Grey Cup aftermath
No time for losers
Article: Brady Lang – Sports Writer
Something truly special happened at Mosaic Stadium on Nov. 24, 2013.
After winning the biggest game in franchise history, the fans of the Saskatchewan Roughriders erupted into a frenzy that eventually bled out into what is now referred to as “the Green Mile”– otherwise known as Albert Street.
I was deep in the heart of the Green Mile, fighting through the crowds with hazy vision and a gigantic smile on my face.
Being a lifetime Rider fan definitely has its ups and its downs. Earlier on in my life, I can remember the absolute mess of a team the Riders had with players such as Nealon Greene and Kenton Keith. Who could forget the infamous General Manager and Coach combo of Roy Shivers and Danny Barrett?
As Rider fans, we went through years of hardship, and I was lucky enough to only have to see the tail end of the struggles of the franchise.
Our era of Rider fans is definitely a special one in that regard. Sure, we didn’t get to see greats such as Ron Lancaster and George Reed, but we did get to see two Grey Cups in six years, four Western Final wins and numerous playoff berths – just to name a few.
Fast forward a bit now.
Coming into Grey Cup 101, the Riders had only previously won three Grey Cup Championships and they were threatening for their fourth in their own back yard.
What better way to win a Grey Cup than to win it at home in front of the best fans in the world? This game was shaping up to be an instant classic.
I attended numerous activities and events around the city throughout the week including the street festival, the Gibson’s Finest Player Awards, and eventually the Grey Cup Champion’s parade. Even though I was able to do these activities, I knew I could not afford tickets to the big game due to the fact that I would really love to eat, drive, and survive for the next three months.
It would have been nice to have a surplus of cash saved up but instead of going to Grey Cup 101, I went to a Grey Cup party.
As the day dragged on and moved closer to kickoff I had a weird feeling growing inside the pit of my stomach. I knew that the day was going to turn out historical in a sense that even if the Riders lose it will be a day that will be talked about forever.
As the ball was kicked off the tee, my nervousness quickly turned into happiness. The Riders romped the poor Tiger Cats – yes I do somewhat feel bad for them – sending Rider Nation into a frenzy that lasted days.
After the game, us Rider fans were able to unwind and party the only way us Saskatchewan people know how to, on the streets with a Pilsner in hand.
It was really special to see out on the streets, the fan base partying and acting so civil. In light of the Vancouver riots, our class definitely surprised many people including some of our own.
The best part about Grey Cup 101 is now a whole province has their own story of such a historic event. The Riders brought joy and happiness back to a province that was in need of a Grey Cup win. Everyone’s Grey Cup 101 story is different in their own way, depending on who you were with, where you were, how much you had to drink and how your night unfolded.
Whether it was with a drink on the Green Mile or just celebrating with your friends, at the end of the day there is one thing we can all celebrate – the Riders are the Grey Cup Champions.
[button style=”e.g. solid, border” size=”e.g. small, medium, big” link=”” target=””]Image: Emily Wright[/button]