While it’s still unknown if Darian Durant will be back in the green and white next season, he said it was special to be a part of the ceremony that closed out old Mosaic Stadium.
Taylor Field is the only stadium Durant has called home in the CFL, and of course, he hoisted his first Grey Cup here in 2013.
He said it was hard to hold back his emotions during the ceremony which included fireworks, lights, the Grey Cup and a player from each of the team’s four Grey Cup wins.
“I never would have even imagined being accepted that way and to hear that standing ovation when my name was called,” Durant paused. “As you can see I’m at a loss for words. It’s just a tremendous honour and it’s just a special feeling, something that I’ll never be able to explain.”
Durant alongside George Reed, Roger Aldag and Gene Makowsky all took turns holding the Grey Cup, but notably not one of them hoisted above their shoulder. Durant said they didn’t talk about that before hard, but it’s sort of an unwritten rule.
“You don’t hoist that thing until you win it and we’ve all had our opportunities to do that and in that moment it wasn’t the opportunity,” Durant said.
“I just wanted to get it out of my hands as fast as possible and get it back to the guards and let them handle it.”
As has become a bit of a Tuesday tradition, Durant also answered questions about his contract negotiations. He was also asked if that was his last game in Regina as a Roughrider, to which he responded he hoped not.
“The truth of the matter is it’s between my agent and the front office and I just think the best thing for me to do is just focus on football,” he said. “I mean sitting and talking about it every week is not going to make it happen, it’ll happen in due time.”
But he said that doesn’t dull the love he has for Rider Nation and the province of Saskatchewan, just that he doesn’t want the focus to fall solely on him.
“I’m truly blessed to be looked at the way I am here in Saskatchewan. It’s an honour and I can’t thank this province enough for embracing me and welcoming me and wanting me here.”
Durant did not take any snaps at practice Tuesday after being sacked five times in the last game. Chris Jones said Durant will play if he’s feeling up to it, but also to expect to see G.J. Kinne in action.
The Roughriders last game of the 2016 season is in B.C. on Saturday.