Even though I am not what you would call a die-hard Riders fan, even I had to feel sorry for the Rider Fans last Sunday. The Saskatchewan Roughriders have made an art form out of crushing fans dreams (3-13 seasons, least # of Grey Cups in league etc), but last Sunday's debacle was the worst thing that could ever happen to a Rider Fan. It was so devasting that even Blue-bomber fans were sending condolences. But take heart Rider Fans!! Here are four stories that hopefully will inspire you to hang in their for one more year:
In 1986 the Boston Red Sox had a 3 games to 2 lead over the New York Mets and were ahead 5-3 in the 8th inning, trying to win their 1st world series in 68 years. With Roger Clemmins on the mound (who had a 24-4 record that year) the Mets scored 2 runs in the 9th to tie the game. Then in the 10th inning a routine ground ball that should have been the final out, squeaked through Bill Buckners legs giving the Mets the win and eventually the World Series. 18 years later, the Red Sox finally won the 2004 World Series and won it again in 2007.
In 1993 the heavily favored Michigan Wolverines were tied with North Carolina in the NCAA mens Championship game. With 40 seconds to go, Michigans Chris Webber called a timeout, but unfortunately his team was out of timeouts. Michigan was called for a technical foul and ended up losing by 6 points. Even though they didn't win, 3 of the Michigan players were drafted in the 1st round of the NBA draft that year, including Webber who went 1st overall.
In the 2006 US Open, Phil Mickelson had a 1 shot lead with 1 hole to play. Rather than play conservatively Mickelson hit his driver straight into the hospitality tent, then into a bunker, then over the green, finally 3-putting to give the championship to Geoff Ogilvy. The first thing Mickelson said when speaking to the press was...."I am so Stupid!!!!". Phil has shaken off that loss by winning several other majors and is currently ranked #2 in the world.
In the 2008 Grey Cup the Montreal Alouettes with home field advantage had a 13-3 lead with 1 minute to go in the 2nd half. A late touchdown throw by Henry Burris, getting outscored 12-1 in the 2nd half, and a 2nd half interception by Calvillo cost the Al's the victory as they were forced to watch the Stampeders celebrate on their home turf. The following year Montreal came back from a 17-3 halftime deficit, including making a last second field goal to win the Grey Cup.
In the 2009 Grey Cup, the Saskatchewan Roughriders who had led all the way, got called for a "too many men on the field" penalty, giving the Al's a second chance to kick the winning field goal. Kicking from 33 yards, instead of 43 the Al's scored with no time on the clock completely devasting the entire province of Saskatchewan.
And now my Dear Rider Fans, who still manage to cheer for a team that has given you so much heartbreak....I hope that this is what we can write next year:
In 2010 the Saskatchewan Roughriders down 27 to nothing with 3 minutes remaining score on a punt return and recover 3 on-side kicks in a row all leading to touchdowns, including a Durant to Fantuz 55 yard pass with no time left on the clock to beat (insert the team you hate here) 28-27 to win the Grey Cup in the greatest ever comeback in all of sports.
God knows you fans deserve it!!!