It’s a day the Rider Nation looks forward to every year, but this year’s is a little more special for linebacker Sam Hurl.
The 28-year-old is in the midst of his seventh CFL season and will play in his 100th game Sunday when the Roughriders go toe-to-toe against his former team, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
“It’s been a big goal of mine for a lot of years now (to make 100 games),” Hurl said from the locker room on Friday. “I’m pretty excited about it. Ultimately I want to get many more but it’s just a nice little goal I can check off my list here.”
And he gets to celebrate on the team that started it all for him.
Hurl was drafted by the green and white in 2012 and played three seasons with the Roughriders – including the magical 2013 Grey Cup year – before he moved one province east to play in Winnipeg.
So perhaps it’s fitting that he hits this milestone on a loud and rambunctious day at Mosaic Stadium when the only two teams he plays for are facing off against each other.
“I love these games. I’ve been fortunate enough every year of my career in the CFL to be part of these games. It’s just fun. It’s a great game for the fans,” Hurl said.
But what’s it really like from the other side?
“It’s not that different,” Hurl said. “It’s just exciting period whether the fans are for you or against you … To be a part of that whether I’m in green or blue is amazing. I’m very happy to be back in green again and be part of Labour Day on this part of the ball.”
And it’s a game in green that sticks out the most for Hurl – specifically his rookie year in 2012 when the Riders beat the Bombers 52-0.
“I was just young. I was so excited I don’t even remember the score, right?” Hurl grinned. “I was just happy to be on the field playing football at that time. I just remember the plans flying over and everybody going crazy and I blacked out for the game pretty well. I was just happy to be there.”
Now with a few more years under his belt Hurl is, of course, looking to help his team win on Sunday – especially in honour of his 100th career game which his family will be in attendance for.
“I’ve got to make it a good,” he smiled.
Crezdon Butler, Cameron Marshall, Mic’hael Brooks and Devon Bailey have all be placed on the one-game injured list.
Butler is sitting in favour of Loucheiz Purifoy, while it’s expected that Jovon Johnson will be scratched in favour of a relative newcomer and former NFLer Will Blackmon.
Marcus Thigpen returns to the lineup after spending last game on the one-game injured list and Curt Maggit will play in just his second game of the season on the defensive line.
Riders depth versus the Bombers has Crezdon Butler on the one game injured list. I expect to see Johnson scratched as Blackmon gets the start. Bagg also won't play. pic.twitter.com/1c83kC2z18
— Arielle Zerr (@arielle_zerr) September 1, 2018
— Jeff Hamilton (@jeffkhamilton) September 1, 2018