Thursday, March 3, 2016

Mosaic Memories Part 2 - Top 5 Playoff Memories

Today I continue my series reflecting on my favourite memories of Mosaic. A reminder that if you have a favourite memory you'd like to share please leave a comment or drop me an email.

Today we focus on the playoffs. In writing this out, I realized that this was actually just a ranking all the non-Michael Bishop playoff games that have occurred since 2007... it was easy to exlcude that one from the list as I've spent the past 8 years trying to repress the memory of that game.. You have to realize though that there was only one other home playoff game held in my lifetime and I wasn’t old enough to be going to football games yet. It’s really kind of depressing when you type in out like that. I guess it’s a good thing we got our money’s worth out of the few playoffs games we have hosted.

5 - West Semi-Final 2013 
There are two things that I will never forget about this game.  The first was how freakin' cold it was. One of the coldest games I can remember. My rye's would freeze solid if not consumed within 5 minutes. The second thing I will remember is this was the game where Durant put the team on his back and carried them to victory... literally. We fell behind early and looked shaky but late in the game Durant started using his legs to exploit a weakness in the BC D. The end result made me forget the cold... at least temporarily.

4 - West Semi-Final 2010 
This is one of those games that took years off my life. From an entertainment perspective this game was full of big plays and drama... from a Rider fan perspective it was hard on the old ticker.It was back and forth and we blew so many chances to seal the victory. It led to one of the most nervous moments of my playoff memory followed by an amazing storybook finish.

In double OT, Cary Koch dropped the ball on first down. This is where the nervousness set in. That meant that if we didn't covert on 2nd down the game would come down to Warren Keane kicking a 42 yard FG to keep the game tied. It was looking grim, panic was rising. Fortunately hometown hero Jason Clermont not only caught the pass on second down but was wide open and ran in for a game winning TD to eliminate his former team. Very, very cool moment for a born a raised Regina guy. I'm so thankful Clermont prevented us from ever finding out how bad Keane was gonna miss that kick.

3 - West Final 2009
It's a pretty big deal to say you've witnessed a West Final at home here on the prairies. 2009 was the first one in 33 years and we have yet to see another. I remember Rey Williams being an absolute beast in this game (10 tackles 3 sacks). I also remember that we managed to tie it up at half after a rocky start and then game out blazing in the 2nd half (big return by Jason Armstead and TD by Fantuz) and never looked back. I think we'd all prefer to focus on the high this game left us with rather than... you know, the stuff than happened next game.

2 – West Semi-Final 2007
It had been 19 years since playoff football was last seen in Regina. There was just a wee bit of pent up excitement in Riderville. It was the biggest thing to happen in Saskatchewan in years. Scalped tickets would either cost you and arm and a leg or some pretty freaky sexual favours (you know, so I heard).

What I will remember most about that game was the energy level. You could feel it in the stands. The place was literally shaking (and very little of that due to deteriorating structural stability). It got loud long before the the player entrances. By the time the teams came out it was so loud you couldn't hear the announcer or the music and the fans didn't let up. When DJ Flick scored on the very first offensive play the place came completely unglued. It was an absolutely amazing experience in the stands. I honestly didn't think anything would top that game for me. Until the #1 memory came along.

1 – Grey Cup 2013
This had to be number 1, no questions asked.

November 24, 2013 offered Rider fans a once in a lifetime opportunity. The chance to see the Riders hoist the Grey Cup at home. After years (and years and years and years) of assuming the football gods hated us, everything in the universe aligned for a defining moment for a franchise.

The weather stupid cold for every single day that week... except Grey Cup Sunday. Durant fumbled the ball... directly to Sheets who rumbled for one of the biggest plays of the day. We got to beat Henry Burris in the playoffs... again. Everything went our way. The game was never in doubt.

From the "screw you CFL and your individual introduction" entrance, to the Dressler TD that just kept driving nails into the TiCats coffin to the enduring image of Durant hoisting the Cup with all of Rider Nation surround him. Despite my best efforts that night to drink away any memory of that game, that is a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget.

No comments: