Roughriders feeling the pride in Calgary ahead of Grey Cup

CALGARY — The Saskatchewan Roughriders touched down Tuesday on what they consider friendly territory for the Grey Cup.

Saskatchewan Roughriders' Stevie Baggs

CALGARY — The Saskatchewan Roughriders touched down Tuesday on what they consider friendly territory for the Grey Cup.

Given the number of people from Saskatchewan who live in Calgary and the car loads expected to arrive from that province this week, the players say McMahon Stadium will feel like Regina’s Mosaic Stadium when they face the Montreal Alouettes in Sunday’s CFL championship game (TSN, 4:30 p.m.).

”Even during the season when we come out here, it’s filled with green in that stadium,” Roughrider quarterback Darian Durant said.

“To play this game out here will definitely be an advantage for us.”

The ’Riders, 10-7-1 this season, got a taste of the support they expect this week when they were greeted Tuesday by a high school band and drill team, plus a few green-clad autograph seekers, at the Calgary airport.

“Ray Charles is going to be able to see the amount of green we have coming here on Sunday, so it’s awesome,” defensive back Stevie Baggs declared.

The Alouettes, 15-3, were scheduled to arrive with less fanfare near midnight Tuesday.

The Roughriders feel they’ll need that home-field advantage.

They arrived in Calgary playing the underdog card and pointed to the Alouettes’ stellar record this season.

Montreal beat Saskatchewan in two meetings this season by a total score of 77-35.

“You look at their record, look at their statistics, look at just about everything and you would say, statistically and record-wise, they deserve to be the favourite in the game,” head coach Ken Miller said.

Saskatchewan advanced to its second Grey Cup in three years with a 27-14 win over the Calgary Stampeders in the West Division final, while the Alouettes dominated the B.C. Lions 56-18 to take the East.

The Roughriders moved into the Stampeders dressing room, which Calgary vacated Monday. Saskatchewan didn’t lose a game at McMahon this season with a win and a tie there against the Stampeders.

”It’s been a pretty good stadium for us this year,” Durant said. ”With the backing we have, even if you look back at the Grey Cup in Toronto (two years ago), it was full of green there, this will be twice as better for us.”

Veteran defensive end Eddie Davis, a former Stampeder who intended to reclaim his old dressing room spot, feels his team has appeal across the country.

“It brought the whole province together and it’s bringing all the Saskatchewan people from all over Canada together,” Davis said. “I guess you could say we’re Canada’s team. We’re just trying to keep this thing rolling and this could be like a Cinderella-type story.”

While the Grey Cup game is sold out, there were plenty of options online as disappointed Stampeder fans put their tickets up for auction.

Saskatchewan and Montreal will meet in the Grey Cup for the first time Sunday. Both rosters have players with considerable Grey Cup experience. The Riders won the title two years ago by beating Winnipeg in the title game.

It will be the Als’ seventh championship game since 2000. Their lone victory over that period came in 2002.

Just Posted

Legalizing cannabis cost estimate for Red Deer just under $400k

Although the province of Alberta has announced $11.2 million for cannabis legalization,… Continue reading

WATCH: Every square tells a story: Edmonton expert is exploring Red Deer’s quilting history

Community members can bring in family heirloom quilts for documentation

Red Deer-area dads going through divorce are invited to Man Up

Support group formed to focus on positive activities, networking

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Wickenheiser, Pegula reflect NHL’s trend toward diversity

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a laugh, Kim Pegula’s competitive nature kicked in… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

DUBBO, Australia — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were jokingly thanked… Continue reading

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

Most Read