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For current information on this topic, see 2010 Saskatchewan Roughriders season.
Saskatchewan Roughriders
Saskatchewan Roughriders logo

Founded 1910
Based in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Home field Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field
League Canadian Football League
Division West Division
Colours green, white, black, and silver
                   
Nickname(s) Riders, Roughies, the Green and White
Head coach Ken Miller
General manager Brendan Taman
Owner(s) Community owned
Grey Cup wins 1966, 1989, 2007
Mascot(s) Gainer the Gopher
Website www.riderville.com
Uniform CFLW Jersey SSK 2008.png

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are a Canadian Football League team based in Regina, Saskatchewan, founded in 1910. They play their home games at Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field, the location that they have played at through their entire history, but is significantly different from the original facility. Originally known as the Regina Rugby Club from 1910 to 1923, they changed their name to the Regina Roughriders in 1924 and finally to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1948. The team draws fans from across Saskatchewan and Canada who are affectionately known as the "Rider Nation". The team is the current West Division Champions and have won three Grey Cups over their 100 year history. The fans are known for their loyalty and "Rider Pride", and it is not odd to find a group of Rider fans following the team on their road games across the country. The team also sells more merchandise[1] and draws the highest TV ratings of any team[citation needed] in the CFL, despite playing in the smallest market by far in the league. The Roughriders play in the CFL's West Division. The team has had 17 players inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame . Their rivalry with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers is arguably the most passionate and intense in the league, as games between the two are often sold out before the beginning of the season.[2]

Contents

Team facts

Formerly known as: Regina Rugby Club 1910 to 1923, Regina Roughriders 1924 to 1947
Helmet design: Green helmet with a black and white "S" and stalks of wheat on each side with a black background.
Retro helmet design: Green helmet with logo of a green wreath surrounding a green S on a white background
Uniform colours: Green and white, with black and silver accents
Nickname: The green and white, jolly green giants
Western 1st place regular season finishes: 7—1951, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1976, 2009
Grey Cup final appearances: 17;—1923 (lost), 1928 (lost), 1929 (lost), 1930 (lost), 1931 (lost), 1932 (lost), 1934 (lost), 1951 (lost), 1966 (won), 1967 (lost), 1969 (lost), 1972 (lost), 1976 (lost), 1989 (won), 1997 (lost), 2007 (won), 2009 (lost)
Grey Cup wins: 3—1966, 1989, 2007
Hosted the Grey Cup two times: 1995 (83rd Grey Cup), 2003 (91st Grey Cup)
Main rivals: Winnipeg Blue Bombers (see Labour Day Classic and Banjo Bowl), Edmonton Eskimos, Calgary Stampeders.
2009 regular season record: 10 wins, 7 losses, 1 ties. 21 points

Franchise history

Roughriders helmet

The team was founded as the Regina Rugby Club in 1910. They changed their name to the Regina Roughriders in 1924 and officially to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1948, the same year the team changed their team colours from red and black to green and white. The formation of what became the CFL brought them into the same league as the similarly named, but differently spelled, Ottawa Rough Riders. The Ottawa team was named for the log rollers of the region's rivers while the Roughriders were named for an elite North-West Mounted Police corps of expert horsemen. The presence of two teams whose names were pronounced the same in one league came about only when two leagues merged, and the teams were reluctant to change (and allowed to keep) their established nicknames.

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Tragedy

The Roughriders' darkest day came on December 9, 1956 when four members of the team were killed in a plane crash while returning from the CFL All-Star game in Vancouver. Gordon Sturtridge, Mel Becket, Ray Syrnyk, and Mario DeMarco were killed when Flight 810 crashed into Slesse Mountain near Chilliwack, British Columbia. The team retired the numbers of the four players shortly after the tragedy.[3]

Grey Cup championships

The franchise has won three Grey Cup championships; a 29–14 victory over the now-defunct Ottawa Rough Riders in 1966, a 43–40 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1989 and also a 23–19 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2007. Four times, the Roughriders and (Ottawa) Rough Riders met in Grey Cup finals, prompting joking predictions from sportswriters that 'the Riders' would win it all. Led by Hall of Fame quarterback Ron Lancaster, a string of 11 straight appearances in the Western finals 1966–76 remains a CFL record. The Roughriders also posted the best regular season record in all of pro football over that time period.[4]

2007 season

The Roughriders celebrate their 2007 Grey Cup victory

In the 2007 season, the Riders jumped out to a 7–2 start, their best since 1976. Notable was a last-minute victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the annual Labour Day Classic. The Riders wore retro uniforms for the first time and helmets hearkening back to their glory days.

