Connie Fekete is not your standard, cookie-cutter Calgary Stampeders fan.
She dyes her hair red. She attends practices at McMahon Stadium to keep up on player injuries and performances. And sometimes, after those practices, she heads down to the sidelines arms filled with plastic containers to give home-baked cookies to some of the football players.
In return, they give back their empty containers from her previous delivery.
"When they come over to pick up the cookies, and I get a hug and a hello and how are things, the smile that I get from, just, it's just a cookie, it's fun," said Fekete, who also works as a barista/baker at Cornerstone Music Cafe.
Fekete says she honestly can't remember how she started whipping up batter for a select few on the CFL team, but she believes it began in 2011.
Since then, she says, her list has grown as word spreads about her "power pellets" on the field.
She says her list also changes as players come and go.
But only a few of the guys have been getting treats right from the start, including defensive back Brandon Smith, who is retiring at the end of his 12th season.
"Brandon is the quiet, behind-the-scenes guy, doesn't say much but everything he does is 100 per cent," said Fekete.
"He's a genuinely great human."
Fekete says she currently bakes cookies for 11 players — each with their own favourite recipe.
Snickerdoodles for quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, wide receiver Juwan Brescasin and offensive lineman Ucambre Williams.
Half chocolate chip, half sugar cookie chocolate chip, for wide receiver Eric Rogers.
M&M sugar cookies for offensive lineman Derek Dennis.
Sugar cookie chocolate chip for wide receiver Reggie Begelton.
Plain ol' chocolate chip for Terry Williams, Wynton McManis, Kamar Jorden and Don Jackson.
And, finally, white chocolate macadamia nut for Brandon Smith.
But as Smith gets ready to hang up his cleats, Fekete is getting ready to retire his cookie recipe.
It's a tribute that Smith chuckles at when asked about it by reporters.
"Aaah, man, they're too good to be retired. So she might find someone else who will take that over," said Smith.
No cookies for rookies
There are only a few rules Fekete abides by when it comes to cookie distribution.
The first, and funniest, is: "I don't bake cookies for rookies, so they have to stick around."
She also doesn't bake cookies for players who don't take the time to introduce themselves after practice.
"You just need to come and introduce yourself and make friends," she says.
After that, Fekete will bake her new friend's cookies in the flavour they prefer.
Made with love
Smith says the guys always look forward to Fekete's baking.
"Connie puts a lot of love into those cookies," said Smith. "She's a loyal fan and we have nothing but love for her in this locker room. She does a lot, and she's very supportive of us, and she does this out of the kindness of her heart."
Fekete knows some people think she's a little over the top with her enthusiasm for the team, but she says she doesn't mind, because the raised eyebrows are worth it.
"These guys, a lot of them are here living far away from home. They've got a wife and kids at home, and they miss them and it's a long season. So here's a little something to cheer them up. I live for that stuff."
Even though she plans to retire Smith's recipe at the end of the season, Fekete says if Smith comes back to visit or to cheer on his former teammates, there may be a treat waiting for him.
"Juwan Simpson came back a couple of weeks ago, just for a visit and whatever, and I baked for him. He's a peanut butter chocolate chip guy. So I had cookies for him when he came back 'cause he's one of the original guys," said Fekete.
But she's confident she'll be able to keep baking the white chocolate macadamia nut recipe for another few weeks.
She predicts the Stamps will win this Sunday's West Division semifinal against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers — and continue on to become the 2019 Grey Cup champions later this month.