author: brady lang | sports writer
Rivalries need to be stoked in Canadian sport
Rivalries are the lifeblood of any sport, but why don’t we see more entertaining ones in the CIS?
Is it the amateur aspect? Maybe. But we see colleges in the US with many heated rivalries; it’s just nature of the sport. There’s always the rivalry between Saskatoon and Regina, but we really don’t see that either.
So how do we start this rivalry as fans? First off, we need to show up to the games. I’ve been to so many games and I honestly believe that there’s a small group of dedicated fans and then the families of the athletes. It makes no sense to me.
The rivalries need to come from the campuses and then the players will follow. It’s the campus rivalries that need to start. Like, can we at the Carillon start this with the Sheaf? Gotta start somewhere.
The Rams and Huskies rivalry has dropped off somewhat after the retirement of the team’s long-time head coach, Frank McCrystal. For some reason, McCrystal’s passion for Regina football lead to the rivalry between the clubs, but his successors have failed to work on instilling the bitterness that McCrystal embodied in the players. Maybe, just maybe, this year will be different in bringing in Steve Bryce, a Regina-born head coach who is an alumnus of the Rams.
When it comes down to it, the fans control the sport. When you’re looking at a league such as the CFL, there is no better rivalry than the two Labour Day weeks, which we were all just able to check out these past two weeks. It was interesting to see when fans were able to check out the Riders and Bombers.
If you have been following the Riders’ season, head coach Chris Jones got rid of many of the Riders this past offseason, yet the rivalry was still there in both weeks. This just shows how passionate the fans are. When speaking to many players, these rivalry games all just have “a different feel about them.” I’m sure in just a few weeks, we will see this during the “Sasktel Fall Classic” at new Mosaic Stadium between the Huskies and the Rams. Honestly students, at all costs, get to this game if you can. It’s the first game in the new stadium – that everyone’s heard of because of the cost it took to build it in our city.
With the Rams finally competing, and week one’s thriller between the two clubs, it’ll be the first installment of a new, competitive Rams team at home versus our longtime rivals, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.
If we continue to make it to games and get that atmosphere into the building through the crowd, we will see rivalries explode in every competitive sport on campus. We may not see fights in the stands like Labour Day always seems to put out, yet we need to start somewhere.
Just creating that atmosphere that every athlete dreams of will create longstanding traditions that every athlete will love.