Calgary Sun article:
Something unusual happened to Scott Coe on his way to work yesterday.
"I was a little late for an appearance," said Coe, by far the most visible ambassador the Calgary Stampeders have employed since Ralph the Dog.
"When I got there I told the organizer 'Sorry, I was across the street getting cut.' "
Then, without thinking twice about it, the 28-year-old linebacker pulled on jersey No. 56 and gave a speech to promote a hotel across from the stadium he's no longer welcome in.
And that, in a nutshell, is what Coe is all about.
Unwavering commitment, community involvement, public relations -- three things the football organization has struggled to figure out in recent years.
At a time when the club has publicly admitted it needs to do a better job of connecting with the masses, it gases its single-greatest marketer. The team followed up with a terse, two-sentence press release -- that's one sentence for every 100 appearances Coe made during his four years here.
Yet, showing the type of class and pride the Stamps used to be all about, he still made good on a promise by publicly donning Stamps silks less than an hour after having his heart ripped out.
"Hey, when the MVP of the CFL gets traded, what chance do the rest of us have?" smiled Coe. "There's always a bit of bitterness when you're released, but I'm not shocked at all. We've been letting
veterans go throughout the off-season.
"From what we're told, the linebackers were the weak part of the team. A new coaching staff is going to bring their guys in."
Coe was told by new head coach/GM John Hufnagel it was a salary move, but was given no chance to restructure his deal with a pay cut. He gladly would have. That's how much he loves the city.
"It's a little bit hard to swallow -- you think of what you do for an organization on and off the field and I really wanted to continue bleeding red and white," said Coe, who regularly dyed his hair red to prove the point.
"You play with broken hands and separated shoulders and you do it because you love the team. And then this ..."
Luckily for the Stamps, the man who made the decision to part ways with Coe is the same person chiefly responsible for mending the club's eroded credibility -- Hufnagel. People can trust he knows what he's doing.
"It's never easy to release anybody and with Scott's community relations that obviously is part of why I'm not feeling really good about it," said Hufnagel.
While other teams will pitch for what amounts to a useful, non-import backup linebacker at the least, Coe isn't sure what his next move will be. Luckily, he left a valuable lesson with teammates.
"I always tell the young guys to go out and be community oriented -- that's what the CFL is supposed to be," said Coe, an insurance salesman in the winter.
"'Go out and let people know you're a regular working guy, too, who doesn't make millions and you go out for beers on a Friday, too. Being in the community was the best part -- seeing the look of a kid when you show up at a school or help them at a football camp.
"I grew up in Winnipeg watching James West, Greg Battle, Miles Gorrell and Chris Walby always out in the community and doing stuff everybody else does. Calgary is home now, and if I do go play somewhere else, when I come back to live here and someone asks me to do something, then I'd do it, for sure.
"More than happy to."
And next time, he won't be late.