While New Orleans head coach Sean Payton made headlines recently by bringing more than $200,000 USD and the Super Bowl trophy to the Saints locker room in order to motivate his players in the NFL playoffs, Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell did the same thing before this year’s CFL post-season – months earlier than Payton.
Mitchell brought his own stack of cash and bling to motivate teammates. He entered the Stampeders locker room prior to the West Final against Winnipeg at McMahon Stadium with $16,000, a Grey Cup ring and a photo of the 2014 CFL title team names’ etched into the silver trophy. According to sources who were there inside the walls, the franchise pivot delivered a lasting message: “The money will be spent, rings can be lost, but your name on that cup is forever! Let’s become immortal, men!”
The room erupted.
Calgary beat the Bombers 22-14 advancing to the CFL championship against Ottawa where the Stampeders defeated the Redblacks 27-16 and hoisted the Grey Cup with Mitchell earning MVP honours.
“It brought us together and let everyone know what it was all about. The celebration with the team was great because we are forever now,” one Stampeders player said. “Bo made sure we knew that before we started the playoffs.”
While Payton’s gambit ended with a playoff failure – albeit a controversial one – BLM and the Stamps have another ring for their efforts.