The goose egg was finally broken over the Labour Day weekend as the Saskatchewan Roughriders found that all elusive win number one on the season.
Even though the team is still in last place, the 37-19 triumph over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers was enough to light a spark in Rider Nation.
“I think there’s a renewed sense of hope,” said fan Dennis Markel.
Sherry Lipp insisted she always remained hopeful.
“I totally believed in the team so I didn’t have any doubt that they would finally get their first win and have a great season after all,” she explained.
Geri Colter was at Mosaic Stadium for the Labour Day Classic and described her section of the stands as delirious before the victory, even before the kickoff. She said the recent moves the Riders made in firing former head coach Corey Chamblin and GM Brendan Taman helped create a fresh sense of optimism.
Fans said they are impressed with quarterback Brett Smith, calling him the potential future of the organization. If they had to go out and buy a jersey right now, some fans said it would be his.
With the team’s first victory, naturally, the focus shifts to the playoffs. While fans are hopeful the season can be somewhat salvaged, when asked whether Saskatchewan can make the post-season, many fans News Talk Radio spoke to simply gritted their teeth and made a disheartened ‘ahhh’ sound.
“I’m optimistic but I’m a realist too,” said Colter. “They’d have to run the gambit and other teams are trying too. As long as they win this coming weekend.”
“That’s a stretch,” agreed Phyllis Ireland.
Markel believes the team can pull it off, but realizes chances are slim. Mathematically, the team still does have a shot, albeit a long shot. They would virtually need to win every game remaining on the schedule while relying on other teams in their division to lose.
The quest continues against the Blue Bombers, once again, at the Banjo Bowl this weekend in Winnipeg.