Sunday, September 04, 2011

CFL Game Day: Edmonton at Calgary (September 5)

The CFL wraps up its Labour Day festivities with the annual clash between the Eskimos and Stampeders, a rivalry game that is appointment television not only in Alberta but across Canada, a game that provides for an entertaining display from the two provincial rivals with a fair bit of history between them.

The Eskimos head into Calgary mired in a losing skid that has brought back some bad memories for Eskimo fans, from their outstanding start in July . the month of August has provided nothing but misery for the Esks and their fans.

Injuries took a lot of the steam out of that early season surge by the Green and Gold and suddenly it seems that opposing defences have once again found a way to contain Ricky Ray and shut down the Eskimo offence quite convincingly.  Never more evident than last week when the BC Lions went into Edmonton and held them to but one point on the night.

Down the road in Calgary it's a completely different story, the Stamps who had early season slips have bobbed back to the top of the CFL West standings, a confident and dangerous group who have put together four consecutive wins, featuring an energized offence led by Henry Burris and a punishing defence that has held opposing teams out of the win column through August.

The Stamps at the moment would seem to be the team from the west to beat, John Hufnagel's squad all appear to be the same page now, making for a formidable foe week after week.

The heated rivalry between the Stamps and the Eskimos shows no signs of fading even with the Eskimo skid of August. In what seems to be the latest fad in rivalry etiquette, the Eskimos took a page from the Manitoba/Saskatchewan border war, putting up their own salute to Stampeder fans, mere metres from McMahon Stadium.  A salutation that was apparently not received well, with vandals defacing the billboard prior to Mondays game.

The passion is seemingly seeping far beyond the sidelines for this weekends game, with a bit of luck and some bounce back from the Eskimos, Monday's weekend finale could provide some outstanding football to tide us all over until next week, when they do it all over again in Edmonton on Friday night.

Game Time 2:30 MT (4:30 ET, 1:30 PT) TSN

Pre Game

Calgary Sun-- Opposite directions for Stamps, Esks
Calgary Herald-- Stampeders reminisce about rivalries ahead of Labour Day Classic
Edmonton Sun-- Fans ready for football war
Edmonton Journal-- CFL's Battle of Alberta re-ignited
Globe and Mail-- Division lead on the line in Battle of Alberta
National Post-- Eskimos focus on sacking Burris ahead of Labour Day Classic

Quick Snaps Calgary Stampeders
Quick Snaps Edmonton Eskimos

Post Game

Edmonton 35 at Calgary 7
Attendance-- 35,650

Edmonton Journal-- Peach Bowman have huge impact in return from injuries
Edmonton Sun-- Miracle at McMahon
Calgary Sun-- Stamps offence grounded
Calgary Herald -- Stampeders suffer Labour Day pains
Globe and Mail-- Eskimos carve up Stamps in Battle of Alberta
National Post-- Eskimos run roughshod

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