All-star snubs not 'D'flating

UPDATED: 2008-11-07 02:30:49 MST

By WES GILBERTSON

Something doesn't add up here.

No three-down defence allowed fewer points, touchdowns or rushing yards in the regular season than the Calgary Stampeders. The Horsemen also boasted the CFL's second-lowest mark in total yardage surrendered and first downs against.

The one defensive category where the Stamps pulled up the rear? All-star selections.

Surprised?

You're not the only one.

"We have the No. 1 defence, so I thought our defence would at least have two or three guys on there," said rookie halfback Brandon Smith. "I understand we play as a team and it's a team sport here, but some of the guys accomplished great goals this year ...

"I just thought we would have got a little more respect and have some of our players on the list."

The Stampeders returned to the practice field yesterday -- three days after the league announced its divisional all-star squads -- and several key contributors admitted they were a bit rankled cornerback Brandon Browner was the only Red & White defender on the list.

On the other side of the ball, quarterback Henry Burris, running back Joffrey Reynolds, receiver Ken-Yon Rambo and centre Rob Lazeo all made the grade, while kicker Sandro DeAngelis was named an all-star for the fourth straight season.

"The all-star thing, that's big for our defence," said Stamps linebacker JoJuan Armour. "It shows we haven't got the respect that we deserve, and having that chip on our shoulder is what we've had all year.

"It helps to know that we still have a job to do, we still have things to prove and we still have minds to change. And that's our goal. That was our goal from the beginning of the year, and our goal until we're done playing is to prove that we're the best defence playing ball and we have the best players.

"Regardless of voting, regardless of all-stars, when it's all said and done at the end of the season, it's our performance and our defence -- where we stand in team defence -- that speaks for itself."

The B.C. Lions dominated the defensive all-stars in the West Division with seven starters, including sackmaster Cam Wake. The Edmonton Eskimos and Saskatchewan Roughriders had two all-star defenders apiece.

Browner, who registered 61 defensive tackles, two fumble recoveries, one sack and three interceptions in his second CFL campaign, was the only Stampeders defender to receive enough ballots, which are cast by media members, coaches and fans. Even linebacker Shannon James, the team's nominee for the defensive player-of-the-year award, came up short.

While few would argue the Red & White defence was a forceful presence on the field, some players were probably overlooked in all-star voting because of a shortage of highlight-reel plays.

No Stamps defender finished atop the stats sheet in an individual category. As a unit, they finished fourth on the eight-team loop with 19 picks -- the Lions led with 27 -- and fifth with 33 sacks -- less than half of the total racked up by Wake and the Lions, who had 68.

Those stats mean nothing to Stamps defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones.

"To be honest with you, this group, from the very first time we got together, I don't think anybody cares who sticks out," he said. "They just care about one thing, and that's winning ball games."

After all, what better way for Stamps defenders to hush their critics than to hoist the championship trophy?

"The (all-star) votes are in now, so there's nothing we can do about that," Smith said. "We just have to go and win the Grey Cup.

"That'd satisfy us."

All star selections highlight INDIVIDUALS and not team performance. Points scored (for or against) result from a combination of offense, defense and special teams. BC is the most talented team in the CFL but not the best.

I keep hearing how Calgary's defence has been disrespected. Who do you guys think should have been an allstar and who would you replace. I'm just curious I don't really know that much about the Stamps D.

...Shannon James, Jujuan Armour and Mike Labinjo have all had a very good seasons ma'am and any one of them could've replaced Zeke Moreno.....Sure Zeke patched up a wonky Edmonton D but the first half of the season when he was in Hamilton he did nothing...in the meantime those three stmaps players were, due to Rasheed's injury, being bounced around like mad and still produced numbers....

...look at Labinjo for example...he wins a spot in TC on the line, and then Rasheed goes down in the opening game and big Mike is asked to become a OLB and does a great job, outstanding....James has been one of the most consistent LBs in the league, and when Armour is on his game he can singlehandedly make a difference...any of these three should've beat Moreno for a spot...

Armour definently should have been an all-star, that dude is a game braker. A few guys on our D unit definently got snuffed.

Red Zeke plays for the Bombers but has basically disappeared he got the nod because of his past nothing more.

...ooooops...my bad, must've been drunk or something...

all star ballots are a tricky thing.........you only have so many votes & to give everything to one team......will never happen weahter cal. deserved more players in the voting or not is a matter of opinion....the should just be happy that they acheived a trip to the cup...tough for the rest of the fans now,,, who do you cheer for,,,, any self respecting westerner should'nt cheer for the eastern team & basically everyone except calgary hates the stamps........will be a good day to watch ewwwww hockey i guess .....
have a great winter folks .see you next year!!!!!!! :rockin:

As we have all learned over the years....what seems obvious to us, isn't necessarily obvious to those who get to vote!

Maybe we need to petition the league that the fans should be part of the voting, with our votes counting for a percentage of the overall total!

I hope fans NEVER get to vote. Look at the travesty going on in the NHL fan balloting. :thdn: :thdn:

maybe I should brush up on the rules about trolling…otherwise I might end up as the nine-year-old girl poster…and that’s not fun