The 2007 season brought along with it the Roughriders' first home playoff game since 1988, which was played at Mosaic Stadium on November 11 against the Calgary Stampeders. The Riders once again wore their retro uniforms and took a close victory 26–24. This was also their first home playoff win since 1976.

The team followed up on November 18 with a 26–17 win at BC Place over the BC Lions in the West Division final to give the Roughriders a berth in their first Grey Cup final since 1997.

On November 25, 2007, the Riders played the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the 95th Grey Cup. This marked the first time that two Labour Day Classic opponents played each other in a Grey Cup game. Saskatchewan won 23–19 in a game where James Johnson recorded three interceptions, a Grey Cup record. He was named MVP of the 2007 Grey Cup, with Roughrider Andy Fantuz being named the Canadian MVP in the game. He had 70 yards receiving and the game-winning touchdown.

2008 season

A month and a half after capturing the 2007 Grey Cup, Kent Austin stepped down as head coach to become the offensive co-ordinator at Ole Miss. In accepting this position in the NCAA, Austin turned down a very lucrative contract that the Riders had offered. On February 6, 2008, Roughriders GM Eric Tillman announced that the new head coach would be Ken Miller. Miller was formerly an offensive coordinator under Austin.

On April 5, 2008, a report was released saying that the Roughriders set a new record for earnings in a single season. In 2007 the Roughriders generated $22,950,489 in revenue, with a profit of $1,737,377. These earnings were due in part to the championship season the Roughriders sported, which included 8 home game sellouts and their first home playoff game in 19 years.

The 2008 season began with a 6–0 record with wins shared between three quarterbacks. This is the team's best record since 1934 when they were still known as the Regina Roughriders. This was despite suffering 6 broken legs and a total of 18 injuries.

On August 24, 2008, the team's General Manager, Eric Tillman, announced the acquisition of Quarterback Michael Bishop; the Toronto Argonauts backup quarterback at the time of the trade, he went 11–1 as a starter for the Argonauts in 2007. As predicted, this was the end of Marcus Crandell's run with the Roughriders, who released him four days later.

After the 6-0 start, the Riders would go on to finish the 2008 CFL Regular season with the same record they finished with in 2007, at 12-6. The Roughriders finished in second place in the CFL West Division and earned the right to host the CFL West Division Semi-Final for the second consecutive year.

A devastating 33–12 loss to the BC Lions in the western semi-final game on November 8, 2008, caused the Roughriders to announce that Michael Bishop had played his last game with the green and white.

Mascots

The current official Rider mascot is Gainer the Gopher, who made his first appearance in 1977.[5] "Gainer" is an anagram of Regina and the gopher, or more properly, Richardson's Ground Squirrel (not a Gopher) is a common animal on the Canadian Prairies.

Popularity

Fan Support

Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field prior to a CFL match

The Riders are famous for their fan support, and are continually referred to as the best fans in the league and were ranked the rowdiest fans of any sports team in Canada by MSN Sports, ranking ahead of the Canada men's national junior ice hockey team and the Montreal Canadiens.[6] The team is third behind the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs for merchandise sales of Canadian sports teams[7], and in 2009 the team played in 5 of the 6 most viewed games on television[citation needed] as well as breaking a ratings record for the West Final against the Calgary Stampeders and a Grey Cup ratings record of 43% of the national population against the Montreal Alouettes.[citation needed] The Riders typically bring an upsurge in attendance at all or most of their various away venues, drawing crowds of their own fans, as well as home-town fans whose interest is heightened when the Roughriders come to town.[8] The province of Saskatchewan went through tough economic times during the 1980's and 1990's and as a result millions of Rider fans left the province for work, particularly to Alberta. In Edmonton and especially Calgary, Rider fans make up to half the crowd, and many violent clashes between fans have resulted in recent years between Roughrider and Stampeder fans.[9] Estimates of just exactly how many Rider fans there are range anywhere from 5-7 million people across Canada, representing roughly one in five Canadians. The Riders have led road attendance in the CFL every year this decade,.[10] and local support has skyrocked in recent years due to the on-field success of the club, including the first sold-out season in 2008.[11] The Roughriders attendance record came in 1995 in a win over the Calgary Stampeders as 55,438 (more than 25% of Regina's population) fans watched on.[citation needed] This crowd was attainable that year because of the increased capacity of Taylor Field in preparation of hosting the Grey Cup. Rider fans are also known for dressing up in unique and often bizarre Rider-themed costumes, the most popular being the watermelon helmet.

