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Safimod’s Farewell to Taylor Field

Published: Friday, Oct 27th 2017, 2:10pm

By: Stephen Safinuk (@Safimod)

(Photo by Rick Gallinger – The Final Sunrise on the West Grandstand)

It’s odd, but for what seems like the 18th time in the last 12 months, we bid a fond farewell to Taylor Field. Both Greg and Alex have written their farewells in previous articles, but this time it’s my turn.

As the sun set last night for the final time on the West grandstand at Taylor Field, I took some time to reminisce about some of my best memories in that stadium. Games I’ve watched, people I’ve met, and memories I’ve made that I’ll never forget.

Memories like the Henry Burris poster that I brought with me to any Burris played game after his infamous picture in the bra came out. I love the fact that I retired that poster along with the old stadium when Burris retired last season. Seems appropriate if you ask me.

People I’ve met, like the never changing people we sat with for 10 years in section 27. When we moved to the North end zone at New Mosaic, we left that group behind at Taylor Field as well. (That’s not true, we just didn’t keep our seats in the section alongside them. As far as I know, they are not still inside Taylor Field, though it wouldn’t surprise me)

I asked the guys what their favourite memories from Taylor Field were, and once we got “Grey Cup 2013” out of the way, it became clear that one year stood out amongst all the others in recent memory. 2007. I find it ironic that 10 years later, I will be staring out my window at the office, watching the old place collapse. I am hard pressed to find another year filled with so many memories that stand out 10 years later.

Think about the moments from that season. The Thunder Bowl. The Labour Day QB Draw. The First home playing game in almost 20 years. The Riders scoring on the first play from scrimmage, and the noise from the stands. While 2013 Grey Cup was the greatest game ever played at Taylor Field, 2007 will always be my favourite year.

But Taylor Field is about more than a handful of amazing games in a very memorable year. Taylor Field is more than just a building. It was the home of Ridernation for many, many glorious years. As it happens when many as they get older, Ridernation out grew and outlived their old home, but will never forget the memories that place brought.

One of my best memories is still taking Dylan to his first Rider game at the stadium, and how much fun he had. You couldn’t wipe the smile off his face after he saw himself on the Maxtron. I couldn’t even tell you if the Riders won or lost that day, because the game didn’t matter. It was the memories that mattered. It was family.

I still remember going to Rider games with my parents as a youngster. Sitting in Section 25, row 8 (I believe), 2 rows in front of my grandparents. It was right there, that I fell in love with this team. It was there, that I fell in love with sports. No demolition can ever take those moments away from me. The building itself may be gone tonight, but the memories will live on.

 

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