Defensive linemen usually have plenty of motivation to hit opposing quarterbacks under any circumstances, but Calgary defensive end Charleston Hughes might be even more inspired than normal to bring down B.C. pivot Travis Lulay in Saturday night's clash between their teams. Why's that? Well, Hughes told George Johnson of The Calgary Herald this week that Lulay still owes him dinner based on a bet they had in the Stampeders' Week One win over the Lions. Here's what he had to say:
“He STILL owes me a steak dinner,” fumed (sort of) the marauding rush end, as the Calgary Stampeders finished up a final practice session Thursday morning at Hellard Field before flying to the west coast. “Never pays his debts, man. Just describes him as a person, his character. He never even acknowledged that he owed me a steak dinner.
“He act like we never even talked about it. C’mon . . .
“I told him if I hit him three times, he owed me a steak dinner. That was the bet. That was the deal.” ...
The wager, apparently, was on a cut of meat, whether rib-eye, sirloin or T-bone, and has been lost to the mists of time.
“The offensive line agreed,” Hughes repeated, with exaggerated indignancy, “and he agreed. He told me to talk to the offensive line and I did. This was before the (first) snap.
“Well, I won. How long ago was that?
“And I’m still waitin’.”
Whether Lulay made the bet as Hughes described or not (it's notable that Hughes registered three sacks in that game, not just three hits), this adds an extra dimension of intrigue to an already-interesting game. If Hughes is right here, he has even more motivation than usual to go after Lulay, but that could prove both a positive and a negative for the Stampeders. It's an advantage if he's able to get to Lulay more often, but could be a drawback if he winds up hitting the quarterback late and taking unnecessary penalties. Meanwhile, if the facts aren't quite as Hughes stated, Lulay has extra motivation to embarrass his opponent for relaying this story to the press. It's not a major subplot, of course, and it would be silly to say that Lulay and Hughes wouldn't be eager to go head-to-head even without this, but it is a funny extra dash of (steak) spice, and one that will make the battle between the two even more worth watching than normal. If Hughes is right here, though, Lulay may want to reconsider his strategy for the future. After all, you don't want opposing defensive linemen to be too hungry...