Great time to be a Stampeders fan

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Welcome to Stamps Buzz. That’s more of a notice to the writer of this blog than to the readers. It’s good to be back blogging about the CFL. In sports terms, it will take a while to shake the rust off.

Since Drew Edwards called and told me about 3DownNation, I’ve been excited about this venture, bringing together bloggers and writers from across the country with a one-stop shop for CFL fans.

For those of you don’t know me, here is a bit of a background. I grew up in Saskatchewan, playing endless amounts of sports, mostly because we didn’t have cable TV, but never organized football. Our high school could barely put together a basketball team let alone a football one. Our football games were played on the Vanscoy Elementary School lawn, and they always ended when someone got hurt.

My love the CFL didn’t start until adulthood. The 1989 Grey Cup win by the Roughriders was obviously a big moment, but it wasn’t until the mid-90s when a friend dragged me to Taylor Field (it will always be Taylor Field, until they tear it down of course) that the love of the three-down game grew. One of the first games I attended was the 1995 Labour Day Classic. It was a massive blowout by the Roughriders. (Another thing you will realize is I’m fascinated by blowouts at the professional level).

In 1999, I moved to Calgary to pursue another line of work with no particular goal in mind. By 2002, the Calgary Sun came calling, and for the next 11 years the Stampeders were my focus. The Stamps provided plenty of great stories during that time. There were the playoff failures from 2005 to 2007, then Henry Burris leading the team to the pinnacle in 2008, and then more playoff failures.

My last game as the Sun’s beat writer was the 2012 Grey Cup, when the Toronto Argonauts stifled the Stampeders offence, but that season was a wild ride with some unforgettable stories. I moved over to City TV, where I still cover the Stampeders, just in a different way.

This blog isn’t about me of course.

The Stampeders will be the focus but Stamps Buzz will be an outlet for thoughts on stories around the league. There will be some anecdotes from the past, thoughts about the present and looks ahead to the future.

Hopefully Stampeders fans aren’t getting bored by success, which was a problem during the 1990s (I’ve been told by people who should know). Winning every year can create a situation where it’s expected and not that exciting when it happens. The Stamps have put together the best team over the past few seasons, and are coming off a Grey Cup win last season in Vancouver, and the good times should continue.

At no point in the past decade has the future looked brighter for the Stampeders, thanks to GM-head coach John Hufnagel and how well he’s stockpiled talent. The quarterback situation is set, with Bo Levi Mitchell signed for four more years and Drew Tate riding shot-gun for a few more too.

Jon Cornish is endlessly entertaining, and should run straight into the Hall of Fame, barring injuries. The receiving corps has some dazzling playmakers just starting out. The expectations are — and likely should be — that they will be in Winnipeg for the Grey Cup this November.

The Stampeders have never won back-to-back Grey Cups. It will be a fun ride to see if they can change that.

Ian Busby

Ian Busby

Ian Busby has covered the Stampeders and the CFL since 2003, with eight years as a beat reporter. He is now a producer at Breakfast Television.
Ian Busby
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Ian Busby
About Ian Busby (175 Articles)
Ian Busby has covered the Stampeders and the CFL since 2003, with eight years as a beat reporter. He is now a producer at Breakfast Television.

2 Comments on Great time to be a Stampeders fan

  1. Alright Ian – great to have you back in the loop on CFL talk.

  2. Great to see this group of writers and commentators all in one spot. Looking forward to the 2015 season!

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