Calgary Stampeders’ victory rally downtown Tuesday – Calgary

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The Calgary Stampeders will be the toast of the town Tuesday as the city holds a celebration rally for the 2018 Grey Cup champions at Municipal Plaza.

Beginning at 1 p.m., fans will be able to enjoy some giveaways and congratulate their team on the win.

“Dress warmly in your red and white, and bring a food bank donation,” a city press release said Sunday. “Food trucks will be on site, as well as the Stampeders merchandise trailer, offering official 2018 Grey Cup Championship merchandise.”


READ MORE:
Rick Zamperin: Grey Cup victory cements Calgary Stampeders’ legacy

The Stampeders’ mascot Ralph the dog, the Outriders cheerleaders and some other guests will be in attendance.

There will be road closures to help accommodate the crowds: Macleod Trail northbound between 9 and 6 Avenue and 8 Avenue between Macleod Trail and 1 Street S.E.

These streets will close to vehicle traffic between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The city said CTrain and bus services will continue as usual.


READ MORE:
Calgary Stampeders defeat Ottawa Redblacks 27-16 to win 106th Grey Cup

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‘Making up for lost time’: Stampeders celebrate Grey Cup 3 years in the making

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EDMONTON — This time, they didn’t flinch.

There wasn’t heartbreak, a fumble or interception that would leave the Calgary Stampeders wondering what might have been.

It was only pure joy and celebration for the Stamps, who defeated the Ottawa Redblacks 27-16 to capture the 106th Grey Cup.

And when the clock finally hit zeroes inside Commonwealth Stadium on Sunday night in Edmonton, Calgary players galloped onto the field, raced to the stage and hoisted the trophy that had eluded them the past two seasons.

They danced around for what seemed like an eternity as red-and-white confetti shot into the calm, crisp night. None of the players were leaving the stage. They weren’t in a hurry. It was a championship moment three years in the making.

« Those emotions flooded over us. We were making up for lost time, » said Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell.

A special kind of win

Mitchell was named the Grey Cup MVP for the second time in his career. He was named MVP during his first Grey Cup win four years ago in Vancouver and is now 2-2 as a starter in the championship game.

But this win was different. The heartbreaking sting of the last two Grey Cup defeats left the Stampeders wondering if they’d ever get back to the top.

« It’s been hard, » Mitchell said. « The amount of time you put in. There is so much sacrifice and sometimes it feels worthless when you get to the championship and lose. »

When the Stampeders finally made it inside their locker room, the champagne sprayed, cigar smoke swirled and beer shot in all directions. The players went wild — their dancing, singing and celebrating told the story about how difficult the past three seasons have been.

« I think everyone knew tonight nothing was going to hold us back, » Mitchell said. « We were all going to do this for each other. That’s the difference. »

Mitchell, centre, sprays champagne in the dressing room as Calgary celebrates its Grey Cup victory. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Changing the narrative

There were times throughout the game the Stamps could have faltered or went « here we go again. »

Mitchell threw two first-half interceptions and Calgary let Ottawa stay in the game. The score was 14-11 Calgary with time ticking down before halftime — but it felt like the Stamps should have been leading by much more.

Then Calgary punt returner Terry Williams changed the story for a team that so badly needed a big play in a Grey Cup game.

Williams caught the Ottawa punt at his own 23 yard line with 20 seconds left and started to rumble on the icy turf. Players had trouble with their footing all throughout the game — Williams did too at the beginning of his run. He braced himself, got his feet under him and never looked back.

Williams ran straight to the end zone. His 97-yard punt-return touchdown was the longest in Grey Cup history. More importantly, it swung the momentum back to Calgary — something they just couldn’t do in the previous two title games.

Watch highlights of Calgary’s Grey Cup victory over Ottawa:

After back-to-back Grey Cup defeats, Bo Levi Mitchell and the Calgary Stampeders rode off to a 27-16 win over Ottawa, avenging their loss to the Redblacks in the 2016 championship game. 2:49

« I wanted to show the world what I could do, » Williams said. « That field is horrible. It was slippery. I couldn’t wear the cleats I wanted to.

