Calgary Stampeders (sort of) sit front row at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Photo courtesy: Curling Canada

Some prominent members of the Calgary Stampeders are taking in the action at this week’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts, though they’re looking a little stiff.

Cardboard cutouts of Henry Burris, John Hufnagel, Jon Cornish, and Bo Levi Mitchell have been placed in the front row of the Markin MacPhail Centre in WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park in Calgary for this week’s Scotties.

The event is taking place inside a bubble, which means fans are not permitted inside the facility. As has become commonplace amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many seats have been filled with cardboard cutouts to help create the illusion of a crowd.

Other members of the “audience” include legendary members of the Calgary Flames, family members of the curlers on the ice, and Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Burris is Calgary’s all-time passing leader, throwing for 32,191 yards over nine seasons with the club. He was also named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player during his tenure with the team and won a Grey Cup in 2008.

Hufnagel served as the head coach and general manager of the Stamps from 2008 to 2015, winning two Grey Cups and leading the team to a 102-41-1 record. He resigned as head coach in 2016 to add the title of president and has since helped the team capture another championship in 2018.

Cornish retired after nine seasons with Calgary having rushed for 6,844 yards and 44 touchdowns on 1,026 attempts. He was a three-time league Most Outstanding Canadian, one-time Most Outstanding Player, and captured the prestigious Lou Marsh Trophy in 2013.

Mitchell is only 5,000 yards shy of Burris for the team’s all-time passing record and has won two Grey Cups (2014, 2018) and two Most Outstanding Player awards (2016, 2018). The 30-year-old remains the Stampeders’ starting quarterback.

The Scotties got underway on Friday, February 19 and will conclude on Sunday, February 28. Eighteen teams are participating in two pools with representation including each Canadian province and territory.

Team Alberta is skipped by Laura Walker out of the Saville Community Sports Centre in Edmonton and currently sits atop Pool A with a 3-0 record.