Battle of Alberta raging off field

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 9:38 AM ET

The Battle of Alberta has continued to burn off the oil fields since last weekend.

After splitting the annual back-to-back series, the Edmonton Eskimos and Calgary Stampeders have resorted to a sniping war.

Thanks to Nik Lewis.

When the Calgary receiver hit Kelly Wiltshire low on an attempted block, the Eskimo linebacker suffered a possible career-ending injury, the Edmonton Sun reported.

"There's no doubt that was a cheap shot," charged Edmonton kicker Sean Fleming. "He went after his knee."

Lewis, however, defended himself.

"It's not the first time I cut someone and it's not the last time I'll do it," he told the Edmonton Journal.

"But I'll never intentionally hurt anybody.

"I've never ripped anyone's helmet off, like (Edmonton linebacker A.J.) Gass. I've never pushed anyone while they're down, like (Edmonton linebacker Singor) Mobley. I don't do the dirty things that people do. That was within the whistle and I tried to give my best block."

Although neither Wiltshire nor Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia called it cheap, Maciocia had other problems with Lewis.

"When you take a knee and pray to the Good Lord," he said, "and then you get back up and you keep talking more trash and Kelly is lying down there (injured) ... I find that to be hypocritical."

Lewis did offer an apology of sorts to Calgary reporters.

"Yes, I feel bad," he said. "(But) would I do the play again? Yes."

The teams do not meet other again this season.

9/11 FALLOUT: Life has not been easy for Rahim Abdullah ever since Sept. 11, 2001.

Because of his name and Muslim religion, the Calgary defensive end is considered a security risk whenever he flies, particularly if he flies in his native United States.

"I get random-searched every time I fly," the Jackson Beach, Fla., told the Calgary Sun.

And he sneers at U.S. President George Bush's policies in the wake of the 9/11 crisis.

"America says it's a war against terror, right? It's a lie," Abdullah said.

"It's not a war against terror. If it was a war against terror, not only would al-Qaida be a target for America, but the Ku Klux Klan would be a target because the Ku Klux Klan is the oldest and biggest terrorist organization there is and they operate freely ... it's a hypocrisy."

Abdullah added that those responsible for 9/11 weren't Muslim's either, just terrorists.

But it's different up here.

"I haven't experienced those problems in Canada."

HASHMARKS: Former Winnipeg Blue Bombers punter Jon Ryan, who is now with the Green Bay Packers, was once a goalie who turned to football after the Brandon Wheat Kings cut him ... Calgary QB/receivers coach Bill Diedrick reportedly slammed his fist into a spotters' booth window at Commonwealth Stadium on the last play of Friday's game against Edmonton, leaving a spider-web type of crack ... B.C. QB Dave Dickenson is trying to get used to wearing a knee brace in practices this week.


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