Ready for all seasons

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:35 AM ET

All the players have to do is pack a suitcase instead of a bag, check a map to see where exactly this Moncton place might be located and develop amnesia about losing 50-16 in their visit to Montreal last year and 40-4 the year before.

Dwayne Mandrusiak had a major challenge when it comes to the 10-day road trip the Eskimos embark upon today.

“We’re travelling like it’s a Grey Cup. But with about 30-40% more stuff than we’d even take to a Grey Cup,” said the longtime Eskimos equipment manager.

“We’re taking everything. We’re taking balaclavas and hand warmers, mosquito spray … On this one we’ve got to cover off all four seasons,” he said.

“It’s way too much stuff to take on our flight. We’ve hired a company to fly it all to Montreal as cargo. And we’re sending it from Montreal to Moncton by truck, which is about an 11-hour trip.”

With Grey Cups there’s one playing surface involved, not one turf and one grass, the latter being the temporary field in Moncton having a combination of grass and turf.

“We had the combination of grass and turf the year we had the world track and field championships, and the dressing rooms are similar to Clarke Stadium, which we were forced to use at training camp. And I didn’t throw the grass shoes away when we went to FieldTurf this year,” he said.

“We’re taking our green home jerseys to wear at practice so fans can relate to the players. And we’re taking a lot of giveaway items, too.

“Grey Cup trips are five days and we’ve had two-game road trips before involving six or seven days, but nothing extended like this. It’s a challenge. None of our guys have ever been involved with something like this before. But everybody is excited. It’s going to be fun.”

Even the equipment guys can’t wait to get out of town.


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