It’s always a loud one when the Calgary Stampeders are in town.
The matchup between the Riders and the Stampeders is one that everyone circles on the calendar including the players because of the passion brought into the game by Rider Nation.
“When it’s Calgary week, we know,” said Naaman Roosevelt. “We know it’s going to be a physical game, we know it’s going to be exiting, the fans are going to be going crazy so for it’s exciting to play against them.”
It’s a rivalry that’s brewed over the years with many highs and lows. Hen-ry chants reverberated throw old Mosaic Stadium whenever Henry Burris lead his team into action. There was the time running back Jon Cornish mooned the east stands and it seems Bo Levi Mitchell has now taken up the torch as public enemy number one.
Spencer Moore has been with the Riders since 2013 and watched as the rivalry’s grown.
“I know that even before I got here there’s been sort of a hate, a passion for a hate towards the Stamps and you’ve kind of seen that over the years how the fans sort of embraced that,” Moore said, adding it’s fun to watch the fans go at it over social media.
As for reasons why the rivalry is so heated. The players have a few ideas.
“Because they’re to two winningest programs in the CFL,” defensive back Jovon Johnson offered. “And as of late (the Stamps) have been the top dogs and you want to beat them to prove that you belong, so that’s probably one reason.”
Roosevelt offered another.
“Truthfully, it’s probably how they carry themselves – some people call it cockiness – just the way they carry themselves I feel like they just think they’re better than everybody,” the receiver said. “Here I think this province is hardworking … Calgary’s like a big town (that) everybody knows and here (in Saskatchewan) they’re different so it’s like ‘don’t come over here with that cockiness.’”
The Stamps are currently undefeated this season with a perfect 5-0 record. It’s something the Riders are hoping to break up with the help of a riled up fan base who will pack into Mosaic Stadium Saturday night to lend a hand.
“The fans give us everything we need when we’re out there on the field,” Johnson said. “They make it tough on opposing offences, they get snap counts, they draw penalties for us so that works in our favour and it just gives us a little bit more to go out there and make them proud.”
Saturday’s sold-out contest begins at 7 p.m. At Mosaic Stadium. The Green Zone pregame show begins at 5 p.m.