Labour Day Classic – gonzo style

He's Back - Courtesy of the Saskatchewan Roughriders

He’s Back – Courtesy of the Saskatchewan Roughriders

Brady Lang gets into the thick of it at the game

Another Labour Day Classic has come and gone for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

With all of the added Weston Dressler hype, the game took on new meaning for fans and players alike, yet this didn’t feel just like another Labour Day Classic.

First of all, the Riders didn’t come out and kick the Bombers out of Mosaic as we’ve witnessed in recent memory. With the after thought of 48-25, and 52-0, ass-whooping’s in the past two seasons respectively, the Bombers actually stayed in the game until the dying minutes of the fourth quarter.

If it wasn’t for a strong first half and final few minutes of the fourth quarter, this article would have had to take a whole different spin, yet the Riders were still able to prevail 35-30.

Now, if you’ve ever been to a Labour Day Classic game as a fan in Riderville, you would know that this isn’t just another football game. In Saskatchewan, Labour Day is the unofficial end to summer and the grueling start to the next eight months of five feet of snow on the ground.

As Saskatchewanians, it seems like this calls for a celebration, trying to soak in our last few moments of sun. Drenched in muggy sweat while being doused in ice cold Pilsner is what makes the Labour Day Classic the classic that it is. Yelling at Bomber fans and having a not-so-friendly rivalry with our graceful neighbours is something that is truly special in the hearts of Rider fans.

As the game wore on, Rider and Bomber fans alike were thrown into a ring of constant edge of your seat action of decent football put on by the two clubs. When the game ended, so did the rivalry to some capacity. It seems like the same old same old chirps flying back and fourth from fan base to fan base, with a little bit more dash of Willy talk due to the Riders relationship with the Bombers starting quarterback Drew Willy- the Riders old back up.

After the game, the city seemed to erupt in parties whether you are crammed into a smaller sized bar for post game activities, in your buddies basement with a few of your friends, or taking the route I took, a night out at Eldorado’s Country Rock Bar.

The crowd was basically 70-25 in favour of the Riders with the other non-football fans mixed into the crowd.

I was able to talk to a few loyal Bombers fans that actually did have a lot of respect for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Having conversations with other loyal sports fan bases is one of the great things that Labour Day brings to the city of Regina.

Being an avid Riders fan, grabbing a beer with our neighbours to the east wasn’t as difficult and painful as I’d thought. When it comes down to it, both bases know a lot more about football then the rest of the CFL combined.

The fans know what needs to be done for their respective teams to reach the next level, but that’s always been the pure beauty of professional sports.

After this classic, we can now start to burrow in our fictitious holes and brace for the winter months ahead. Although the CFL season is just getting into the home stretch, our summer is now over.

But hey, at least the Riders fans can sleep easy again after another Labour Day Classic win.

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