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Stampeders fans showing unwavering loyalty

The countdown to the Grey Cup is upon us, and many Calgary Stampeders fans have no doubt in their team’s ability to take it home this year, despite their painful title-game defeats the last two seasons.

As of Sept. 28, the Stampeders were first in the CFL’s West Division at 11-2. 

Fans heading into that night’s game against the Toronto Argonauts were optimistic they could shake off the demons of the last two Grey Cups.

“I think they have a really good chance,” said Stamps fan Elisa Woodart.

 “I think they have a great attitude, [and] great coaching. I think it’s been a hard couple of years coming that close, [but] I think they’re really hungry”.

 Trevor Prosser was excited for his team to get some revenge on the Argonauts, who they lost heartbreakingly to in last year’s Grey Cup.

Calgary Stampeders defensive back Patrick Levels, centre, chest bumps with linebacker #49 Alex Singleton during CFL football action at McMahon Stadium in Calgary on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018. The Stampeders defeated the Argonauts by a score of 38-16. (Photo by Barbara Talaga/The Weal)

“It’s going to be a great game and a good season; they’ve got a good chance to take it all the way,” said Prosser. 

Even faced with key injuries to their receiving corps, fan Less Wlies stands by the team. 

“They got the team, they got the players, [and] Bo [Levi Mitchell] is a really good quarterback.

“Even if Bo was out of the game they still got the players.”

In September, leading receivers Kamar Jorden and Davarius Daniels suffered serious injuries.

Jorden was knocked out for the season with a knee injury during the Labour Day game, while Daniels suffered a broken collarbone two weeks later. 

Yet another receiver went down during the Sept. 28 game, when Reggie Begelton was lost for the season with a broken arm. 

Even with their star receivers out, the team secured their spot in the playoffs by defeating the Argos 38-16.

Partially because of these setbacks, Aaron Tell was more pessimistic about their chances.

Tell said that Mitchell needed to learn to “trust all [his] receivers.”

“Bo Levi tends to target a lot of the same guys a lot. They don’t really trust their entire team.

Bo has been injured [when] he has the ball in his hands the whole time, trust your whole team.” 

Tell said the playoff losses the past couple of years have left him thinking about other teams who could win it all this year. He felt that the rest of the league has been weaker the last few years.

He also said the team’s regular season success could be dangerous. 

“The team needs to fight their own egos, they’re pretty high on themselves in some way.

They should be; they’re the best team in the league right now [but] they lost to Toronto and Ottawa [in the Grey Cup], two teams that had no business being in the game.”

Through it all, Stampeders fans are still filling the seats every game, said Lou De Asis, a McMahon Stadium cashier.

“They’re doing pretty well this year; hopefully they won’t flop as always,” said De Asis.

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