My blood runs green
Cheering for the Riders despite years of flops
by Bryce Forbes
I’m a member of a unique animal species, one that feasts on Eskimos, lions and horses.
We‘re more of an omnivorous group though — terrorizing watermelons, using every piece for survival.
Often misunderstood, we’re the baby brother who gets in trouble for everything, like whenever there is a fight in the stands. In reality, we’re more like the rich father who makes sure his seven brothers have enough money to survive.
I’m of course a member of the 13th man group, the wind underneath the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ wings.
My blood has run green for 21 years, something not many can understand.
The last few years have been strong, but over 100 years, the Riders have still only won three Grey Cups, that despite 18 appearances in the big game.
Yep, only a 0.167 winning percentage ever .
Admittedly, I’ll jump on and off bandwagons for the NHL. However, I’ll never leave the green-painted wagon.
So here I am, willing to divulge some personal secrets why no matter what, I’ll always cheer for the green and white.
It’s not about the wins or losses, it’s more the experience.
It’s knowing you’re safe. No matter where you are in Saskatchewan you’re surrounded by Riders’ fans. It doesn’t matter if you’re harvesting crops in Estevan or fishing for the year’s last pike in Lake Diefenbaker.
It’s remembering every game you’ve ever attended at Taylor Field (It’ll never be Mosaic Stadium.) From the first one when the sun was so blistering, tears flowing down my face to another when the Riders and Stampeders played to the only tie I can ever remember.
It’s planning a simple family picture, the only option being a green theme. With three of us wearing different Riders’ jerseys, besides my loser little brother wearing a beer shirt. (The family’s golden retriever wearing a Rider bandana.)
Speaking of beer, it’s drinking Pilsner only when it’s offered for FREE. Let’s be honest, it’s worse than Colt .45s.
It’s way cooler than ‘Swaggerville’, a made up town for two months.
It’s snickering in friends’ faces when they laugh at us for losing at back-to-back Grey Cups — it doesn’t matter since we stomped them along the way.
It’s also being able to laugh at yourself when you’re told of Pilsner bringing out a 13 pack or Pillsbury markets a new dessert called “Turnovers.”
It’s knowing that at any sporting event, from a Flames-Ducks matchup to a Roughnecks game to the Labour Day Classic, you’ll see at least one person wearing Riders’ memorabilia proudly.
It’s caring more about who becomes the next Kent Austin, both as a quarterback and coach, than who is the next Premier of Saskatchewan.
Finally, it’s knowing no matter where you are in the world you’re going to find a Riders friend — from a mall in Chicago to a bar in Iowa City to well, another bar in Mexico.
So when we start coming out of the woodwork, descending on McMahon Stadium in piles twice in October, don’t start hating.
If you didn’t have us, who would you lose to in the West Final?