Home field advantage is a much used expression across a range of sports. Sometimes when you try to break it down it can appear a tad illusory. Coaches often talk of making their home stadium a ‘fortress’, somewhere other teams just don’t want to play. It would appear that Calgary are doing just that at McMahon Stadium.
Home field is definitely an advantage for the Calgary Stampeders. Generally Calgary have been competitive wherever they have played in recent years having amassed for instance over the last 2 years a regular season CFL best 28-6-2 record. In fact the Stamps have been ultra competitive for some time now, over the past 10 seasons they have amassed a mindbogglingly dominant 130-47-3 regular season record.
For all of that decade long dominance they have just 2 Grey Cups to their name in that span which some might contend is a poor return on such a dominant run. They have even made the Grey Cup the past two years only to suffer shock defeats to underdogs Ottawa in 2016 and Toronto in 2017. They and their fans are surely going to want the catharsis of getting back there and winning it all. The idea of doing that in Alberta, be it in Edmonton this year or their own back yard next year will certainly be an added motivation.
One of the classic keys to that success is building on your strengths. For the Stampeders one of those key strengths is their home dominance. Calgary have complied a sublime 40-6 record at McMahon Stadium over the last six seasons. For the sake of putting that into context it is worth mentioning that the next-closest team over that span is Edmonton with 27 home wins in the same span.
The Stampeders kicked off their 2018 season with a home victory upending the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 28-14 and showing every indication of being likely to continue their home field success. Their second home game resulted in a 24-14 win over an Ottawa team that had looked impressive in their own home opener the week before. When you are consistently successful like this then the impressive numbers tend to pile up. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell is 58-10-2 as starter in the CFL regular season and is no doubt keen to extend the regular season records and home advantage throughout 2018. Even after 3 games the Stamps are showing a familiar pattern sitting at 3-0 and having won both of their opening home games to keep extending that incredible run of home field superiority.
Fans of the other CFL teams will be quick to point out no doubt that all of this regular season success, all of this home field dominance is of little worth if the Stamps keep failing to convert at the final hurdle. It will be intriguing to see how it all plays out. One thing seems certain though, not many teams are going to have an easy time of it in Calgary’s backyard however the season unfolds.
Image from www.fantasynflstore.com