University Section

The University Section is a notorious group of season ticket holders who occupy Section 28 in the East Side bleachers at Taylor Field. They are known for their strict allegiance to the Riders, standing through the entire game, and often being merciless to opposing fans who sit in the section and cheer for the road team. They enjoy taunting the opposing team's bench with a series of chanting and slandering. The University Section got it's nickname from the section's main purpose in the 1980's and 1990's and was a discount section offered to university students in Saskatchewan. The section no longer serves as a university section but still retains the name because of the rowdy behaviour of the fans.[12]

Famous Fans

Many famous Canadians were also Roughrider fans, including former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, former Saskatchewan Premier Tommy Douglas, hockey great Gordie Howe, curling great Sandra Schmirler, comedian Brent Butt, and TSN sportscaster Darren Dutchyshen. Current premier Brad Wall and mayor Pat Fiacco are also lifelong Rider fans.[13]

Criticism

With the large Rider fanbase and rowdiness of the fans, other teams' fans across the nation have come to dislike the Rider fans. The fans are often called rednecks, hillibillies, and inbreds particularly from fans of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Calgary Stampeders, and Edmonton Eskimos. Saskatchewan as a province has the highest crime rate of any in Canada, and Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field is located within the neighbourhood of North Central, the most dangerous neighbourhood in Canada.[14] Many fan incidents in recent years have become media sensations in Canada, including the 2004 CFL playoffs when Paul McCallum missed a crucial 18-yard field goal in an overtime game against the BC Lions. The Roughriders went on to lose the game, and outraged fans vandalized McCallum's northwest Regina home with eggs, dumped manure on his neighbour's property, and uttered death threats to his family. Rider fans are also known for their constant abuse of Calgary Stampeder and former Rider quarterback Henry Burris, as well as throwing beer cans at the BC Lions bench in 2008 that lead head coach Wally Buono to clear the Lion bench, and most recently at the 2009 Grey Cup in Calgary an unruly fan doused beer on Montreal kicker Damon Duval's wife and two small children, forcing the family to leave with four minutes left in the fourth quarter, missing Duval's game-winning field goal.[15] Hatred of the Riders is most apparent among Prairie fans of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Edmonton Eskimos, and Calgary Stampeders but extends to other places. It has become a tradition at many road games for the home crowd to chant "Riders Suck!"

Fight and theme songs

Gainer the Gopher

The Roughriders are unique among sports teams for their amount of songs written about them. The official Rider songs are played regularly at the stadium, and include "Green is the Colour", "Rider Pride", and "Paint the Whole World Green."[16] In addition, during every 4th quarter intermission, the P.A. system plays the cult hit "The Last Saskatchewan Pirate" by Captain Tractor, and the crowd stands and dances to the song. There are many other songs that have been created over the years to tribute the team as well. Many of these songs have proved so popular in Western Canada that they have become popular culture phenomena.[17] The music selection at Mosaic Stadium is mostly consisted of mainstream popular music.

Radio and Television

CKRM Radio launched in 1926, and serves as the primary home of the Saskatchewan Roughriders during the football season, and the Regina Pats during the hockey season. Rod Pedersen is the play-by-play announcer, and is available throughout much of Saskatchewan via radio and worldwide on the internet. Sirius Satellite Radio also enjoys an exclusive deal with the CFL, including the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and all games are available on Sirius.[18] On television in Canada, all Roughrider games are broadcast nationally in English on TSN and select games are available in French on RDS. Outside of Canada, some of the teams games can be viewed in the United States on America One and radio broadcasts are available at ESPN360.