Williams gave the Stamps a 21-11 lead going into halftime and instilled confidence in a team so fragile from two previous Grey Cup defeats.

« We said all week there’s no way we’re going to lose this game. We weren’t going to choke. »

Most Outstanding Canadian

Resilience is what the Stampeders preached all season long. Calgary wanted to be a team that fought through adversity and found ways to win.

Lemar Durant needed to be resilient when it mattered most. He dropped two easy passes for the Stampeders early in the game and looked shaken.

But Mitchell never gave up on his receiver. And Durant wasn’t about to drop the ball a third time.

He made a spectacular leaping catch and dove into the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter to give the team a 14-3 lead.

« Bo trusted me, threw it up and I made the play, » Durant said.

« Being the competitor I am, those drops hurt. It’s hard for me to get those drops out of my head. But then at the same time I worked way too hard to get here and let that affect me. »

You always dream of winning championships but to get it done is awesome … We were going to die on that field if we had to.– Lemar Durant

Durant rebounded after those first two drops, catching the next four passes thrown his way. He finished the game with 30 receiving yards, along with 22 rushing, and was named Most Outstanding Canadian.

« You always dream of winning championships but to get it done is awesome, » Durant said.

« We were going to die on that field if we had to. »

Sweet victory for Calgary coach

As the party spilled into the locker room, head coach Dave Dickenson was in the middle of it all.

He was doused with champagne, cracked opened a beer and then sprayed a bunch of his players. His relief, happiness and emotion were clearly evident as he celebrated with his players.

« There’s been a lot of frustrated guys these last few years, » Dickenson said. « It felt like we had to get it done and we did. »

This was Dickenson’s first Grey Cup win as a head coach and his third consecutive appearance — but the previous two trips have haunted him. The former quarterback won Cups before as a player and lost them too, but the defeat last year to Toronto was the worst ever for him.

« Last year was the hardest loss of my life. Player or coach, » he said. « I didn’t know if we’d get back and I really didn’t want to think what three losses in a row would feel like.

« This first win is sure sweet. »

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‘Finally!’ Third time’s the charm for Stampeders in Grey Cup victory

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Edmonton and Calgary football fans set aside their long-standing rivalries Sunday to celebrate bringing the Grey Cup back to Western Canada as the Calgary Stampeders beat the Ottawa Redblacks in the 106th Grey Cup.

“Finally,” said Wayne Anderson, dressed in his Calgary Stampeders jersey while watching the game at Hudson’s on 109 St. on Sunday, “after three years, finally.”

Calgary Stampeders coach Dave Dickenson a champion’s shower after his team defeated the Ottawa Redblacks in the 106th Grey Cup in Edmonton on Sunday.
Calgary Stampeders coach Dave Dickenson a champion’s shower after his team defeated the Ottawa Redblacks in the 106th Grey Cup in Edmonton on Sunday.  (Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press)

For Calgary Stampeders fans watching their team make a third attempt at taking the Grey Cup home in three years, the third time proved to be the charm as they defeated the Redblacks 27-16.

“We deserve this,” said Estaban Sein, a Stampeders fan living in Edmonton while he studies business at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. “It’s our turn to win.”

Cold weather and frozen turf didn’t seem to dampen any spirits during the 106th Grey Cup, the pinnacle of the CFL season, as both teams delivered explosive plays and fans huddled in the stands, at bars and around televisions to catch the action.

Sunday’s win marks the Stampeders’ first Grey Cup victory since 2014. The Stampeders lost 39-33 in overtime to Ottawa in 2016 before dropping a 27-24 decision last year to the Toronto Argonauts.

Read more:

West is best as Calgary Stampeders capture Grey Cup

Key moments from the Grey Cup

Running back Terry Williams played a vital role in helping Calgary win the CFL title in its third straight appearance, ending their recent Grey Cup misery.

Williams had a record 97-yard punt-return touchdown on a slippery Commonwealth Stadium turf.

Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell — the CFL’s most outstanding player this season after tossing a league-best 35 touchdowns — was the game MVP with two TD passes but also two interceptions. Stampeders receiver Lemar Durant of Vancouver was named the outstanding Canadian with four catches for 30 yards and a TD and a 22-yard run.

Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was named the most valuable player of the Grey Cup. He had two touchdown passes and was 14-of-21 passing for 182 yards.
Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was named the most valuable player of the Grey Cup. He had two touchdown passes and was 14-of-21 passing for 182 yards.  (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Ottawa — in its third Grey Cup competition in four years — appeared to score on Greg Ellingson’s acrobatic one-handed grab in the fourth quarter but replays showed the ball hit the turf. The Redblacks ended up turning the ball over on downs at the Calgary 7-yard line with just over eight minutes remaining.

After Ottawa turned the ball over on downs again, Calgary’s Jamar Wall and Tre Roberson followed up with interceptions on consecutive Redblacks possessions. Roberson’s pick came with just 1:22 left in the game.

On top of bragging rights and accolades from fans, Calgary players will receive a $16,000 winner’s share while the Redblacks go home with $8,000 apiece.

Despite declarations of “ABC,” shorthand for the Edmonton sports fan’s mantra of cheering for anyone but Calgary, some Edmonton Eskimos fans who didn’t get the chance to see their home team in the championship adopted their rival team as their own, even just temporarily.

Calgary running back Terry Williams (38) celebrates a punt-return touchdown against Ottawa with defensive back Tunde Adeleke (27).
Calgary running back Terry Williams (38) celebrates a punt-return touchdown against Ottawa with defensive back Tunde Adeleke (27).  (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

One family of Edmonton Eskimos fans loyal enough to live in a house painted green and gold was just happy to see a Western Canadian team take back the Cup.

“Keep it in the West,” said 79-year-old Myrna Greene, who was cheering on the Stampeders from the comfort of her living room inside her Edmonton Eskimos themed house near 93 Ave. and 92 St.

Regardless of the result, most fans left happy just to have been a part of the Grey Cup experience.

“We love the spirit of an Edmonton party,” said Patricia South, cheering on the Redblacks from The Pint on 109 St.. “Edmonton is a great city. People are friendly. We love it. We love coming to Edmonton.”

In the lead up to the 106th Grey Cup championship, Edmonton shut down a section of Jasper Avenue downtown to host a Grey Cup Festival, featuring tube slides, a zip line, bungees inviting all to take part in Grey Cup revelry extending well into the night.

Hours before the game, the Edmonton Eskimos Football Club announced that the 106th Grey Cup had sold out all 55,819 tickets for the championship game.

“This is a situation where words cannot express how we feel,” said Len Rhodes, Edmonton Eskimos president and CEO and 2018 Grey Cup co-chair in the release.

“Edmonton and the entire nation have set a new standard of how to celebrate the Grey Cup together.”

Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was the CFL's most outstanding player in the regular season, as well as the Grey Cup MVP.
Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was the CFL’s most outstanding player in the regular season, as well as the Grey Cup MVP.  (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Organizers estimated 500,000 CFL fans from coast to coast arrived in Edmonton to take in the big game, festival, awards and other fantastic events. It is expected to bring an economic boom of approximately $80 million to the local economy by the end of the festivities.

Next year, Calgary will host the 107th Grey Cup at McMahon Stadium.

With files from Kashmala Fida, Nadine Yousif and The Canadian Press

Claire Theobald is an Edmonton-based reporter who covers crime and the courts. Follow her on Twitter: @clairetheobald

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Calgary Stampeders defeat Ottawa Redblacks 27-16 to win 106th Grey Cup

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Terry Williams helped the Calgary Stampeders end their Grey Cup misery.

Williams had a record 97-yard punt-return touchdown on a slippery Commonwealth Stadium turf Sunday night to lead Calgary past the Ottawa Redblacks 27-16 in the Grey Cup.

