Former CFL quarterback Stanley Jackson spent one season in Winnipeg and provided the key ingredient in Keith Stokes’ best season as a returner: green peanut M&M’s.
Jackson was the third-string QB behind Khari Jones and Kevin Glenn that year. While maintaining clipboard duties, Jackson needed a snack as he watched the action, just like any fan in the stadium or at home. Peanut M&M’s were his favourite and fellow teammates quickly took a liking, particularly Stokes.
“During the games, Stanley Jackson would have M&M’s on the sideline. He would give them to Stokes. Whenever Stokes ate a green peanut M&M, he ran a punt back,” Glenn said on The Rouge Report podcast.
Stokes returned 56 kick-offs in 2004 for 1,112 yards and one touchdown along with 80 punts for 949 yards and four majors. He also returned nine missed field goal returns for 138 yards.
He earned the league’s Most Outstanding Special Teams Player award after setting career-highs for return yardage and touchdowns. Green peanut M&M’s were like kryptonite for opposing coverage units.
“We’re in a game and I’m like, ‘Stan, do you have any M&M’s?’ He’s like, ‘No, I don’t have any, I don’t have them on me.’ I’m like, ‘We need a kick return.’ Stokes is on the sideline and he’s like, ‘Man, I need a peanut M&M, I need a peanut M&M,'” Glenn said.
“At halftime, Stanley gave Stokes one and he ran it back. It made him feel like a super hero. We kept it to ourselves for a long time because we didn’t want nobody to know we were on the sidelines eating M&M’s.”
Jackson’s preferred candy turned Stokes into a green returning machine.