Public company

The Roughriders are one of only a few publicly owned professional sports companies in North America, complete with a board of directors (although other teams are directly owned by publicly traded companies, such as the Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Communications), New York Rangers and New York Knicks (Cablevision), and the Seattle Mariners (Nintendo of America)). The Roughriders' public ownership model is similar to the Green Bay Packers where a limited number of shares have been sold to the public. The most recent public offering of Rider Shares — Series 1 commenced in 2004 at an offering price of $250 per share, which added 6,000 new shareholders before the offering closed.[19][citation needed]

Current roster

Saskatchewan Roughriders roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Slotbacks

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Inactive Lists

Free Agents (Finished year on Practice Roster)


Italics indicate Import player
Roster updated 2010-03-14
Depth ChartTransactions
47 Active, 17 Inactive, 13 PR

More rosters

Current Coaching Staff

Saskatchewan Roughriders Staff
Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

  • Offensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach – Doug Berry
  • Receivers/Passing Game Coordinator – Bob Dyce
  • Offensive Line – Tom Freeman
  • Offensive Assistant – Marcus Crandell
 

Defensive Coaches

  • Defensive Coordinator – Gary Etcheverry
  • Defensive Line – Mike Scheper
  • Linebackers – Alex Smith
  • Defensive Backs – Nelson Martin

Special Teams Coaches

Strength and Conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Joe Womack

Coaching Staff

Players of note

Canadian Football Hall of Famers

Retired numbers

Recent regular season and playoff results

Season-by-season records

The 1990s

Legend:
F = For, A = Against

Season Coach Won Lost Tied Points F A Home Away Division Standing Playoff Results
1990 John Gregory 9 9 0 18 557 592 - - 4–6 3rd Lost West Semi-Final 43–27 to Edmonton
1991 Gregory/Matthews 6 12 0 12 606 710 - - 3–7 4th Missed Playoffs
1992 Don Matthews 9 9 0 18 505 545 - - 6–4 3rd Lost West Semi-Final 22–20 to Edmonton
1993 Don Matthews 11 7 0 22 511 495 - - 5–5 3rd Lost West Semi-Final 51–13 to Edmonton
1994 Matthews/Jauch 11 7 0 22 512 454 - - 4–6 4th Lost West Semi-Final 36–3 to Calgary
1995* Ray Jauch 6 12 0 12 422 451 - - 5–7 6th* Missed Playoffs
1996 Jim Daley 5 13 0 10 360 498 - - 3–7 4th Missed Playoffs
1997 Jim Daley 8 10 0 16 413 479 - - 5–5 3rd Won West Semi-Final 33–30 over Calgary

Won West Final 31–30 over Edmonton

Lost Grey Cup 47–23 to Toronto

1998 Jim Daley 5 13 0 10 411 525 4–5 1–8 2–8 4th Missed Playoffs
1999 Cal Murphy 3 15 0 6 370 592 3–6 0–9 1–9 4th Missed Playoffs
Totals - 73 107 0 146 4667 5341 - - - - -

* For the 1995 Season, all 8 Canadian teams were featured in the Northern Division.

The Danny Barrett era

Season Won Lost Tied Points* F A Home Away Division Standing Playoff Results
2000 5 12 1 11 516 626 2–6–1 3–6 3–6–1 4th Missed Playoffs
2001 6 12 0 12 308 416 2–7 4–5 3–7 4th Missed Playoffs
2002 8 10 0 18* 435 393 7–2 1–8 4–6 4th Crossover: Lost East Semi-Final 24–14 to Toronto
2003 11 7 0 22 535 430 7–2 4–5 7–3 3rd Won West Semi-Final 37–21 over Winnipeg

Lost West Final 30–23 to Edmonton

2004 9 9 0 18 476 444 6–3 3–6 4–6 3rd Won West Semi-Final 14–6 over Edmonton

Lost West Final 27–25 to B.C. in OT

2005 9 9 0 18 441 433 5–4 4–5 6–4 4th Crossover: Lost East Semi-Final 30–14 to Montreal
2006 9 9 0 18 465 434 6–3 3–6 4–6 3rd Won West Semi-Final 30–21 over Calgary

Lost West Final 45–18 to B.C.

Totals 57 68 1 117* 3176 3176 35–27–1 22–41 31–38–1 - -

* From 2000 to 2002, the CFL awarded a single point to teams losing in overtime. The Riders had two such losses during the 2002 season.

