Name-cheque

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:57 AM ET

Regina's relabelled Mosaic Stadium, formerly Taylor Field, has ruffled feathers in the Wheat Province but the CFL's most passionate fans need to maintain their perspective.

Providing the name of former player and coach Neil (Piffles) Taylor is still recognized, the $4-million deal for naming rights is a sensible means of raising funds to refurbish the ancient facility.

Although many fans hold onto a romantic notion Taylor Field is the Fenway Park of the CFL, in truth the stadium has fallen into disrepair and is the league's most weather-worn site, save for the Roughies' refurbished locker-room and training facilities, which are now first-rate.

CFL teams, especially community-owned clubs, need to remain open-minded about fundraising schemes.

One need only look at how the Alouettes and Tiger-Cats have dressing up aging facilities to see what a cash influx can do for a team and its fans.

A similar deal in Calgary would help replace the Stamps' antiquated locker-room and offices.

FOUR-WAY TIE: The first two weeks of the CFL season has played out according to the pre-season form chart, with all four CFL West teams tied at 1-1.

Don't be surprised if it takes until the final week of the regular season to settle the three playoff spots while one team will be left watching the playoffs on TV. All four clubs are potential Grey Cup contenders, although one (barring a crossover berth) will miss the playoffs entirely.

A 10-8 record could be good enough to secure first place.

DAVE IN THE DUMPS: While it's easy to jump on Henry Burris for the Calgary Stampeders' slow start on offence, even the best pivots in the league can struggle.

Lions QB Dave Dickenson was sensational in the season opener against Saskatchewan, completing 82% of his passes for 362 yards in just three quarters for an easy win. A week later, against the same defence, Dickenson was merely mortal, completing 67% of his throws while tossing two picks and posting 279 yards passing in a 32-24 loss, calling the contest one of his "poorer efforts."

'FOOT NOTES: Former Alouettes and Lions defensive back (1971-82) Tony Proudfoot takes a unique look at the Canadian game with his new book First and Goal: The CFL and the Pursuit of Excellence.

The former teammate of Wally Buono and two-time Grey Cup champion does more than just offer observations from the sidelines.

Proudfoot interviewed more than 40 current and former CFL players and coaches, focusing on the game's finer points and how players and teams find a winning edge.

Proudfoot, still a member of the Alouettes radio broadcast crew, not only provides plenty of analysis and X's and O's, breaking down all three facets of the game, he sprinkles the book with tons of humorous and enlightening anecdotes about the CFL and the men who make it distinct.

The book is also filled with hundreds of photos of current and former players and is both educational and entertaining. It includes insights from former Stampeders Dave Dickenson, Marvin Coleman, Joe Fleming, Doug Flutie, Alondra Johnson, Travis Moore and Allen Pitts, along with current Stamps backup Danny McManus.

Proudfoot, you might recall, is the Als player who ingeniously chose to fire staples into his football cleats before the 1977 'Ice Bowl.'

HURRY-UP OFFENCE: The Stampeders may have caught a break as they begin preparing to meet Hamilton Thursday at McMahon Stadium. The 0-2 Tabbies' dangerous rushing tandem of John Ranek (groin) and Corey Holmes (ankle) will arrive less than 100% healthy ... The Roughriders usually struggle at the gate early in the season but still have to be disappointed with just 21,082 turning out for their home-opener ... The Argonauts need to be patient with starter Spergon Wynn, in for injured Damon Allen. The look on offensive co-ordinator Kent Austin's face during Saturday's loss in Winnipeg suggests his might already be wearing thin.


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