The McMaster Marauders are hoping to make plenty of noise on Friday night when they defend their Vanier Cup title against Laval at Rogers Centre.
But the country’s top-rated university outfit got a jump on the matter during practice Wednesday morning.
As you approached the U of T’s Varsity Centre up on Bloor Street, the domed facility where both the Marauders and the Laval Rouge et Or practised, a rather large racket could be detected from as far away as the parking lot.
Upon entering you discovered the source of the din were the McMaster players, who were trying their best to simulate the sound that 30,000-plus spectators will be making come Friday night.
As quarterback Kyle Quinlan lined up behind centre to run through plays, those players who were otherwise unoccupied stood behind him screaming their lungs out while Quinlan tried to bark out signals.
“As it turns out, the acoustics in here are such that a very small group can make a lot sound, and it doesn’t have anywhere to go,” McMaster coach Stephan Ptaszek said. “So at practice today, all the guys that were watching were making as much noise as they could.
“The quarterback was unable to communicate with any of the other 11 guys, and that’s what we need to work on – our non-verbal communication and being able to relay messages across the 11 players. And we got some reps at it today and we needed it.”
There’s also plenty of private grumbling going on from the McMaster contingent – and it had nothing to do with Friday’s much-anticipated Vanier Cup rematch against Laval.
The school is kind of peeved with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the timing of their announcement that they would be playing their home games next year at the University of Guelph while their new stadium is under construction.
It is bewildering to many that the TiCats and the Marauders, whose campus in in Hamilton, were unable to workout a suitable business arrangement that would have allowed the CFL team to use the university facility as its temporary home.
But beyond that, many of those connected with the university are peeved that the Tiger-Cats went ahead and made the announcement concerning Guelph on Tuesday, the first official day of Vanier Cup festivities in Toronto.
Apparently the CFL club has known for some time of its plans and the decision to make the official announcement on Tuesday is being seen by some as a blatant attempt to steal some of the thunder away from the Marauders Vanier Cup experience.
Maybe the two teams could settle their difference on the football field.