Rider Pride was front and centre at Red Deer taverns which hosted Grey Cup parties Sunday afternoon.
The crowds weren’t overflowing at Wild Bill’s Sport Pub in the North Hill Inn or the Blarney Stone South but enthusiasm displayed by the Saskatchewan Roughrider faithful made up for any deficiency in numbers.
Will Bill’s staff didn’t hide any secrets who they supported
Most of the employees wore green shirts and bar manager Ron Pardy wore a carefully crafted white S on his painted face surrounded by green.
Even a Canadian brand of beer was served green and there were other green drinks to be had.
Any Rider play which gained yardage or stopped a Montreal drive was greeted with cheers.
One lonely Alouette fan was a little shy to display her enthusiasm.
“I’m afraid if I yell to loudly I’ll get a green bath of beer,” laughed Suzanne Moncreate who was visiting friends in Red Deer from Hull, Que.
“I’m not knowing now if this was such a good thing to come to this bar, but it’s fun and the atmosphere is pretty happy all around,” she said.
Al Turcotte is French Canadian but still cheered for the Riders.
“This is the west and the big green team there is the average guy’s club. They don’t have a lot of big stars but they have good Canadian kids on that team and they do a lot,” Turcotte said.
Several fans enjoyed the free hot dogs and chili and the low beer prices as part of happy hour for the game which didn’t kick off until around 4:30 p.m.
Blarney Stone patron Mike Jennings said he knew after Saskatchewan beat Calgary Stampeders in the West final last weekend that the Riders were destined for the Cup this year.
“I felt it my bones then and now it looks like it’s in the bag,” although the Riders only had a 10-3 lead in the second quarter.
“I’m pretty confident they can hang on and bring the cup home to Saskatchewan,” Jennings said.