Since 2005, the Stampeders have amassed a combined regular season record of 116-62-2, meaning that they have secured a league-best 234 of the 360 (65.0%) points available to them. The next closest team is the BC Lions at 61.4%, and third place goes to the Montreal Alouettes at 57.8%.
However, the numbers get even more remarkable when we look at the past 7 seasons. Since 2008, the combined regular season record for the Stamps is a sparkling 88-37-1 or 70.2%, by far the best in the CFL over that stretch. The next closest team is quite a distance away; Montreal at 60.3% can hardly be considered an apple-to-apple comparison since they have the luxury of feasting on a relatively inept east division year after year, so we look to the next closest team which is BC at 56.3%, almost fourteen full percentage points behind Calgary.
Just as staggering are the comparisons of home records. The Stampeders have been absolute dynamite at McMahon Stadium where they have picked up 73.3% of available points since 2005 and a phenomenal 75.4% since 2008. Montreal comes in at 68.9% and 73.0% respectively (keeping in mind that they have played more games against the “least” division than the Stamps have), and the closest western team is BC at 67.8% and 61.9%. Undoubtedly, McMahon Stadium has been a house of horrors for visiting teams over the past decade, and no team has been as dominant on their home turf as the Stamps have been on theirs.
Top these stats off with seven playoff wins including three trips to the Grey Cup game and two championships in the past seven years, and it is clear that Stamps fans have had well more than their fair share of things to cheer about lately. No matter which way you slice it, the Stampeders have truly set the bar in terms of being a consistent winner and a model franchise in the CFL over the past decade, and no other organization has even come close.
And even to this day we continue to see plenty of evidence which illustrates just how savvy and professional this organization really is. As of right now their opening-day roster and player depth is undoubtedly the envy of the CFL, even after several starting-calibre players were cut from their roster at the end of training camp. Furthermore, the team's superb scouting and player evaluation is very much on display as it has either kept on its roster or retained the rights to every single draft pick it made in 2015! All of this, in addition to other shrewd moves such as quickly acquiring former all-star kick returner Tim Brown before any other team could snap him up, or for example acquiring the rights of little-known-at-the-time QB from Eastern Washington Bo Levi Mitchell (yeah, you might have heard of the guy) all the way back in 2011, further shows that this organization is second to none in the CFL in terms of both its dedication and its efficacy toward fielding a serious Grey Cup contender year in and year out, ensuring success both in the short term and in the long term.
The brains of the operation? It has all centered around one man: John Hufnagel.
However, if there is one thing that the Stampeders can ill afford to do at this time it is to pay attention to any of what was just mentioned here; in professional sports there is no greater recipe for disaster than to spend time and energy dwelling on successes of the past. It is absolutely essential that these players, coaches, and management wipe the slate clean and treat this season as a challenge that is completely independent of any they have faced previously. Nevertheless, it cannot be forgotten that this team is about to embark on a challenge that is greater and more daunting than any it has faced since its last attempt to defend a title (where it fell short of its goal of defending the 2008 championship due to a Western Final defeat at the hands of the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2009). After all, only two teams – the 2010 Montreal Alouettes and the 1997 Toronto Argonauts – in the past 32 seasons have successfully defended the championship that they had won the year prior. In fact, even the legendary undefeated 1948 Stampeders fell short in their bid to capture consecutive cups. Thus, the data clearly suggests that winning a Grey Cup championship one year may actually put the team at a significant disadvantage the next. Why is this? Complacency? A reduction in focus and/or work ethic? The simple fact that opposing teams are eager to make a statement and thus tend to play their very best football against the defending champs? Cracking under pressure? The theories are numerous, but at the end of the day that stats don't lie. Repeating as champions is a very difficult thing to do in the CFL.
With that being said, there is a feeling amongst some in the Stampeder fan base that – for the Hufnagel era to truly be regarded as the greatest stretch of football in this team's storied history – it needs to be capped off with an accomplishment that it has not achieved at any point its 80-year existence: to seize back-to-back Grey Cup Championships. And judging by consistent standard of excellence the team has maintained in the post-Feterik era – and especially in the Hufnagel era – there is every reason to believe that this team stands an encouraging chance of accomplishing just that... even if the stats may suggest otherwise.
Amazingly, for this squad, a new pinnacle of excellence may yet be achieved.
Whether they succeed in said endeavor or not, we as Stampeder fans owe a tremendous debt of gratitude toward the group of Ted Hellard, Doug Mitchell, and the late, great John Forzani for rescuing this team from the obscurity (to put it politely) that it was deeply mired in prior to 2005... and of course for bringing Huf back to town.
And with this being the final year of Huf taking on both the GM and the head coaching roles of this team, you can bet that he would absolutely love to end his coaching days in style. What better way to go down in history than to be remembered as being both the architect and commander-in-chief of a modern-day pro sports dynasty.