Calgary finally won the CFL title in its third straight appearance. The Stampeders lost 39-33 in overtime to Ottawa in 2016 before dropping a 27-24 decision last year to the Toronto Argonauts.


READ MORE:
Ottawa Redblacks and Calgary Stampeders face off in 106th Grey Cup

Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell – the CFL’s most outstanding player this season after tossing a league-best 35 TDs – was the game MVP with two touchdown passes but also two interceptions. Stampeders receiver Lemar Durant was named the outstanding Canadian with four catches for 30 yards and a TD and a 22-yard run.

Ottawa – in its third Grey Cup in four years – appeared to score on Greg Ellingson’s acrobatic one-handed grab in the fourth quarter but replays showed the ball hit the turf. The Redblacks ended up turning the ball over on downs at the Calgary seven-yard line with just over eight minutes remaining.

WATCH: Calgary Stampeders quarterback says he’s thrilled to win Grey Cup for coach Dave Dickenson






After Ottawa turned the ball over on downs again, Calgary’s Jamar Wall and Tre Roberson followed up with interceptions on consecutive Redblacks possessions. Roberson’s pick came with 1:22 to play.

Calgary players will receive the $16,000 winner’s share while the Redblacks get $8,000 apiece.

A Commonwealth Stadium gathering of 55,819 watched the opening kickoff in 1 C conditions with an 11 kilometre-an-hour wind. But the field proved to be the story of the game.

On Saturday, several Calgary players said the turf was hard and slippery and footwear would be important. During the pre-game warmups, many Stampeders wore shoes featuring short, traditional turf cleats or those with a flat rubber sole.


READ MORE:
Organizers meet goal as 106th Grey Cup sells out in Edmonton

Ottawa head coach Rick Campbell downplayed the field conditions.

“It’s alright, it is what it is,” he said before the game. “It’s the CFL.”

But it became apparent early footing would be an issue. That was especially clear with 38 seconds left in the first quarter when Williams had both feet slip from beneath him while returning a missed 47-yard Lewis Ward field goal try.






WATCH: Calgary Stampeders and Ottawa Redblacks offer final thoughts on eve of 2018 Grey Cup

Rene Paredes put Calgary ahead 27-14 with a 29-yard field goal at 2:54 of the fourth. It was set up by Wynton McManis’s recovery of Diontae Spencer’s fumble on a punt return at the Ottawa 25-yard line.

Calgary went into the fourth leading 24-14 thanks to Paredes’s 34-yard field goal at 11:24 of the third. It came after Ward’s 41-yard boot at 7:56.

Don Jackson had Calgary’s other TD. Paredes booted the converts and two field goals.

Julian Feoli-Gudino had Ottawa’s touchdown. Jean-Christophe Beaulieu added a two-point convert while Ward booted two field goals.

Williams provided the first half’s biggest play, a Grey Cup-record 97-yard punt return TD at 14:59 of the second. After taking the ball, Williams nearly slipped heading upfield but an Ottawa defender engaged with a blocker slid on by, allowing Williams to hit the open field, then run past punter Richie Leone to put Calgary ahead 21-11.


READ MORE:
Former Calgary Stampeders running back believes past Grey Cup heartbreak will help team

Williams provided the entertainment factor in an otherwise sloppy opening half. The two teams combined for four turnovers (three picks and a fumble), some ugly drops and eight punts.

Mitchell was 14-of-21 passing for 182 yards and two TDs with two interceptions. Redblacks quarterback Trevor Harris never seemed to be in any rhythm despite having time to look downfield, completing 8-of-17 passes for 132 yards with a touchdown and interception.

Ottawa’s most consistent offensive weapon was William Powell, who ran nine times for 58 yards while sporting bring neon orange shoes before changing to white ones at halftime. But the CFL’s second-leading rusher also had a costly fumble at the Calgary 28 in the second to end a Redblacks’ scoring threat with the team trailing 14-3.






WATCH: Thousands prepare to celebrate 106 Grey Cup Edmonton-style

Ottawa pulled to within five at 14-9 on Harris’s 55-yard TD strike at 12:45 to Feoli-Gudino, who broke two tackles after the catch. Harris then found Beaulieu on the two-point convert.

