Regina’s Italian Star Deli lost more than a customer when the Saskatchewan Roughriders released Rob Bagg.
The 34-year-old receiver was one of the final cuts made after the Riders final preseason game on Friday.
During his time in Regina, Bagg frequented the family-run Italian Star Deli on Victoria Avenue.
“He was incredible for us,” said store owner Carlo Giambattista.
“He was so supportive of us, personally. I know for Rider nation, people loved him, number six, we had a sandwich for him as well.”
Giambattista recalled how Bagg would stop by regularly and often bring guests, including family and other CFL brass.
“I should put Rob on the payroll, he should be getting dividend cheques,” Giambattista joked.
This wasn’t the first time Italian Star Deli had to deal with a fan favourite leaving. Weston Dressler was another Rider who became friends with staff at the sandwich shop.
“Became that real feeling of, ‘these are good people,’ and there was camaraderie there.” Giambattista said.
While the deli owner said he’s sad to see players leave, he understands it’s a part of football and knows it will all be worth it if the team reaches their ultimate goal.
“At the end of the year, if we win the Grey Cup, we’re always going to remember the Rob Baggs – but we’re going to remember winning the Grey Cup more.”
No matter where Bagg ends up, Giambattista said the former Rider will always be welcomed at the shop as if he was still wearing the green and white.
“Rob’s going to come with whatever team he’s with, he’s going to bring them in, we’re going to give them the Rob Bagg specials, we’re going to take care of them like he was still a part of the Riders, but he’ll have a different jersey on.”
Giambattista also had one last thing he wanted to say to Bagg, until next time.
“I would like to say to Rob, his family, his girls, his wife that it’s been a pleasure, it’s been an honour. There’s memories engraved in our minds, there’s pictures that we have of them and we won’t forget them,” he said.
“We’re big Rob Bagg supporters here so all the best to him.”
We cannot say enough about Rob Bagg and his contribution to the rider organization and to the support of the community….