Saskatchewanians love their Riders’ gear

Written by ECA Review

Having spent a couple of days as a spectator at the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon while Canada’s best curlers were trying to win a trip to Beijing in February for the Winter Olympics, a couple of astute observations need to be expanded upon:

— If the Saskatchewan Roughriders did not exist, many thousands of Saskatchewan people would have absolutely nothing to wear. 

As for headwear, one of approximately every two hats worn by curling fans in the stands had the ‘Riders logo emblazoned on the front.

— Maybe it’s a law of the Flatland that not only is ‘Green is the Colour’ the Roughriders’ fight song, but it’s also a basic way of apparel life if you live between Kindersley and Fleming; Estevan and Uranium City.

— Saskatchewan people are definitely some of the nicest on earth, but that’s hardly news. Departing the parking lot after each draw of the Curling Trials might have been an exasperating and frustrating experience, but the courtesy of drivers — “please sir, go ahead” — the vast majority of them Saskatchewanians, made it a relatively pleasant experience.

— Man, it can get cold in Saskatchewan. And that wind …

— Tim Hortons is a solid sponsor of curling — of sports, in general — in Canada, and those TV ‘Timbits of Wisdom’ commercials featuring Sidney Crosby and the young boys put a smile on my face every time. The meaning of life? “Just have fun!” Of course.

— Two of the rinks ranked as favourites going into the Trials, Rachel Homan of Ottawa on the women’s side and Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton for the men, both performed like they were struggling to get into seventh place in the Delisle Curling Club Thursday night league. 

Homan has three Scotties’ titles to her name plus Olympic experience, while Bottcher is merely the defending Brier winner and a three-time finalist.

— Winnipeg native Matt Dunstone, who now officially curls out of a club in Regina but lives in Kamloops (not sure what he has against Alberta), was the most popular curler among the rabid Saskatchewan fans (he was wearing a green sweater, naturally), and when he beat Bottcher Wednesday night to improve his record to 1-5, there was a thunderous roar in the building similar to one following a winning overtime field goal by Riders Brett Lauther.

— Canada may not exhibit world dominance in curling as it did 15 or 20 years ago, but the talented rinks wearing the Maple Leaf on their backs in China in February, skipped by Brad Gushue and Jennifer Jones, will do our country proud.

Slap Shots

• Headline at the “Frustrated James Harden Tries To Draw Foul By Planting Gun On Defender”

• NOTSportsCentre, on Twitter: “BREAKING: The NBA has announced they have suspended Pistons C Isaiah Stewart for the rest of the season for getting his face in the way of LeBron’s fist.”

• Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg: “Thanksgiving can be a challenging day for people. There can be yelling, screaming, fighting, crying, too much drinking, arguments, break-ups and even people coming out. And that’s just in the Detroit Lions’ locker room at halftime.”

• Greg Cote of the Miami Herald, on the three NFL games on Thanksgiving: “This was the 16th year of Thanksgiving Day tripleheaders as Americans competed to see what they would be more full of come midnight: food, or football.”

• RJ Currie of “A British Columbia study found individuals who experience a lot of failure have greater appreciation for life’s little moments. When Canucks’ coach Travis Green heard this he said, ‘Look! I just found a dime.’”

• One more from the “Carson Wentz’s Helmet Radio Won’t Stop Ringing After Answering Call From Telemarketer”

• Headline at “Mets sign two versatile veteran players expected to underperform before going on the IL in May.”

• Comedian Craig Ferguson: “I like football. I find it’s an exciting strategic game. It’s a great way to avoid conversation with your family at Thanksgiving.”

• Another headline: “World Chess Championship forced to use salt shaker after losing bishop.”

• From Dwight Perry’s ‘Sideline Chatter’ column in the Seattle Times: “Pittsburgh fan Wayne Alexa, 76, got in one last shot at his favourite NFL team in his obituary, posted on ‘Passed away on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, after a long bout with the Steelers. He was at his home with family when they went into overtime against the 0-8 Detroit Lions, and that was all he could take.’”

• Dwight Perry again: The Rams and NFL settled their relocation lawsuit with St. Louis — to the tune of a $790 million payout. Who knew illegal procedure could be so costly?”

• Cowboys LB Micah Parsons, on being called for a roughing-the-passer penalty when it appeared the Raiders’ Derek Carr fell into him: “I think we should be playing football, not tag.”

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by Bruce Penton

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ECA Review