Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Gainer, Going, Gone!

I would be remiss if I did not mention on this site that Calgarians have become so used to losing, and therefore so paranoid of the effect a team mascot can have on a game, that they have banned--you heard me, banned--Gainer the Gopher from this weekend's playoff game between the Stampeders and the Saskatchewan Roughriders at McMahon Stadium. Gainer is of course the Riders mascot, and the plan was for him to rally against the Stamps the thousands of Riders faithful who will be flocking to the game. Not anymore, because the Stamps as an organization have decided that, "Our fans have earned the right for us to be led on the field by our own mascot without competition from Gainer." Uh, sure, okay, whatever that means. The move has of course caused an uproar in Saskatchewan, to the point where the Minister of Culture, Youth and Recreation, the Honourable Glen Hagel, stood up in the legislature yesterday to voice his dissaproval (see page 98 of the Hansard).

"Well thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, it is a sad day in Saskatchewan. Imagine our shock and dismay at our opponent’s display of bad blood and poor sportsmanship. Mr. Speaker, the entire province is incensed — and rightfully so — over what is clearly a violation of all that Saskatchewan people value and all that we hold near and dear.

And it begs the question: whatever happened to the rules of good conduct and proper etiquette and fair play? Mr. Speaker, football is a rough and tumble game, and we’ve witnessed other transgressions over the years. But, Mr. Speaker, this one is different. The hard hits and give-and-take that go on at field level are one thing, but banning Gainer the Gopher, the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ beloved mascot and our province’s favourite gopher, from McMahon Stadium for this weekend’s western semi-final against the Calgary Stampeders, Mr. Speaker — I say that this has simply just gone too far."

I think Hagel's anger was half-feigned, but because we're talking about the Riders, I can't be too sure. But his point still stands: whatever happened to the rules of good conduct and fair play? Whatever happened to sportsmanship? The issue here isn't even Gainer, it's Riders fans. Calgary is mad because so many Saskatchewan fans are in the seats, cheering for the opposition. But here's my suggestion to Stamps management: sell more tickets to Stampeders fans. It's revolutionary, I know, but if you can't sell tickets at your own stadium to your own fans then others will fill in the void. Furthermore, if you can't fill your own stadium with your own fans during a playoff game, then you deserve having to deal with Riders fans and their mascot. Suck it up losers, or sell some seats.

***Instant Update*** According to what looks like a Stamps press release here, Gainer is not "banned" from the Stadium; he just isn't allowed on the field. That's apparently not banning, because so many team mascots spend their time sitting in the upper bowl devouring hot dogs and cold bevvies. And speaking of dogs, what is the deal with the dog mascots in Calgary? Harvey the Hound. Ralph the Dog. You guys couldn't think of something more creative to go with the names "Stampeders" and "Flames", like, say, a Stampeder or a Flamer?


There is too much Rider Pride in Calgary. My province, over the years, has left in droves for Cow Town in search of a better life provided by the outgoing King Ralph. (Please come fix us.... pleeeease!) You can take the fan out of Saskatchewan but you can't take the Roughrider out of them. We Rider fans are all over the world. Ever see the hat Cam Ward was wearing at Carolinas victory parade/rally? We have no NHL franchise therefore no provincial competition for our support and we are very loyal.

**Sidenote - As I'm typing this I just realized I am wearing my Roughrider pants with an Oilers sweater.

I'll be happy to come fix up your province.

First, let's screw over teachers and health care, demolish a few hospitals and throw cash from our wallets at the working poor in a homeless shelter, slurring, "get a fuckin' job" in our cute drunken stupor.

Next, let's give away our oil boom land live off the scraps. So...where is it? Where's your oil? Cuz really...that's about all I've got to fall back on.

Go Stampeders! Go Flames!

I also want my "...called and wants it's ____back" phrase back.

How can you not like Ralph? My beamish boy!

And what are you doing referencing me, anyway? I'm the past! Anything that happens in the past is irrelevant!

Awesome. I love you, 1995.

Riders, baby! The Stamps are making a mistake, making this into such a big thing. The stands are already going to be rife with Green and White (since half the city is from Saskatchewan anyway), this is just giving them fuel for the fire.

You think the place won't be deafening if/when the Riders score? My god, this game is shaping up to be a classic :P Go Riders!! Up with the Oilers! Down with all things Calgary! Up with shirts! Down with pants! :P

The stands are already going to be rife with Green and White (since half the city is from Saskatchewan anyway)

Throw a rock in Calgary and you are far more lickely to hit some from Saskatchewan or the Maritimes than you are someone who was actually born in Calgary.

Damn immigrants. Taking our jobs, diluting our culture....yelling at us when we throw rocks at them....

If the Roughies want their mascot (what kind of team has vermin for a mascot?) on the field, they should win more football games. Same goes for the Eskimos. And why have a rat for a mascot anyway? Why not a 'rough rider' (I don't know what that is, but it sounds kind of dirty).

And the Stamps real mascot is the touchdown horse, which will be galloping wild come Sunday.

Go Stamps. Go Flames.

Same goes for the Eskimos.

That's hilarious. You guys just never learn, do you?

Edmonton Eskimos: 13 Grey Cups
Calgary Stampeders: 5 Grey Cups

And just for some context, Edmonton won 5 in a five-year span. It's taken Calgary 97 years to win that many.

Edmonton Eskimos: 13 Grey Cups
Calgary Stampeders: 5 Grey Cups

Oh, fuck, I know it's petty to trot out numbers like that (and petty to laugh as hard as I am right now, especially considering the Eskimos painful season this year), but the speed with which those numbers are brought out to bludgeon trash talk is priceless.

Thank you, Grabia.

I humbly submit my Gainer tribute video for your consideration.

Not all of us drive that slow. Some drive slower :).

Besides, why drive when you can hitchhike? Lots of Alberta drivers enjoy it when we catch a ride, and then play our banjo's for their entertainment.

Perhaps the greatest culture shock for Flatlanders arriving in Alberta is the fact that they can't see Winnipeg from their house.

Nervous much????You guys cant fill your stadium with your OWN fans in your own city. The underdog will prevail. Hold on to your hats and bring your ear plugs, we are goin to create caos like you've never seen b4!!!!

Racist and insecure Calgarians always talking about how "Rare" it is to be born in Calgary when Calgary's birthrate has skyrocketed to record levels in the past 10 years. It's not rare and not that great to be born in a boring cowtown like Calgary. A typical Calgary myth that gets passed around by word of mouth at Calgary's "fine" establishments like Cowboys and various truck stops and strip clubs (the pride and joy of calgary), and lets just throw in the "Chicago Chophouse" for those that think you have class...actually it should be embarassing to say you are born in Calgary I would have to say considering what Blogger Andy Grabia said (I couldn't have put it better myself)...

Same goes for the Eskimos.

That's hilarious. You guys just never learn, do you?

Edmonton Eskimos: 13 Grey Cups
Calgary Stampeders: 5 Grey Cups

And just for some context, Edmonton won 5 in a five-year span. It's taken Calgary 97 years to win that many.

So just humble down cowboys and maybe one day your city's fans can learn something from a real city, with real people and a real community, with real Stanley/Grey Cup Wins, and REAL History and may take a few years but maybe you will catch up. My advice is keep calgarian friends tell me it helps soothe the pain and anger you all feel when you hear the words "Oilers", "Eskimos" and "Champions". Oh let me anticipate what the the typical Calgarian response will be..."Ya but we got the money and Edmonton is just there- Go Iggy! Duh!".

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