The Calgary Stampeders will entertain the Winnipeg Blue Bombers tonight in the Wall of Fame Game. Kickoff at McMahon Stadium is 7 p.m.
The Stamps (6-4) are bidding for a fourth consecutive victory while the Bombers (2-8) are trying to snap a three-game losing streak. Calgary head coach and general manager John Hufnagel cautions against reading too much into the opponents’ last-place position in the overall standings.
“We’re going to play good football against Winnipeg,” he said. “Don’t let their record be deceiving — they’re a very talented football team. Very aggressive on defence and lots of skill on offence. We have to play well to get this thing done.”
While much has been made about Winnipeg’s 52-0 loss to Saskatchewan two weeks ago, Hufnagel is more focused on the heartbreaking defeats that bracketed the rout.
“You just have to highlight two of their last three games — the three-point loss to BC and then the loss they had last week against Saskatchewan,” he said. “Both games were there for them to take.
“There have been a lot of close games decided late and we know about it — they haven’t had as much good fortune as we have. The Labour Day Classic? You just have to forget about that one and focus against the team that played against BC and against Saskatchewan the second time.”
The Stamps will be without kick returner/receiver Larry Taylor, who this week was placed on the nine-game injury list after going down in last week’s game in Edmonton.
“One thing about our team that’s been consistent is our special-teams play,” said Hufnagel, “and Larry has been a big part of that. He was able to change field position for us. LaMarcus Coker is excited about this opportunity. He’s worked hard ever since he got to training camp because he knew that would be one of the facets we would be asking of him — to be a returner — and he’s going to get an opportunity.”
In addition to facing the Bombers, the Stamps will honour six men who made important contributions to the club as part of the 2012 Wall of Fame ceremonies. Jeff Garcia, Kelvin Anderson, Rudy Linterman and the late Gerry Shaw will be enshrined in the players’ category while Sig Gutsche and Normie Kwong are being honoured as builders.
As you wait for kickoff, here are some links to get you prepare you for the contest and to catch you up on Stamps news:
>> Full preview
>> Video: Player comments
>> Depth chart
>> Sidelined Calixte trying to stay positive
>> Cornish keeps on rolling
>> Baggs added to practice roster
>> Baggs excited by return to CFL
>> Stamps sign Armstead
>> Grey Cup train tour on track
>> O-line coming together