Do you feel that in the air?
It’s almost like the night before Christmas.
But it’s even better – CFL playoff football time!
And no one is more amped for Sunday’s West Semi-Final in Regina than Stampeders running back Ka’Deem Carey.
“Man, I’m so excited,” Carey said, through a large grin. “I’ve been getting ready for this game for two weeks. I didn’t get to play Winnipeg, so I’ve been preparing for Saskatchewan for two weeks.
“This will be my first professional playoff game, so I’m more excited than anything. I’m at a loss for words right now I’m so excited. I just can’t wait to show everyone what I can do.
“I had a week off, so my body is really ready to go. I’ve got a lot of fuel in the tank, so let’s go.”
Carey is coming off of an incredible season, running for 869 yards and seven touchdowns, while adding 194 receiving yards. His rushing total placed him second in the league, behind William Stanback of the Montreal Alouettes.
His production, leadership, and attitude earned him recognition as the team’s Most Outstanding Player nominee.
“I just feel really blessed and honoured that the team gave me that award,” acknowledged Carey. “We go to work together each and every day and I’ve got a relationship with every guy on this team and the fact that they look up to me as that player on the team … I haven’t been able to play a game yet with that on my name, so that’s giving me another spark going into the playoffs.”
Calgary is extremely well acquainted with Sunday’s opponent, the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
The clubs squared off three times during the regular season, with the Stampeders winning the first two outings, before dropping the last one.
“For me, this is the first time doing it, going against a team four times,” Carey said. “I actually find it fun. Getting to play them four times, you get to know them well, the personnel, the players, how they like to tackle, what they like to do, so it adds an fun wrinkle to it.
“It becomes who’s a better team at the end of the day. It’s been 14 weeks where we’ve been preparing to be the best that we can be. Playoffs are where you can display who is the better team, who’s on a roll, who’s making the right plays, who wants it more, who’s more physical and who’s truly the better team. I’m excited to see that on Sunday and I know what we have in this locker-room so we’re ready to explode right now.”
Carey missed the 2019 playoffs due to injury, so he’s ready to be immersed in CFL playoff football with a trip into the hostile grounds of Mosaic Stadium.
“I know what it’s going to be like, I know what they’re going to bring, I know that environment,” he said. “It’s one of my favourite places to play in. I think it’s building up to be something special on Sunday.
“It doesn’t matter where we play at, but I’m excited that it’s in Sask. It’s a place I love to play in. I feel like I always play well there, too. It’s loud and it’s a real football environment to play in. Not that Calgary isn’t, but the way they block that sound in, the stadium is so loud and it’s all green. You can’t hear Bo and everyone is getting so close in the huddle. You have to trust your partner to do the right things and that’s when this team plays the best, when we have to trust that guy next to us to do the right thing and make that play. Every time we go on the road, we trust each other fully and we’ve shown that all year long.
“When everybody’s clicking – you haven’t seen that, we haven’t seen that – it’s something scary. This is the perfect time to show that and I can’t wait until Sunday.”