Brandon Smith reluctant first-time captain for Stamps
Brandon Smith’s role as a leader in the Calgary Stampeders dressing room has never been up-for-debate.
He’s the longest-serving player currently playing for the Stamps, and is relied upon by young defensive backs trying to make their way in the CFL.
Until Tuesday, though, he’d never been one of the Stampeders’ captains.
That changed when he was voted-in by his teammates as one of the squad’s four captains, alongside Bo Levi Mitchell, Jamar Wall and Rene Paredes.
Smith definitely isn’t shying away from the responsibility that comes with being a captain, but he also wasn’t exactly campaigning for the job.
“It’s not really my deal. I mean, I would’ve turned it down if they gave me the option,” Smith said with a smile on his face. “(Leadership) doesn’t have to be spoken about. I’m just here to help people and do my job and make sure we’re on the same page.
“I don’t really get caught up in who is the captain and feeling big and bad because I’m a captain and what-not. As long as we can go out here and if people need something done, they can count on me.”
Smith is the only first-time captain among this year’s group for the Stampeders, and the other three all chuckled about their teammate finally joining them.
He’s been around since 2008 and has won three Grey Cups with the Stamps, so he’s undeniably a part of the fabric of the team.
Smith just isn’t necessarily the most vocal person in the locker room. He’s more of a lead-by-example type, but there’s little doubt among the other team captains that he belongs.
“I think he’s just not a vocal guy, but I think that’s good,” Mitchell said. “(Deron) Mayo wasn’t the most vocal leader in the world. Same with Rob Cote. Guys have been like that a lot in the past.
“He’s a captain because of the respect he commands from everybody just for being here for so long. Most peoples’ careers aren’t that long, especially the position he plays.”
That longevity is something every player in the Stamps locker room understands and respects, and even if Smith wasn’t actively trying to add the captain title to his resume, his time in the CFL made him a no-brainer candidate for the gig.
“He’s definitely a leader,” Wall said. “I love it because he tries to avoid that type of stuff as much as possible but hearing his name called was great. He needs to be that. He’s our oldest guy here, he’s a veteran and he’s probably our glue in the secondary. He’s extremely intelligent and he comes to work every day.”
If there’s one responsibility Smith isn’t looking forward to at all, it’s the pre-game coin toss.
Traditionally, all four captains go to mid-field for the toss. Smith, though, would prefer if he wasn’t required to join this season.
“I’m hoping they only take three (captains),” Smith said, laughing. “I’ll be an alternate in case one of the other guys can’t do it. I like to get the secondary together and we have a little routine we do. Typically, Wall is the captain so he goes out for the coin toss.
“Hopefully I don’t have to go out there for it. Maybe once or twice, but I’d rather be on the sideline.”
Unfortunately, it sounds like the rest of the Stamps captains are going to make sure he joins them – at least once.
“He told me he’s not going unless something happens with me,” Wall said. “But I’m just going to say one day ‘I’m not going and you’ve got to do it.’
“He’s for sure gonna do at least one.”