Stamps have gone streaking against Ticats for a long time

Driving up to McMahon Stadium in your Tesla X, and using an Android phone to Tweet a photo of you and your 13-year-old child, who just wants to play Pokemon Go, with your Selfie Stick.

Then it hits you. None of these things existed the last time the Stampeders lost at home to the Ticats.

The day was July 4, 2004. 5,095 days ago. That’s how long it’s been since Danny McManus and the rest of the Ticats put together 25 first-quarter points on their way to a 41-34 victory.

The world was still awaiting iPhones, tablets, the XBox 360 and the PlayStation 3. Kyries Hebert was a fresh-faced rookie and Kevin Glenn was backing up Nealon Greene in Saskatchewan.

Peter Dyakowski was still in college, winning a National Title with LSU.

It isn’t just in Calgary either. Calgary hasn’t lost to the Ticats since 2011. That’s 12 straight games, the longest such streak in the CFL right now. Bo Levi Mitchell has been the QB for the last nine of those games.

The Stampeders are also on a string of 10 straight seasons with 10 or more wins, but have lost their last two season openers. That might offer hope to Ticats fans; until they remember that the Ticats have won just once on opening night since 2008, going 1-9 in that stretch.

The Stampeders come into this game listed anywhere from 7.5-9 point favourites and it says here to take the Stamps and the over (54.5). Given the wealth of targets the Stampeders have at receiver, Mitchell, who is known to spread the ball around as much as anyone, should have a field day against an inexperienced Ticat secondary.

The talent at receiver should also open things up for the running game. Don Jackson is on the top of the running back depth chart but that may not mean anything with Terry Williams behind him.

Williams is expected to feature heavily in the return game given his performance in the preseason, but will also likely see quite a few carries in the offence as well. Dickenson is on record that he isn’t interested in having his primary running back also be his feature returner. In this situation, Dickenson will find familiarity though as he was on the staff when Joffrey Reynolds and Jon Cornish split carries in Calgary during the 2010 season. Back then, Reynolds would have two series to Cornish’s one.

The emergence of Tunde Adeleke at safety means that the Stamps will suffer less than one might have thought of moving away from the ratio-breaking Jerome Messam in the backfield.

Sources within the Stampeders tell me that Adeleke has picked up coach Claybrooks defence faster than any other player they have seen. Newly minted DB coach Josh Bell has said that Adeleke would have gotten the starters job at safety regardless of his passport.

The biggest challenge facing the Stampeders this year is their own legacy. Can they overcome back-to-back Grey Cup losses and roll through another season? Can the talent train that John Hufnagel buys a ticket on every off-season keep chugging along? These questions can begin to be addressed in week one, but they likely won’t be answered until November.

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