How deeply has last night’s Grey Cup loss wounded Saskatchewan football fans? “In nearly 100 years of existence, the Riders have celebrated four Grey Cups,” writes Regina Leader-Post columnist Rob Vanstone, “but have won only three.” It’s a brilliant line that does more than merely reference the Roughriders players spilling onto the field last night, thinking they had won after the Montreal Alouettes missed a last-second field goal; alas, the Green Riders had lined up for the play with 13 men on the field rather than the required 12, and Als kicker Damon Duval made no mistake on the do-over from 10 yards closer in. Final score: Als 28, Riders 27. No, Vanstone’s line captures the longing of an entire football-mad province, which is perversely afflicted with a team that finds ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. For an added layer of irony, he reminds of the ‘Rider fans’ oft-invoked “13th man.” They mean the hometown crowd, of course—that metaphorical fellow who helps the team to victory. The actual 13th man was a most unwelcome presence.
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