How low can you go? The Stamps found out on their recent disaster of a road trip. Nowhere to go but up!
By RANDY CHEVRIER
If, 'what goes up must come down,' is a true statement, then hopefully the same can be said of the opposite.
Right now, after consecutive losses of 49-8 and 48-15, your Calgary Stampeders are due to come up.
What else can we work towards and hope for? In the last two games, we have seen everything that can go wrong, go wrong. From the turnovers to the special teams miscues to defensive blunders, we as a team committed every type of error a team could to ensure the type of performance we demonstrated.
Now, let me be the first to tell you -- if you didn't already know -- the past two comedies of errors were definitely not planned.
Game day is usually such a wonderful experience. For me, the 60 minutes that's played over the course of three hours is like a dream. It is intense, it is busy, and while it is happening, it is all I can focus on as if nothing else exists.
As quickly as a game starts, it's over. And right after, I can't even remember a lot of what just happened. I obviously know the outcome, but sometimes cannot even tell you the score. I remember some of the big plays, but I sometimes cannot remember who executed them. Like I said, for me it is like a dream I wake from when it is over.
Well, in the last two weeks, I have been awakened by some pretty nasty nightmares. After both the Saskatchewan and Toronto games, I left each stadium with an uneasy numbness while trying to figure out what had just happened.
It usually starts with a big play by the other team or a mistake/boneheaded penalty on our part. Whether we extend an opposing drive or abruptly terminate one of our own, when standing on the sidelines, those events could be signs that bad things are to come. As a player, you cannot worry about what has passed. You have to focus and clear your mind. As long as there is time on the clock, you know there is potential to score points and get back into it.
But such was not the case in our two losses. Nothing went our way at all. When something went bad, it got worse. The proverbial ship was filling with water, and no matter how hard we tried to bucket the water out, more just kept filling in. And there are no excuses, we were terrible.
What we must do now is fight back. We have to learn from the past to prevent the same from happening in the future.
If we don't turn things around with the group of guys we have, then heads will roll. We live with those consequences every day. After the Toronto game, we had a three-day break until today, when this article hits the press.
Who knows if the guys that I went to Toronto with last week will be the same guys that line up to play next week? Will I even be there?
And of course, after a loss, everyone jumps off the bandwagon as easily as they got on. Fans and media and others will call everyone out. People will pick at everything and make stories and excuses for why things are not going well within the team. The fact I do a radio show for one hour a week and write a newspaper column does not mean that I am not focused on my No. 1 job. The fact that a receiver smiles when he drops a pass does not mean he is not committed to the team. And yes, some of these young guys will actually become players that you will grow to love, just like the heroes that you long for to return. If you have any sort of investment -- be it emotional, financial or whatever -- in the Stampeders, I would caution you to be patient with us.
The season is young, and so is this team. We will be better.