Mitchell put Calgary ahead 14-3 with a 17-yard TD strike to Durant at 6:50. It came two plays after Durant dropped a wide-open screen pass.

Ward – the CFL’s top rookie and special teams player this season – connected from 30 yards out at 2:28 after a rare miss from 47 yards out in the first. Ward made 51-of-52 field goals this regular season, including a record 48 straight that will carry over into 2019.


READ MORE:
5 days of festivities planned for 2018 Grey Cup in Edmonton

Jackson’s 21-yard TD catch opened the scoring at 10:46 of the first. With Ottawa coming on a blitz, Jackson took Mitchell’s screen pass and scored easily.






WATCH: Grey Cup Parade gets holiday twist

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Stampeders end Grey Cup misery with win over Redblacks

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Terry Williams helped the Calgary Stampeders end the team’s Grey Cup misery.

Williams had a record 97-yard punt-return touchdown on a slippery Commonwealth Stadium turf Sunday night to lead Calgary past the Ottawa Redblacks 27-16 in the 106th Grey Cup.

Calgary finally won the CFL title in its third straight appearance; the Stampeders lost 39-33 in overtime to Ottawa in 2016 before dropping a 27-24 decision last year to the Toronto Argonauts. It’s the franchise’s eighth Grey Cup and its first since 2014.

Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell — the CFL’s most outstanding player this season after tossing a league-best 35 TDs — was the game MVP with two touchdown passes but also two interceptions. Stampeders receiver Lemar Durant was named the outstanding Canadian with four catches for 30 yards and a TD and a 22-yard run.

Mitchell finished 24-for-36 passing for 253 yards. Redblacks counterpart Trevor Harris had a rough night, going 20-for-38 for 288 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

Ottawa — in its third Grey Cup in four years — appeared to score on Greg Ellingson’s acrobatic one-handed grab in the fourth quarter but replays showed the ball hit the turf. The Redblacks ended up turning the ball over on downs at the Calgary seven-yard line with just over eight minutes remaining.

After Ottawa turned the ball over on downs again, Calgary’s Jamar Wall and Tre Roberson followed up with interceptions on consecutive Redblacks possessions. Roberson’s pick came with 1:22 to play.

Calgary players will receive the $16,000 winner’s share while the Redblacks get $8,000 apiece.

Field conditions take centre stage

A Commonwealth Stadium gathering of 55,819 watched the opening kickoff in 1 C conditions with an 11 kilometre-an-hour wind. But the field in Edmonton proved to be the story of the game.

On Saturday, several Calgary players said the turf was hard and slippery and footwear would be important. During the pre-game warmups, many Stampeders wore shoes featuring short, traditional turf cleats or those with a flat rubber sole.

Ottawa head coach Rick Campbell downplayed the field conditions.

« It’s alright, it is what it is, » he said before the game. « It’s the CFL. »

Watch highlights of Bo Levi Mitchell and the Stampeders win the Grey Cup:

After back-to-back Grey Cup defeats, Bo Levi Mitchell and the Calgary Stampeders rode off to a 27-16 win over Ottawa, avenging their loss to the Redblacks in the 2016 championship game. 2:49

But it became apparent early footing would be an issue. That was especially clear with 38 seconds left in the first quarter when Williams had both feet slip from beneath him while returning a missed 47-yard Lewis Ward field goal try.

Rene Paredes put Calgary ahead 27-14 with a 29-yard field goal at 2:54 of the fourth. It was set up by Wynton McManis’s recovery of Diontae Spencer’s fumble on a punt return at the Ottawa 25-yard line.

Calgary went into the fourth leading 24-14 thanks to Paredes’s 34-yard field goal at 11:24 of the third. It came after Ward’s 41-yard boot at 7:56.

Don Jackson had Calgary’s other TD. Paredes booted the converts and two field goals.

Julian Feoli-Gudino had Ottawa’s touchdown. Jean-Christophe Beaulieu added a two-point convert while Ward booted two field goals.

