On the surface, it looks like the Edmonton Eskimos are about to record two very easy wins.
With back-to-back games against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (a.k.a.: the CFL's version of the Keystone Kops) two big Ws seem like a mortal lock - on paper.
- The hapless 2-11 Tabbies have lost five straight games
- They haven't scored an offensive touchdown in three games
- In that same span, they've turned the ball over a staggering 22 times
But in every corner of the Eskimo locker-room, nobody is taking Saturday's tilt against the terrible Tabbies lightly.
"We definitely can't go into Hamilton thinking it is going to be an easy win," said linebacker Singor Mobley.
"Last year it was the same type of situation and we got our butts handed to us."
THEY POUNDED EDMONTON
For the record, Hamilton was just as pathetic last year - sporting a horrific 2-10 record - but pounded Edmonton 40-14 on a steamy early fall evening. However, the nightmare from last year is just one reason why this version of the Green and Gold - which is anything but worldbeaters - vows not to overlook Hamilton this weekend.
Besides facing ex-teammate Jason Maas, there is the matter of Edmonton's brutal road record.
"We are 0-5 on away games, so we can't take anybody lightly," said cornerback Malcolm Frank.
And then there is the matter of pride within the entire Hamilton locker-room.
"A team that is desperate and is looking for an opportunity to feast on someone, those are very dangerous teams to play," said receiver Ed Hervey. "If we go out there expecting an easy game, we are sadly mistaken."
Just one week ago the Eskimos found themselves in that exact same hungry and desperate position.
"Calgary probably felt it was going to be an easy walk in the park when they came up here (last week)," said defensive tackle Steve Charbonneau. "You never know in this league.
"They have a lot of talent (in Hamilton).
'NOTHING TO LOSE'
"When you have nothing to lose, you try different things and sometimes it works - and we don't want it to work against us."
While the players are saying all of the right things, there's already the fear among critics there might be an emotional letdown after two hard-fought games against the Calgary Stampeders through Labour Day week.
But head coach Danny Maciocia has already fired a warning shot to his players.
"If there is a letdown then we have the wrong guys around here," said the coach. "We have got to play every game as if it's Calgary."
Unlike the Labour Day series, the Edmonton-Hamilton tilt on Saturday night has already been billed as the Toilet Bowl, with each club last in its division.The Eskimos are just hoping they don't flush a golden opportunity to gain ground in the playoff race down the toilet.