Professional athletes can be famously superstitious about their game routines. It would appear that Calgary players and coaches are no different: https://www.stampeders.com/2017/10/15/snap-blog-superstitions/
How superstitious do you want to be? That might just be the question Calgary Stampeders fans are asking themselves going into the 2018 CFL season. There is no denying that they have had the pleasure of watching a dominant franchise over recent years, having gone 71-15-2 over the last 5 seasons.
Yet for all that regular season dominance they have only one Grey Cup to show, having won it all in 2014. In some ways not picking up more trophies stings all the more given that the Stamps have been to the last two Grey Cups having posted the best record in the league back to back, only to be upended by the underdog Redblacks and Argonauts in successive years.
That’s where Stamps fans might just start looking to superstition. Third time lucky? Check, they are in place for that. Playing on Friday 13th? Check – Week 5 at Ottawa covers that one. Grey Cup in Edmonton – hmm, the Stamps have never made a Grey Cup played there – might just want to ignore that one.
Are the omens for a good year in place? Possibly. Growing up in the UK people always used to say a year ending in 1 was a good one for Tottenham Hotspur. After all they had won the FA cup in 1901, 1921, 1961, 1981 and 1991; the league in 1951 and 1961, and the league cup in 1971. Winning a trophy wasn’t guaranteed it just seemed to happen more in those years.
For Stamps fans, perhaps looking to years ending in 8 can offer some hope too? They won their first Grey Cup in 1958 and picked up others in 1998 and 2008. If you want to be superstitious about it that is something to hold onto.
Much more important than any superstition however is how they approach the season. We have come to expect the Stamps to be there or there about at the business end of the season. Having seen them re-tool and get younger in the off-season it will be interesting to see if they can be as dominant again.
If they were to lose in another Grey Cup final then UK football fans could start subconsciously drawing comparisons with the 4 consecutive Superbowl losing Buffalo bills of the 1990’s. They were a great team, but ultimately it’s all about winning a championship. Those are the teams that are really remembered. For the Stamps it’s all about redemption now – a running theme these past few years.
Superstition be damned – these players & coaches will have a point to prove that they can win the big one. It’s going to be interesting seeing how it all plays out.
Image from stampeders.com