Calgary humbles Montreal

MIKE BELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

It seemed like a good idea at the time. But like most good ideas -- bras, the A-bomb, polygamy, etc., -- this one proved to be difficult to manage and was soon more trouble than it was worth.

The idea: Corner some Stampeders at practice with a photographer and ask them to dispense a quick lesson on the art of the endzone dance.

Simple. Easy.

Last week, during its 23-7 win over the visiting Saskatchewan Roughriders, the home side celebrated a major with an elaborate pantomime featuring the ball as a martini shaker that was poured into mimicked glasses, which were then cheers-ed, drank and then dropped by the stumbling faux-inebriated athletes.

It was an inspired bit of showmanship, which was either the best part of the game or worst thing in the game, depending on where you stand on the issue of touchdown celebrations.

But beliefs about its place in the game aside, the opportunity to learn how to -- I believe the kids say -- 'bust some fresh moves' from those who know would make me the bee's knees down at the malt shop.

The two names that immediately popped to mind in the tutor department were the Stamps' showiest duo, Jeremaine Copeland and Nik Lewis, considered by most the team's TD dance ringleaders.

Initial contact had been made with the pair by second parties prior to Thursday morning's practice and apparently all was good. But after a brief introduction to Copeland, he pressed about the specifics, suddenly unsure of what he might have agreed to -- i.e. teaching someone his celebration moves.

Perhaps someone unworthy.

"I don't know about that," Copeland laughed, eyeing up and down the pasty Caucasian sucking in his belly before him.

"You gotta have rhythm to do that. You got any rhythm?"

The reply of, "Does Walter Ostanek got polka?" probably gave away a little more than I wanted to and was perhaps the reason that was the last I saw of the wide receiver.

Possibly it was something else. Perhaps head coach Tom Higgins had intervened and Higgins was, it had been said, no fan of the endzone antics and, after last weekend's display, may have shut things down for good.

The question was posed to Lewis, who hadn't yet run from the prospect of being a dance instructor.

"Coach is pretty conservative," Lewis admitted.

"He's: 'Go do your job, get your job done.'

"But he understands where we come from and we have an understanding that we're not going to show anybody up. We're just going to go out there and have fun.

"It gives the team energy, it makes everybody laugh, it lets the crowd have a good time most of all."

Still, Lewis is smart enough to know it also raises his profile in a league that could use a few more stars to sell its product and, if he should make that name for himself, so be it.

In fact, it's telling that after being informed last weekend's skit made it onto the highlight reels, Lewis is quick to ask if that included down in the States.

Lewis and his Stamps brothers are now, it would seem, big players in an open market when it comes to competing for TV face time.

"You know, you can do your job and go back to the huddle or you can do you job and entertain the fans," Lewis said.

"If I got a touchdown every time I caught the ball, then I'd probably be, 'OK, it's overrated to dance,' but I don't.

"I've got three touchdowns this year so you've got to celebrate. If you get a raise at your job, you're going to celebrate, and that's what this is."

Ah, yes, I'll never forget my last pay bump, which was accompanied by a 20-minute Flashdance routine, complete with leg-warmers, chair and bucket of water.

Of course, that celebration had to be choreographed and finely tuned over the course of three months, something Lewis surprisingly said is not the case with what the Stamps do.

"We hardly ever practise," he admitted.

Someone usually comes up with an idea earlier in the week, he said, and gives the heads-up to the rest of the guys as to what he's going to do if he scores and what they need to do to assist.

"Now it's back to the drawing board," Lewis said. "I've used up my celebration so now I've got to come up with another one."

Yes, Lewis proudly admits last week's binge-drink routine was his idea.

And one that's going to be difficult to top.

"I think it was pretty successful," he said, evaluating its impact as if dissecting the game itself.

"Actually, I went to the bar after the game and I seen some guys (do) a shot and look at me and they started stumbling around and everything. I think it was pretty funny -- it's all fun and games.

"You can't take it too seriously."

But, that said, you get a sense from Lewis he does take it somewhat seriously, knowing he and his teammates have a reputation -- good or bad -- which they are now expected to live up to.

In fact, that was why last week's dance had to be something to remember, because they're still known for a celebration from last year which has come to be known as The Bicycle. That routine involved three of the players forming a stationary bike -- Lewis was the pedals -- which Copeland then hopped on top of and rode.

"I think that's a classic," Lewis said.

"I think it's one of the best ones I've ever seen, best ones I've been a part of -- I think it is a classic.

"People still talk about it today -- they want to see it again.

"You might see the bicycle again but, if not, we've got a bunch of other things planned that are going to be great."

And what will that be?

A giant, killer robot?

The crossing of the Delaware complete with powdered wigs?

The deck scene from Titanic, with he and Copeland in an embrace as others mime drowning?

"No, it's not a scene from Titanic," he said, although the twinkle in his eye indicated he liked the sounds of it.

"We might re-enact a movie, we might

re-enact anything. I know we got one that's good. I'm not going to say nothing because

I don't want anyone to (know)."

Well, this morning, we may already know what Lewis and Co. had planned.

- - -

And as for myself, now emboldened by the warm reception of that Titanic idea, it was now time to once again ask Lewis to impart some of the practical aspects of the endzone dance.

"You want to learn?" he asked, changing noticeably.

"Well, I've got to go change my shoes."

With that, Lewis headed back into the locker-room.

Twenty minutes later, we were informed he wouldn't be returning.

Whether it's genetics rendering me rhythmically challenged, orders from the coach or merely the protection of trade secrets, it seems the only routine the Stampeders were willing to show me was the Disappearing Act.

Fine.

I can take a hint.

But Lewis, Copeland -- you're now officially on notice.

Expect this painfully white boy to sue if one of you utters the line: "I'm the king of the world!"


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