Sorry, no time today for a blog update; gotta run to my son’s Grade 9 graduation. Hope that’s a good enough excuse. But here’s the notebook I filed for tomorrow’s paper, which has all the info you should need…
All Marvin White wanted was a number more suited to a defensive back.
The first-year Calgary Stampeder wore 52 all through training but once final cuts were done and players who’d made it through were given the opportunity to choose numbers for the regular season, he jumped at the chance.
“It’s just comfortable being back with a DB number,” said White on Tuesday. “I was kind of feeling out of place with 52.”
But he had no idea what he was stirring up when he chose his new number — 20 — until some media inquisitors directed his gaze to the Stamps’ Wall of Fame, where the number 20 is displayed prominently.
“Doug Flutie,” said White, his eyes widening visibly. “Whoa. Wow! I didn’t know that. Even to have this number on, that says a lot. I didn’t think they would let anybody wore this number if Doug Flutie wore it with the type of player he was. It’s a big honour to be wearing that number. Definitely big shoes to fill. But just give me the chance. We’ll see what happens.”
White is on the practice roster, but should he get into a game, he’d be the first to wear Flutie’s old number since, well, Flutie in 1995.
And from the trivia department comes this tidbit: the last man to wear 20 before Flutie was Anthony Parker (Senior, that is).
That were a few eyebrow-raising number changes unveiled in the past few days, including receiver Joe West taking on Ken-Yon Rambo’s familiar 85. The two trained together in the off-season in Dallas
“We have a really good relationship. The guy did great by this organization, he had a great career here. I know I have big shoes to fill, but I’m going to take the challenge and keep working,” said West. “It was a last-second thing. I was looking for a different number and this was the only one that was available. I said, hey, what the heck. There’s no number I’d rather take than his number and represent him, but continue to build my own legacy. Big shoes to fill, but I’m ready for it.”
And for one day, anyways, defensive end Kenny Pettway sported the No. 51 jersey that was last worn by Alondra Johnson in 2003, but had to give it up for No 36 because league rules governing what numbers can be worn on the defensive line and on special teams.
Other number changes from training camp: receiver Maurice Price (79 to 17), DB Jamar Wall (34 to 29), receiver Marquay McDaniel (88 to 16), linebacker Chris Randle (42 to 33) and linebacker Deron Mayo (76 to 42).
The Stamps unveiled their player-voted 2012 captains on Tuesday, with quarterback Drew Tate representing the offence, linebacker Juwan Simpson representing the defence and the duo of Marc Calixte and Larry Taylor to represent the special teams.
“It feels good,” said Calixte, the longest-serving Stampeder. “To have the respect of your fellow teammates is an honour, and it’s not an honour I take lightly. All I can do is the best I can. And if that’s good enough for the guys to look up to me and honour me with such a role, I will take it gladly.”
The Stamps got a few bodies back from sick bay on Tuesday as receiver Anthony Parker, offensive lineman Edwin Harrison, slotback Jabari Arthur and defensive lineman Junior Turner all took part in practice, although the latter two were limited in their participation.
Receiver Johnny Forzani, on the other hand, missed with a glute injury, but he’s expected to be back at practice today.
Also expected back, possibly today, is long-snapper Randy Chevrier, who had personal commitments on Tuesday.
Canada Post is getting into the spirit of the 100th Grey Cup with a special issue of stamps, one for each CFL team.
You can buy your favourite team’s stamps in rolls of 50 (they go on sale on Friday), or in a souvenir sheet that features all eight team logos.
“We’re excited to offer CFL fans great new products that will allow them to show their colours,” said Canada Post senior vice-president. “This is only a glimpse of things to come and we hope that football fans, philatelists and Canadians will enjoy and cherish this memorable collection for years to come.”
Canada Post also plans to issue a series of stamps honouring the Grey Cup game.