The Post-Barrett Era

Season Coach Won Lost Tied Points F A Home Away Division Standing Playoff Results
2007 Kent Austin 12 6 0 24 530 434 6–3 6–3 6–4 2nd Won West Semi-Final 26–24 over Calgary

Won West Final 26–17 over B.C.

Won Grey Cup 23–19 over Winnipeg

2008 Ken Miller 12 6 0 24 500 471 7–2 5–4 5–5 2nd Lost West Semi-Final 33–12 to B.C.
2009 Ken Miller 10 7 1 21 514 484 6-3 4-4-1 5-4-1 1st Won West Final 27-17 over Calgary

Lost Grey Cup 28-27 to Montreal

Totals - 34 19 1 69 1544 1389 19–8 15–11–1 16–13–1 -- --

See also

References

  1. ^ "Riders merchandise sales on a level equal to the Edmonton Oilers". RiderFans.com Forums. http://www.riderfans.com/forum/showthread.php?t=74078. 
  2. ^ Wagner, Courtney (2009-06-01). "Labour Day Classic sold out and Round 4 final predictions". Regina Leader-Post. http://communities.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/blogs/wagner/archive/2009/06/01/labour-day-classic-sold-out-and-round-4-final-predictions.aspx. 
  3. ^ Beitel, Stu (2008-04-04). "Mount Slesse, BC Plane Crashes Into Mountains, Dec 1956". GenDisasters.com. http://www3.gendisasters.com/air-disasters/6034/mount-slesse-bc-plane-crashes-mountains-dec-1956. 
  4. ^ "Riders have surprise in store with uniforms". Saskatoon StarPhoenix/CanWest News Service. 2008-04-21. http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/sports/story.html?id=391ca7bb-2b63-4451-8787-9b6fdef0c343. 
  5. ^ "Gainer the Gopher". Saskatchewan Roughriders. http://www.riderville.com/page/gainer_the_gopher. Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  6. ^ "Saskatchewan Roughriders - Canada's rowdiest sports fans". MSN Sports. http://sports.ca.msn.com/cfl/photos/gallery.aspx?cp-documentid=22716477&page=10. Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  7. ^ Proudfoot, Shannon (2009-11-27). "Celebrating Canada's Team". The Vancouver Sun/CanWest News Service. http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/football/grey-cup/Celebrating+Canada+Team/2275587/story.html. 
  8. ^ "Eskimos set new attendance record". Esks.com. http://www.esks.com/article/eskimos-set-new-attendance-record. 
  9. ^ Pedersen, Rod. "Warning to Rowdy Rider Fans". Riderville.com. http://www.riderville.com/article/warning-to-rowdy-rider-fans. 
  10. ^ Busby, Ian (2009-10-20). "Rider pride sea to sea, Roughies fans fill CFL stadiums". The Calgary Sun. http://www.calgarysun.com/sports/columnists/cfl_weekly_blitz/2009/10/20/11458521-sun.html. 
  11. ^ "Riders announce profit, Hopson contract extension". HockeyFanZone.com. http://www.hockeyfanzone.com/showthread.php?t=13904. 
  12. ^ Hamelin, Johnathan (2009-11-11). "Rider Report: Living the Saskatchewan Roughrider Experience". Bleacher Report. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/288038-rider-report-living-the-roughrider-experience. 
  13. ^ "Who's From Saskatchewan (Famous People From Saskatchewan)". SaskSchools.ca. http://www.saskschools.ca/~gregory/sask/people.html. 
  14. ^ Gatehouse, Johnathan (2007-01-15). "Canada's worst neighbourhood, How did the province where medicare was born end up with a city this frightening?". Maclean's. http://www.macleans.ca/article.jsp?content=20070115_139375_139375. 
  15. ^ "Rider Fans Suck!!!". EsksFans.com. http://www.esksfans.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24731. 
  16. ^ "Audio". Riderville.com. http://www.riderville.com/page/audio. 
  17. ^ "Rider Music Search". SaskMusic.org. http://www.saskmusic.org/erelease/RiderMusicSearch.pdf. 
  18. ^ "CFL gets Sirius, Official Satellite Radio Partner to broadcast 25 games annually". CFL.ca. 2006-04-26. http://www.cfl.ca/article/cfl_gets_sirius. 
  19. ^ "Series 1 Rider Shares - Down To Last 25". Riderville.com. http://www.riderville.com/article/series_1_rider_shares___down_to_last_25_. 

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