8/27/2012 11:58:00 AM
Being in Regina when there's a Rider game is certainly an eye opener. The whole way down from Saskatoon Saturday morning along that straight 2 hour drive I passed car after car flying Rider flags. The province's license plates even have the Rider logo on it. Once in Regina it was mind boggling to see so many people wearing Rider jerseys, shirts, hats, etc.I saw a homeless guy wearing a Rider jersey; although it's the CFL so that might have been a player.
It was like the whole province just loves their CFL team. Keep in mind this wasn't a Grey Cup, or a playoff game. It wasn't even the Labour Day Classic or their arch rivals: The Winnipeg Blue Bombers. It was just a regular season game against Calgary. Their Stadium has been sold out since early in the week. You just couldn't get a ticket to the game.
Going into the weekend the Roughriders were at the bottom of the west and had one of the worst records in the CFL and yet their fans just LOVE game day. I was in Regina last year when The Bombers were in town and The Ramada was packed with their fans. The partying and car horn honking went well into the wee hours of the night both the night before the game and the night of the game.
When the Riders come to any city their fans come out of the woodwork. Clearly you can take the Rider fan out of Saskatchewan but you can't take the Saskatchewan out of the Rider fan. They support their team with absolute blind loyalty, melon heads, face painting and screaming. They are, without a doubt, the loudest fans in the league.
I realize the province has no NHL team to cheer for but lets face it, either do we. The season hasn't started and may never start. Our Oilers haven't challenged for a Stanley Cup in years but our Eskimos went to the Western Final last year and are looking good to do that again this year. And yet... we don't sell out Commonwealth Stadium... unless we're playing the Riders.
I'm jealous of Saskatchewan. They really support their team. I wish Edmontonians would realize how lucky they are to have such a great organization as The Eskimos in their city and get out to support their team.