Shooting hits home for Stamps’ players
Both Alex Singleton and Eric Rogers know the Borderline Bar & Grill.
Singleton grew up in Thousand Oaks, Calif., after all, and his family still lives in the city.
Rogers went to college at California Lutheran University, which happens to call Thousand Oaks home.
So when a gunman opened fire on the Borderline Bar & Grill on Wednesday night, killing 12 country music fans, it hit close to home for both Calgary Stampeders.
“I woke up to phone calls at 6 (a.m.) from my mom and sister,” Singleton said. “My sister wasn’t there, but she was (home) two days earlier and would have been at the bar, so I think it was the first time my mom was happy we weren’t home. It’s one of those things where you’ve gotta stick together, hug someone you love and keep everyone in your thoughts and prayers.”
Thankfully, neither Rogers or Singleton knew anybody who had been hurt or killed in Wednesday ’s mass shooting, but it was nevertheless a shock to hear and read about the mass shooting. How could it not be?
“A lot of people I went to school with, everybody was talking about it,” Rogers said. “We went to that place plenty of times for college night, same night they were there for. You never know, anything can happen at any time. A guy walks up and starts doing what he’s doing, it’s not like he got in tight, he just walked up.”
Unfortunately, the people of Thousand Oaks also had to deal with more than just America’s latest tragic mass shooting.
Soon afterwards, a massive wildfire broke out near the Southern California city, prompting authorities to order a mandatory evacuation for large areas. “There’s a fire, too, so my parents stayed up all night last night thinking they might get evacuated,” Singleton said.
BRANDON SMITH OUT
Brandon Smith didn’t participate in Friday’s practice at McMahon Stadium.
The practice happened to fall a full nine days before the Stampeders are next set to take the field, of course, so the veteran halfback’s absence probably doesn’t provide much of an indicator of how the team is planning on lining up for the West final on Nov. 18.
Make no mistake, though, this wasn’t a veteran’s day for Smith.
“He’s hurting,” said Stamps head coach Dave Dickenson. “Our back end has been hurting a bit, there’s probably three or four guys who I think will be available but they were hurting.”