It didn’t take long for Mother Nature to get into playoff mode.
A mere 36 hours after the Stamps clinched the final spot in the 2023 Grey Cup playoffs, the temperature dropped and snowflakes started to flutter down from the grey prairie skies, covering southern Alberta in a blanket of white.
Sure, Calgary will be playing under the shelter in BC Place next week for the West Semi-Final against the Lions, but for one last time this year fans get to watch the Stamps live at McMahon Stadium and what better way to wish the team luck in the post-season than with some snow on the ground and a chill in the air, playoff style!
Fan Appreciation night kicks off at 7 p.m. tomorrow night as the Red and White welcome the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to wrap up the regular season. You can purchase your tickets to the final game of the year at McMahon here.
» BUY TICKETS: Fan Appreciation vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers – 27.10.23
» HIGHLIGHTS: Calgary 41, BC 16
» READ: Plenty To Play For
» 7 THINGS – Bombers @ Stamps
» Wheel Chair Football at the Alberta Children’s Hospital
Although a few veterans – including Ka’Deem Carey, Cameron Judge, and Reggie Begelton – will be taking the night off tomorrow, two players will be making their debut for Calgary in Friday’s frozen tilt, amongst them defensive lineman Toby Ndukwe.
Signed to the practice roster exactly one month ago today, Ndukwe is anticipating his first CFL game action this week.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I’ve been preparing all week and I’m really excited about it.
“I just got the news last night that I was activated, and I told Coach, ‘Let’s do it. Let’s go.’, I’m ready to get out there now and show ‘em what I’ve got.”
Before arriving in Calgary, Ndukwe spent time with the Pittsburgh Steelers in training camp this past summer. The Richmond, Tex., native recorded five tackles, including four for loss, and a game-sealing sack against the Atlanta Falcons in the club’s final preseason game before being cut by the Black and Gold just four days later.
Now, he finds himself north of the border just in time for Calgary’s first snow fall and his first career snow game.
“I’ve played in the cold, in the wet, but never snow,” he admitted. “This would be my first time.”
“I’m still getting used to that, going from ninety-nine, a hundred, hundred and one degrees (Fahrenheit) to twenty degrees is a huge difference, it’s going to take some getting used to but it’s nothing I can’t handle.”
Although making the switch to the Canadian game has been a quick adjustment for the 24-year-old, Ndukwe says he’s been able to lean on his new teammates for guidance.
“Pretty much the entire d-line group, all the veterans. Hows (Julian Howsare), Wiggs (Derek Wiggan), Mike (Rose), just learning from them and picking their brains, watching them as they play, watching them practice. Berg (Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund) too, especially watching his game, watching his motor and his practice tempo. And you know just taking some tricks and some tools from everyone and adding it to my bag of tricks.
“I’ve learned a lot about myself as a player, elevating my game and finding out new ways to get to the quarterback.
“I’ve learned a lot in the past month that I’ve been here. It’s a really good organization, really good culture, and I think I’ve adjusted really well here.”