The Edmonton Eskimos buses were about a half-hour behind schedule, but if it was up to the players, they would’ve arrived early.
“It’s definitely redemption time,” said Eskimos receiver Kelly Campbell. “We couldn’t wait to get back in this place.”
You couldn’t blame them if they never wanted to set foot in McMahon Stadium again.
It’s been just three weeks since the Calgary Stampeders embarrassed the Eskimos in the most one-sided game of the CFL season, a 56-15 massacre that sent their provincial rivals into the West Division bye-week with much different mindsets.
Nonetheless, the Green & Gold insist they’ve been counting the days until their second visit to Cowtown. In fact, fresh off a 17-14 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders last weekend, it sounds like they might have arrived on this soggy Sunday afternoon with a crate of thank-you cards in tow.
“That was a reality check. Every game before that one, we actually beat ourselves,” said Eskimos linebacker Maurice Lloyd. “This time, this team came out and beat us up and down this field. No matter what we may say, they beat us, period. They beat the brakes off of us. They put 50-some points up, almost 60. Made it like a basketball game. The fact is, they came out here and they handed it to us and it was a reality check.”
One reality check, though, is enough. The Eskimos are undefeated in their so-called new season and are anxious to avenge their embarrassing loss to the first-place Stamps.
“The last time we were here, we got our butts kicked in every aspect,” said Eskimos head coach Richie Hall.
“We lost the battle up front. We lost the skill positions. We lost the heart. We lost everything you can lose in a football game.
“Was that rock bottom? Yeah, that was rock bottom, but that’s in the past. This is a new day, this is a new season for us … We’re here as a different ball club.”