It was all my fault.
Ever since the days of Ron Lancaster, I have been a fan of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Not a fanatic, mind you, and not the overly superstitious type, either.
A football game was generally a pretty good excuse to hang out with boys and girls in someone’s garage or basement and have a few brewskis. Like so many others in the province, the Riders lost a lot. We would give the typical response of “Oh well, maybe next year,” or the all-time favourite: “At least the boys played with heart.”
Year after year, it was basically the same thing, to a point where it wasn’t disappointing anymore.
In 2007, I had to go to Alberta for an emergency. The Riders were playing Winnipeg in the Grey Cup, and I’ll be darned if they didn’t win.
I swear you would be able to hear my happy dance all the way back to Saskatchewan. In 2009, I decided I would watch the Grey Cup game back in Saskatchewan. This was the infamous 13th-man game in which the Riders lost to Montreal. I started thinking if I had been in Alberta, they would have won. Yes, it was my fault.
Last year, when they played the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, I was back in Alberta. This time I brought along my two Roughrider bobble head figures, Glen Suitor and Jeff Fairholm. During the game I would hex the Ticats by shaking the bobble heads as hard as I could.
It was working. The Riders were marching towards the Cup. It was during the late stages of the game when Hamilton had the ball and, of course, I was shaking the bobble heads. All of the sudden, Suitor’s head went flying. I could feel my whole body go numb.
“This is it,” I thought to myself. “I have hexed Saskatchewan and now they’re going to lose. It’s all going to be my fault.”
Of course they went on to win. You should have seen old Ken bust a move. The only regret was knowing people in Saskatchewan, in all those garages and all those basements, were partying like never before. Even though I was in Alberta, there were plenty of Rider fans to have a get-together of our own.
When the Riders played Edmonton in the playoffs a couple of weeks ago, I had my bobble heads, including the one with a headless Suitor. It wasn’t the same with Fairholm looking on with a palpable sadness at his fallen brethren.
Fairholm put on the best dance, but in the end it wasn’t enough, and now the Riders won’t be in this year’s Grey Cup.
I tried everything I could: practising my happy dance and using all the hexes I know. But I still think it’s my fault. And I’m not even superstitious.