Ground turns cold, Kelly and Dinos burn bold

By Gavin Schafer

It starts two to three hours after death, the stiffening of the skeletal muscles after the body is robbed of warmth and circulation.

Rigor mortis.

Probably not a huge concern for the living, but its cousin; a late Fall chill, is certainly a concern around here. Especially if you’re a receiver: limber fingers on sweaty palms are quickly turned to stone in single-digit temperatures. Getting to the drop zone, evading the coverage, catching the already slick pigskin and then hanging on to it.

So keeping the old fingees warm is hard enough, but 28-year-old Dinosaurs receiver Sean Kelly has shown himself quite competent in this regard, not to mention the rest of the above-mentioned duties.

Where else to test a hot-blooded native Calgarian’s vigour than in good old ‘Freezing Manitoba,’ (at least that’s what can be made out on their icy license plates)? It was there, on a chilly day in Winnipeg (who knew?) that Kelly made nine catches for a total of 138 yards against the University of Manitoba Bisons. One catch saw him tip-toe into the opposing end zone, adding to a convincing 63­20 Dinos victory. With the Bisons playing man defence, Kelly was pleasantly surprised with the Dinos’ offensive squad getting most of the yards in the air.

"There were a lot of passes thrown, I just happened to catch the most balls," says the James Fowler High School graduate of his performance last Saturday.

While self-admittedly not the fastest of the receivers, Kelly finds strength in his ability to adjust his direction and find open areas quickly. Add to that a good sense of ball position, some really good shoes and sticky gloves, and you find a dude quarterbacks are confident in hucking the ball to. Self- improvement means strategies for out-thinking the opponent for this truly visionary individual who, to the question of what he wants to be when he grows up, answers, "I want to be a man!" No simple task in this day and age, but he simplifies it by adding, "a successful man."

Yes, success, such a tangible achievement-one the Dinos will be well on the road to if they can defeat the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds this Saturday at McMahon stadium, the same Thunderbird squad that dominated in the first half of a 37­22 Dinos’ loss when they last met. Ironically, Calgary had just come off a trouncing of Manitoba the week before. Hmmm, never mind.

"It’s basically a playoff game for us," comments Dinos Head Coach Tony Fasano of the upcoming match-up. "We have to win it for a spot in the playoffs. There is an outside chance otherwise, but that means having other people playing for us and we don’t want that!"

To sum it up, a loss is bad because other teams have to lose for the Dinos to make the playoffs. A win is good because it betters the Dinos’ 3­2­0 record to 4­2­0. But a win of over 15 points is best because tied records force a look at the point spread for playoff contention. Fasano downplays his concern by pointing out the simple necessity of a strong start to the game as well as the fact that we’re "playing in our park."

So it’s no time to get cold feet boys, or cold hands for that matter. Sean Kelly can vouch for that, voicing, "If we drive well and hold onto the ball, we should be able to keep our defence off the field."

The only turnovers we’re looking for Saturday at 1:30 p.m. are b.c. alumni in their graves, as the red and yellow freeze their beloved T-Birds’ offence all the way to the bone, baby. And despite Kelly’s concerns about his age, he is far from ready for rigor mortis and the cold feeling in his hands could only result from holding the frosty Jug ‘O Justice which he has layed claim to when ubc linebacker Dan Elliot is iced on a projected warm day at McMahon. So come on by for the biggest game this year folks, and don’t forget your shades.

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