Well, 44 B.C. Lions couldn’t take down the Stampeders, but an elderly gentleman wearing rubber gloves nearly did.
It was about a half-hour after Bo Levi hoisted that West Division trophy into the Calgary night that the real adversity came.
In the hallway of McMahon Stadium, just a couple of doors down from the resigned Lions locker room, there was Drew Tate having an animated conversation with The Pissman.
See, doping control pulled Tate’s name out of the hat for drug testing. Calgary’s No. 2 quarterback provided a urine sample to The Pissman, and thought he was done. Au contraire.
Tate’s urine was too diluted. Another sample was required. Tate had post-game plans. There were beers to drink, celebrating to do. And how was he to just magically provide more urine?
“I’ve gotta go,” the 32-year-old Texan told the drug tester.
“I can’t leave your side,” the rubber-gloved Pissman told Tate.
The showdown in the hallway was the most competitive battle of the day in Calgary.
You saw what happened: The game itself was a walk in the park, of course. Bo Levi Mitchell did, again, what he always does; Jamar Wall picked off a Jon Jennings pass and took it to the crib; the Stamps led 32-0 at the half and all doubt was removed.
Mitchell, who will be named the league’s most outstanding player Thursday night, was good on 21 of his 28 passes. He slung it for 365 yards and three touchdowns. The Pissman may have been the Stamps only adversity of the night; an organizational decision to sit Bo Levi in Montreal the barrier to the Stamps having the best regular season record in league history.
That’s these Stampeders: two years after going 15-3, and being the finest CFL team since the 2002 Alouettes, a Calgary Grey Cup win next Sunday at sparsely-attended BMO Field will enter this group into the dynasty conversation.
“One thing we talking about around here is legacy,” Marquay McDaniel, who caught four balls for 131 yards and a touchdown, told me Sunday night. “We said we wanted to be great this year. One more win will make us great. That’s what we want.”
These are the 2016 Stampeders. A West division title had one of the most muted celebrations you’ll ever see in a home locker room. When Mitchell lifted the trophy, he lifted his index finger to his teammates. Not to signal they’re the best, but to remind them there was another task left. One more win to go.
“The legacy we’re trying to leave is be one of the best teams to ever play this game,” Mitchell told me matter-of-factly. “You can’t do that by squeaking out games. We’re coming out to dominate any chance we get.”
This Stampeders era is one to behold. They don’t just win games – the foot is on the throttle. It’s what the greats do. One more victory Sunday against the RedBlacks will cement it.
“I love going up against the best in the game,” Bo Levi said. “Henry (Burris) is, and has been, one of the best in the league for a very long time. We’ll respect these guys, but we won’t fear them. We’ll go out there and play those guys. We’ll do what we do.”
Respect, but not fear. Like how Tate handled the dude in the rubber gloves after. A compromise was made. Drew and his new friend left McMahon together. He couldn’t leave his side, after all.
Tate lives close to the stadium. They went back to the house. The refrigerator opened. One California long neck popped, then a second, then another. The free-spirit Texan prefers his brews to have hops and some kick, and so the three Lagunitas IPAs didn’t stand a chance. Once the third beer – with 6.2% alcohol content in each of ’em, no less – was drained, Tate’s head was right and his bladder full.
He and The Pissman returned to McMahon. Another sample provided. Crisis averted.
Everyone in Calgary won Sunday: the Stamps, those hopeful of a dynasty, heck even The Pissman got what he wanted.
One more to go for the Stampeders. To do what they do.
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