Watching video clips and interviews of the Saskatchewan Roughriders practising on the old grass pitch beside Taylor Field brought back some memories.
Quarterback Kevin Glenn, a 17-year CFL veteran, might be the only member of the team who had been on that grass before. The Riders haven’t practised on it since 2006, when one of their workouts was interrupted by soon-to-be-defeated Prime Minister Paul Martin.
The head coach was Danny Barrett, who had implemented so many media guidelines that the reporters weren’t allowed to wander around the facility anymore, so we gathered near the little brick maintenance building. We would duck inside when it rained. Or snowed.
But the Riders weren’t very good in those days, so their seasons didn’t last very long into the winter weather.
There were memorable interviews with Dave Albright, K.D. Williams, Don Narcisse and Barry Wilburn.
Cal Murphy, Jim Daley, Ray Jauch, Don Matthews and John Gregory were the head coaches supervising grass-field practices when I attended daily. Fans watched practices through the chain-link fence.
They were known as the “Railbirds.”
And I freely admit that Shorty, Gary, George, Paul and the other Railbirds knew more about the team than we did.