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Remembering Former Rider President & CEO Jim Hopson

Published: Wednesday, Apr 3rd 2024, 10:04pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)


With heavy hearts, we here at Piffles Podcast, along with everyone in Saskatchewan mourn the loss of the great Jim Hopson, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 73. He had been battling stage 4 colon cancer since April of 2021.


The former President and CEO of your Saskatchewan Roughriders was one of the kindest people you could ever meet. He always made sure to take the time and talk to anyone that approached him… even if they were giving him grief for the state of the team! 


Not only did he get to play with his favourite team (and his heroes Ron Lancaster and George Reed), he was in charge of the team during their greatest era. He ran the Riders from 2005 through the end of 2014, building a team that would get 5 home playoff games, playoff berths in all but one of those years and of course, winning the Grey Cup in 2007 and 2013.



I’ll never forget the first time I met him. It was November 11, 2007. The first Rider home playoff game in almost 20 years. Just outside the old Practice Field, Mr. Hopson and former CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon found me, body painted green with a green afro wig and told me to enjoy the game, cheer loud and be sure to keep myself hydrated inside Taylor Field. 


And of course, we all remember the first play from scrimmage. Kerry Joseph to D.J. Flick. 62 yards. Touchdown. And all I see from my seat in Section 27, Row 34, Seat 7 is Mr. Hopson on the sideline at the goal line, fist pumping as Flick scored. It’s an image I will never forget.



I had the pleasure of chatting with Mr. Hopson plenty of times over the last decade or so, be it meeting up with him and the other guys in the Piffles Podcast, or any time I called him on the phone when I worked with CJME on the Morning Show and The Green Zone. Again, I can’t express in words just how nice and accommodating he was. He ALWAYS made time for others and that might have been his greatest quality.



At the end of January, I had the chance to talk to Mr. Hopson one final time, this time for half an hour for The Piffles Podcast. If you have the time, please have a listen. Despite his fight with cancer, he was still as happy as ever, as nice as ever and told some great stories… including how he passed on going to Mick Jagger’s party after The Rolling Stones played Taylor Field.



THANK YOU for everything you did for the football team that we love, Mr. Hopson. We don’t have that beautiful new stadium without you. Rest easy.




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