Record-setting punt return TD

Williams provided the first half’s biggest play, a Grey Cup-record 97-yard punt return TD at 14:59 of the second. After taking the ball, Williams nearly slipped heading upfield but an Ottawa defender engaged with a blocker slid on by, allowing Williams to hit the open field, then run past punter Richie Leone to put Calgary ahead 21-11.

Williams provided the entertainment factor in an otherwise sloppy opening half. The two teams combined for four turnovers — three picks and a fumble — along with eight punts and some ugly drops.

Ottawa’s most consistent offensive weapon was William Powell, who ran nine times for 58 yards while sporting bring neon orange shoes before changing to white ones at halftime. But the CFL’s second-leading rusher also had a costly fumble at the Calgary 28 in the second to end a Redblacks’ scoring threat with the team trailing 14-3.

Ottawa pulled to within five at 14-9 on Harris’s 55-yard TD strike at 12:45 to Feoli-Gudino, who broke two tackles after the catch. Harris then found Beaulieu on the two-point convert.

Mitchell put Calgary ahead 14-3 with a 17-yard TD strike to Durant at 6:50. It came two plays after Durant dropped a wide-open screen pass.

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Stampeders hoping 3rd time’s a charm after booking ticket to Grey Cup

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The Calgary Stampeders have been here before.

The last two seasons have gone according to plan for the mighty Stamps until the championship game.

They were the heavy favourites two years ago against Ottawa only to lose to Henry Burris and the Redblacks in overtime.

They were heavy favourites last year against Toronto only to lose to Ricky Ray and the Argos in a nail-biter — who can forget that goal line fumble by the Stamps?

To say it has been repeat disappointments for the Stampeders is an understatement as they were just a few plays away from being back-to-back Grey Cup champions. 

How is it, then, that a team could find the composure to get back to the Grey Cup, after devastation the last two years?

Perhaps the motivation to right the wrongs of the past was enough to spur these Stamps onto Edmonton for another shot at glory.

Now quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell and the Stamps are heading back to the Grey Cup in a rematch of the 2016 game Calgary lost to the Redblacks. It’s a chance at ultimate redemption.

Bo Levi Mitchell seals the victory

The 22-14 win on Sunday over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers was somewhat underwhelming. At times it slowed to a defensive halt.

But with about six minutes left in the game and Calgary leading 14-11, Mitchell orchestrated a drive to put the game out of reach.

Mitchell wasn’t spectacular throughout the game, going 17 for 31 passing for 214 yards and three touchdowns. But with the game on the line he marched Calgary down the field with a seven-play 74-yard touchdown drive capped by a brilliant pass and catch to Eric Rogers in the end zone.

Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell lifts the trophy after defeating the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL West final on Sunday night. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

That put Calgary up by 10 points with just a little more than three minutes left in the game, a deficit the Bombers could never overcome.

Many have speculated this could be Mitchell’s last game at McMahon Stadium as he may head south with NFL aspirations. If it was, it was vintage Mitchell — finding a way to win.

This now marks the fourth time Mitchell will enter the Grey Cup game as a starter. He won his first start, only to lose the last two. Now he’ll hope to lead Calgary to another championship.

‘Tired of seeing the Stampeders’

This is now the fourth time in the last five years the Stampeders are heading to the Grey Cup.

They won it all against Hamilton in 2014. But their last two meltdowns in the title game have been well-documented.

The West trophy presentation celebrations in the south end zone of McMahon Stadium after the game Sunday couldn’t have been more subdued and reserved — it was as if the Stampeders wanted no part of what seems to have become somewhat routine to them all. They want the big prize.

Calgary’s head coach Dave Dickenson could barely look at the trophy.

He quickly shuffled it along to his players before being asked to share a few words over the loud speakers inside the stadium.

« A lot of Canada is tired of seeing the Stampeders in the Grey Cup but tough luck, we’re bringing our team to Edmonton, » Dickenson said. « We have great fans and a great city. The city is looking for something like this. »

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