As I reminisced on my memories (some of which are pretty hazy) for this edition of Mosaic Memories, it really struck me just how many good stories have amassed in my time in the stands over the years. People I never knew outside of Mosaic have become dear friends. I'm still not why they still tolerate me after having to spend this much time with me but I'm glad they do.
There were so many memorable stories that had to be left off the list. Things like
Chocolate pudding girl (note: it was most definitely not chocolate pudding that was on her skirt); that time we had to be security (and were 100 times more effective than actual security); junior cheerleaders dancing around the limp corpse of Spergeon Wynn; that time they had to stop putting the fireplace video on the MaxTron because it resulted in too many 911 calls; that time the MaxTron actually lit on fire and I bet 911 didn't believe them. The list goes on and on. But here are the 5 stories that stand above all others in my mind.
5 - A coke for Milt Stegall
Like many young people in the early 2000s, I took in many games from the university section. And by that I of course mean I drank excessively and somewhat paid attention to the game. The exact date escapes me but if I say “The game where Milt Stegall burned Davin Bush for 3 TDs” most of you will know exactly what I’m talking about. So the scene is: me and a few of my buddies (who had also partaken in a quantity of drinks commensurate with sitting in the university section) taking in the game and Milt Stegall is just utterly embarrassing us. Stegall’s third TD was scored in the endzone right by our section and Stegall was showboating right in front of us. Someone makes the offhand comment that somebody should throw something at Stegall. My buddy who can be fairly easily impressionable after a few (and a trouble maker) without missing a beat hurls his large cup of coke towards Stegall. I should mention that said coke was not actually paid for but casually taken from an unsuspecting drink vendor’s tray in passing. I should also mention that I use the wording “towards Stegall” intentionally as the coke did not come close to the intended target. In fact it would have hit an unsuspecting ref had Stegall not stepped over and casually knocked it to the ground. Of course security immediately started pointing at my buddy (and me by association) so we made a beeline for under stands. There we acquired new headwear by signing up for credit cards (with utterly false information). We then returned to the stands and found some new seats not far from where we were before and finished watching the game.
4 - The Day Hell Froze Over
Following the conclusion of the 2007 Grey Cup, I like most of Regina, made my way to Vic and Albert to party. It was a blast and I'm only vaguely aware of making my way home. The next morning I got up because the team was flying back to Regina with the Cup and were going to be honoured at the stadium. Aside from my Grey Cup seized hangover what I will remember most about that day is how freakin' cold it was. Just nasty cold. It was as if the Riders winning a Cup had literally caused hell to freeze over. Despite the bitter bitter cold (and bitter bitter hangover) a ton of fans still flocked to the stadium to welcome the team. And we did our best to give them a warm welcome. It was pretty awesome. The funny part was at the end when the announcer said "that concludes our program please stay and watch this video tribute"... no one stay it was a furious rush to the parking lot praying cars would still start. Apparently Rider fans will brave any harsh conditions to honour the team but draw the line at video tributes.
3 - Parting the Seas
At the conclusion of every Rider game we go through the same process. The ramps and exits clog up as everyone tries to leave at the same time (minus the part time fans that are long gone). Normally I can be found among the masses as we collectively slowly shuffle towards the exits (I have to come down from the second deck after all)… except for one time. I had dressed up in my patented robe, beard and staff for the game. As I approached the clogged ramps, I (somewhat jokingly) raised my hands and staff and made a parting motion like I was Moses parting the Red Sea. Suddenly some people looked back and said “Its Moses, make room!” In a scene I have never managed to replicate (despite many attempts) an entire ramp full of people simultaneously split right down the middle and gladly let me pass by them. I wish I could have caught the moment on camera.
2 – The Karate Chop Kid (aka why I’m no longer allowed to sit in an aisle seat)
I can admittedly get pretty emotionally invested in games. I’m a roller coaster of emotion from the profanity laden lows to the exuberantly celebrated highs. When important first downs the Riders occur I will often be seen in the stands signalling the first down. I forget the specific game but a number of years ago I happened to be sitting in an aisle seat. The Riders got a key first down so I stood up and made the first down signal as I often do.
This time though there were two very unfortunate and poorly timed issues. The first was that my first down motion was less pointing to the side (like the refs do) and more horizontal karate chop (powered by my previously mentioned high strung emotions). The second problem was that an unsuspecting young lady happened to be making her way down the stairs right as I did this. Needless to say my chop caught her right between the eyes. I have no clue how she stayed on her feet but I clocked her good. She wobbled something fierce and I’m not sure she knew where she was for a moment. I felt awful… really awful. Ever since I have worked hard on a less aggressive and less karate choppy first down motion and have avoided aisle seats in the interest of everyone’s safety.
1 - Handsy Celebration
For the sake of protecting the identity of the subject of this next story we will call him Mr. X. Mr X and I have been friends for many years we been through many shenanigans. To say we are close would be an understatement. Anyway, when exciting things happen we can have some pretty exuberant celebrations in the stands. Every now and then Mr X can get very "handsy" with his celebrations (its probably somewhat related to alcohol intake). Its always above the waist and generally focused on my chestal region. You get used to it.
This past season one such exciting TD occurred and it was time to celebrate. Given how few moments there were to celebrate last season Mr X may have had extra pent up enthusiasm. Mr X (who sits in the row in front of me) turns around and starts giving me one of his handsy celebrations. Part way through this particular celebration, Mr X came to a startling revelation... he looked two people down the row to see me high fiving other fans. It was at that point he realized that the person whose chestal region he was being celebratory with was not me but an unsuspecting middle aged women.
I was completely oblivious to all of this until I turned around and saw him sitting there half laughing, half pale faced. I asked him what was up and he told what happened. Shocked, I asked what happened when he realized what happened. Did he say anything? Did she say anything?!? He said he looked at her very sheepishly and at a loss for words puts his hand up for a high five. She high fived him and that was the end of it.
The whole ordeal led to the saying that "If the high five was hit, you must acquit". For Mr X's sake we hope that holds up in court.