Wary of Winnipeg

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:34 PM ET

"One, two, three, this one's easy."

Sheldon Napastuk jokingly chanted that motto coming off the Calgary Stampeders practice field after a high-tempo workout this week.

The veteran defensive lineman then gave a hearty chuckle, acknowledging that he knew the prying ears of media members were listening in while the Stamps broke huddle.

If anything, Napastuk and his Stamps teammates realize tomorrow's game in Winnipeg against the already eliminated Blue Bombers is one they can't take lightly.

After Calgary clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2001 last weekend in Saskatchewan, there is a tendency for fans, players and media to look ahead for a possible two-game set with the Edmonton Eskimos -- the regular-season finale Nov. 6 and the likely West semifinal matchup.

"These are the most dangerous games," Napastuk said about the 5-12 Bombers, who wrap up their season tomorrow (2 p.m., TSN).

"I've been in that situation playing games that are meaningless in the standings. They will be loose in practice this week just trying to get through it. They'll have a loose attitude and will just try to mess somebody up. They will come out hard."

The same thing happened a year ago and the Stamps were on the flipside of the coin. The Toronto Argonauts came in cocky to McMahon while still in the hunt for the East Division crown.

The down-and-out Stamps stomped the Argos and ruined their chances of clinching the division for the first time since 1997.

Stamps linebacker Brian Clark was out of the playoffs for the first time in his career last year and knows what playing the spoiler is about now.

And, as a former Bomber, Clark knows the likes of Milt Stegall, Charles Roberts and Doug Brown aren't likely to roll over for this game.

"I consider them like a wounded animal right now," Clark said.

"They're backed into a corner and have some fight in them.

"They will come out with something to give their fans hope for next year. There's too much pride in that organization for them not to."

If the 9-7 Stamps win out, they will host a playoff game for the first time since 2000.

- - -

CALGARY STAMPEDES @ WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS

TOMORROW AT 2 P.M.


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