushing title. With a high of 1-degree expected today, the team with the best rushing attack may have the advantage but Stamps head coach Tom Higgins likes his chances.

"We have enough weapons that we can utilize whatever conditions present themselves," Higgins said. "We can be a foul-weather football team. We feel we can measure up to anybody in any condition."

- - -

FIELD GOALS: The Eskimos needed to free up an import roster spot for DB Gerald Dixon, meaning starting tackle Cedric Scott is forced to sit today. Canadian Randy Spencer will replace Scott on the defensive line, which is already missing DE Rashad Jeanty and his eight sacks.


Photos