Grey Cup fever sweeps Vancouver as Stamps get set to take on Ticats

The Stamps seem confident and prepared in Vancouver, where Grey Cup fever is in full force, reports CBC Calgary's Devin Heroux. He'll be blogging about the 102nd CFL championship game all weekend.

CBC Calgary's Devin Heroux spends time with the Stamps in Vancouver ahead of Sunday's CFL championship game

Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell fires a pass during a practice Wednesday November 26, 2014 in Vancouver. The Stampeders will face the Hamilton Tiger Cats Sunday in the 102nd CFL Grey Cup. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

Everywhere you turn the 102nd Grey Cup festival can be felt here in Vancouver. One of my favourite events during this week is the annual media lunch with the players.

I had the chance to sit down with many of the Stampeders in a setting outside of the usual confines of McMahon Stadium; you get to see a little more personality from the players.

Stamps receiver Nik Lewis points out his name on the Grey Cup from the Stamps' win in 2008. (Devin Heroux/CBC)

Here's what I learned: Stamps long-time receiver Nik Lewis is soaking up every moment right now.

He even took the time to point out his name on the Grey Cup when he last won it with Calgary in 2008. (Some players think it's bad luck to touch the Cup before the game, clearly Lewis doesn't).

Here's how Lewis is feeling before the game: "To be back again two years later is awesome. It's truly amazing. I'm blessed to be around this group of guys. You know, the coaches’ job is to replace you every year. So for me to still be here 11 years later, I'm very blessed."

Mitchell relaxed

Stamps quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell is as relaxed and confident as I've seen him all year. He was joking with players, laughing, and smiling throughout much of the day.

Last week he faced a number of questions about whether he and this team could win the big game. We know what happened.

"Obviously I like fielding the question, me because it means they're not questioning the other people," says Mitchell.

"You know I can take it, handle it, and I don't mind them putting the pressure on me because I prepare the way I do so that when any situation comes, I can step up and handle it."

Hat trick for Cornish 

Finally, Jon Cornish. What can you say about this guy? Last night he won his third straight Most Outstanding Canadian award. And he revealed one of the keys to his success to me yesterday.

Jon Cornish won his third straight CFL Most Outstanding Canadian award on Thursday night. (Devin Heroux/CBC)

Here's the thing. Cornish loves to play this one certain video game on weeks he needs extra focus. The video game: Bug Princess 2. Doesn't sound all that intimidating. But here's Cornish explaining how it works:

"There are an infinite amount of bullets on the screen all at one time and you're trying to avoid all of them, and that's it, you're a tiny little dot one pixel wide and you have to avoid all these bullets and that's it. I've been playing it for a very long time but when I want to play particularly well in the game, that's the game I go to."

Whatever he's doing, it's working. 

Friday at the Grey Cup here in Vancouver should be an interesting day. I'll be at the Calgary Grey Cup Committee's pancake breakfast talking to fans from across the CFL.

And then later in the afternoon the committee will yet again take a horse into a local hotel lobby. The tradition continues. 

Two more sleeps before the big game and the party is just getting started.


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