Team aims to bounce back against the Ticats
HAMILTON, ONT. Make no mistake, the Calgary Stampeders are proud of the fact that they haven’t lost two meaningful games in a row since 2012. It’s a borderline absurd accomplishment, and yes, they lost three in a row at the end of last season, but those all came after the Stamps already had wrapped up first place in the West Division. They weren’t entirely meaningless, but let’s be real: they basically were.
For new players on the team, it’s something you learn to care about from essentially the day you arrive at McMahon Stadium.
“Ever since I’ve been here, that’s something everyone’s preached, and not just the coaches, that we don’t lose two in a row,” said Stamps DB Emanuel Davis, who signed with the team in free agency this off-season. “I think that just shows the type of guys we have in the locker-room, to always be resilient no matter what happened the week before.”
If the Stamps are going to keep their run alive — and again, last year’s season-ending losses mean it’s not technically alive — they’re going to have to overcome a massive test on Saturday against the surging Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2 p.m., TSN, NewsTalk770).
The Stamps (9-2) lost a tight, thrilling contest to the Edmonton Eskimos last weekend and are facing a Ticats (6-5) team that could claim sole possession of first place in the East Division if things go their way this weekend.
For the Stamps, keeping their streak of not losing twice in a row alive is a whole lot less important than maintaining their lead over the Saskatchewan Roughriders atop the West Division.
“What I’ve always said is, ‘How deep are your lows, and can you carry your highs longer?’ ” Stamps head coach Dave Dickenson said. “As you can see with the rosters and who’s hot and who’s not and who you’re facing at what time of the season, the odds of you not having a two-game losing streak are pretty low. We’ve been able to avoid that.”
In the eyes of Stamps QB Bo Levi Mitchell, the secret to not losing two in a row isn’t anything particularly out-of-this-world.
The Stamps know people are going to start overanalyzing every little thing when they do lose a game, and they make sure that the guys in the locker-room don’t overreact to the inevitable losses
when they do come.
“I think it’s the fact that we don’t care about whether people start to ask questions,” Mitchell said. “If we lose a game people start asking, ‘ What is it that caused the Calgary Stampeders to lose this football game and what could possibly lead them to losing ?’ and we just go about our business the same way.
“I know it’s boring, but it’s true. We go about our business every single week, no matter who’s on the roster.”
While the Stampeders obviously would love to be 11-0, it’s worth wondering whether the losses they ’ve taken so far might actually be a good thing. You can’t bounce back unless you’ve got something to bounce back from.
“Nobody’s perfect, you know, I live by the saying that ‘you don’t want to follow a king with no scars’ so if you have a person up there preaching and they haven’t went through anything, it’s kind of hard to follow that person,” Davis said. “If you’ve got a team that’s been battle-tested … I feel like moving on to the next week is easier.”
Calgary’s Emanuel Davis says there’s extra motivation for today because the Stamps don’t tolerate losing back-to-back games.