Riders Set to Make History!
Published: Friday, Nov 17th 2017, 3:11pm
by Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)
The Saskatchewan Roughriders are 60 minutes away from making history! With a win in the East Final over the Toronto Argonauts on Sunday afternoon, the Riders would become the first CFL crossover team to ever make it to the Grey Cup.
Now I could bore you with x’s and o’s of the game, keys to the game and more, but that’s what Episode 64 of the Piffles Podcast (featuring Rider Alum, 1989 Grey Cup Champion Jeff Fairholm) is for. Steve and I sat down and shared our thoughts on the East Final there, but we didn’t talk about the what ifs. What if the Riders win? What if the Riders lose?
So, what if the Riders win the East Final?
Well, as mentioned, they become the first team to crossover to ever get to the Grey Cup. 10 teams have crossed over since 1996 and only a few have gotten to the division final game itself.
We all know Rider fans travel well, especially if they are in the Grey Cup. If the Riders beat Toronto, our nation’s capital of Ottawa will turn GREEN.
For the 3rd straight playoff game, the Riders would be the underdog, whether they’d be playing Calgary or Edmonton. Rightfully so this game, but they were better than both Ottawa and Toronto all season, but were underdogs in both of those games. The Riders play better when the expectations are on the other team. They all seem to have a chip on their shoulders and they seem okay with that. So am I. Let the rest of the country doubt them, it’ll only make victory that much sweeter.
The story lines in the Grey Cup might be the best of all time. If the Riders play Calgary, many former Stamps play their old team. The Riders go up against Bo Levi Mitchell, who is notorious for trolling Rider fans and players on Twitter. While we have a friendly rivalry with Winnipeg, the hate is real for Calgary. The smugness, cockiness… it just bugs Rider Nation and games against the Stamps are always heated.
Should the Riders play Edmonton, we get Chris Jones going up against the team he won a Grey Cup with a short 2 years ago. Edmonton fans loved him when he was there, but soured on him when he ditched them right after the 2015 Grey Cup to join the Riders.
The CFL ratings spike when the Riders do well. This is a fact. The Grey Cup will likely have better ratings with the Riders in the big game instead of the Argos. While a tradition East vs West Grey Cup may be best for fans in Ontario, the league (and TSN) want the Riders in there. Love them or hate them, people tune in to watch the Riders win or lose.
What if the Riders lose the East Final?
Disappointment for Rider fans for sure. There is really no reason the Riders should lose, so most people are expecting them to win.
Toronto will be the heavy fan favourites at Grey Cup in Ottawa on November 26. I know I’ll cheer for them over Calgary or Edmonton in a heartbeat.
Ultimately for the league it’s better if Toronto is successful. Hopefully this would bring in some new Argo fans and they can build that fan base.
Would the season be considered a success in Saskatchewan? I say yes. Considering most “experts” and other fans thought the Riders wouldn’t make the playoffs, let alone get to a division final, this would prove to them that this Riders team is for real and will make a run at the Cup again in 2018.
Luckily, we won’t have to worry about if the Riders lose the East Final… because they won’t. This team is primed, ready and have the better team. Friday, November 17th was dubbed as Green Day in Regina and Saskatoon… the next week and half will be Green Week.
Enjoy the game Rider fans! It will be a tough game, but we will have plenty to cheer about!
GO RIDERS!! #BEL13VE
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