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CFL season begins on Labour Day for late-blooming Elks and Stampeders

‘I imply, you’ll be able to virtually lose each recreation earlier than Labour Day and nonetheless have an opportunity’

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After they say the Canadian Soccer League seasons doesn’t actually get going till Labour Day, groups weren’t imagined to take it actually.

However that’s precisely what the Edmonton Elks and Calgary Stampeders seem to have been pondering this season, on the best way to simply 5 mixed wins between them heading into Monday’s Labour Day Traditional (5 p.m., TSN, 630 CHED).

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As unhealthy as issues are for the hosts of the annual long-weekend recreation, sitting at a disappointing 3-8, the Elks didn’t handle a single victory over the complete first half of the schedule, and may contemplate themselves fortunate to be simply two factors again of their provincial rivals.

“I used to be shocked to see us at 0-9. I used to be additionally shocked (at Calgary),” mentioned Elks quarterback Tre Ford, who is available in having guided his group to back-to-back wins for the primary time for the reason that 2021 Labour Day Traditional. “I don’t know precisely what their document was two weeks in the past, however I positively thought they had been going to be somewhat bit greater within the standings. I assumed they had been positively going to have extra wins.

“I assumed they had been going to be one of many stronger groups this yr. I nonetheless assume they’ve a extremely good group, I simply assume some video games didn’t finish their method. Even with us, the Saskatchewan video games didn’t finish how we wished to, proper? They’re positively nonetheless in video games and competing, in order that they’re nonetheless an excellent soccer group.”

If something, the Elks and Stamps are placing the age-old adage about Labour Day to the take a look at, as each are at the moment on the surface trying in on the CFL’s post-season image. Nonetheless, there are those that keep it issues extra from right here on out.

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“Effectively, I urge to vary. I imply, these 9 that we performed previous to lastly profitable a recreation, these all counted,” mentioned Elks head coach and basic supervisor Chris Jones. “And we actually would love a pair or three or 4 of these again.

“So, sadly that’s the truth.”

As is the actual fact Edmonton has solely gained the Labour Day Traditional as soon as up to now 10 years.

However that isn’t stopping them from trying to proceed the momentum that’s been constructing over the previous three weeks since Ford was named their beginning quarterback. And there isn’t a greater platform to go from turning a 13-game shedding streak into what might probably grow to be a three-game profitable streak than the annual rivalry weekend.

“Yeah, it’s an excellent stage. No. 1, it doesn’t matter what the information are, when Edmonton performs Calgary, dwelling or away, it’s a storyline,” Jones mentioned. “We look ahead to taking place there to a spot that’s actually robust to play, and play good soccer.”

So, too, do the Stampeders, in fact. But it surely seems they’re placing rather more religion into the notion issues don’t actually get going till Labour Day.

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“I’ve heard that every one three years I’ve been on this league,” mentioned Stampeders quarterback Jake Maier. “I believe the explanation why it’s mentioned, actually, is that is only a huge occasion for the league and I believe it’s huge for each group to play in any such atmosphere and create this a lot buzz and constructive power for the league that I believe if you win any such recreation, I believe it jump-starts groups as a result of it’s such a cool expertise that you just undergo collectively.

“And I believe it’s an incredible reminiscence that you just make with one another, so your camaraderie will naturally develop. After which, you’ve gotten these 5, six, seven, eight video games after Labour Day that basically are both playoff seeding or attempting to cinch West remaining dwelling video games or no matter it might be.

“So, I believe that’s why it’s mentioned and at this level, yeah, I’d like to be on the facet that claims the season begins now, as a result of the place else can we go, proper? We’ve obtained to look forward and play properly.”

Dave Dickenson additionally subscribes to the previous adage of the way it all actually begins now.

“Yeah, I do,” mentioned the Stampeders head coach, whose squad bounced again from a 2-5 begin to the 2021 season on the best way to reaching playoffs. “As a result of you’ll be able to just about be alive for the playoffs within the CFL — I imply, you’ll be able to virtually lose each recreation earlier than Labour Day and nonetheless have an opportunity.

“You’ve obtained to get sizzling and your guys have gotten to consider, you’ve obtained to get wholesome and have your playmakers step up and make the performs. However for those who get sizzling, it’s been confirmed many, many instances, together with a pair groups with .500 information which have beat us in Gray Cups, that you are able to do it. It’s not simple, nevertheless it’s on the market.”

E-mail: [email protected]

On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge

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