The Saskatchewan Roughriders took their first two losses of the season over the past two weeks. Saskatchewan started off 3-0 with some impressive showings against BC, Hamilton, and Ottawa to start the year, but laid an egg the past two weeks in their Labour Day rivalry series with Winnipeg.
When they got back to practice this week it was likely back to strictly business as the Riders need a win. However, that doesn’t mean the team would shy away from the opportunity to promote a good cause.
“Be the change, be the cookie” 🍪— Saskatchewan Roughriders (@sskroughriders) September 13, 2021
The @TimHortons Smile Cookie Campaign is BACK! Available from Sept 13-19, 100% of the #SmileCookie proceeds benefit local charities and community groups. pic.twitter.com/5Uu4PNwZIf
Somehow the Roughriders media team missed a golden opportunity to market the right offensive lineman for the job in Logan Ferland, but I guess opposing guard Evan Johnson is photogenic enough.
The Blue Bombers beat the Roughriders 23-8 and 33-9 over the Labour Day Classic and Banjo Bowl games respectively, but the team isn’t going to let that affect the upcoming back-half of their season.
Saskatchewan will have a chance to get back to business tomorrow at home against the Toronto Argonauts. Roughriders’ guard Logan Ferland affirmed the critical nature of the game, and knows it presents a good chance to provide a sense of relief to the fans.
“You want to try and keep the fans happy, and obviously it’s not like we lose on purpose,” recalled Ferland, “I think the score didn’t really reflect how our team played against Winnipeg, especially looking back at the film. They are a good football team, and if we just capitalized on our red zone drives I think we win that game. It’s a lot closer than people think it is; you got your keyboard warriors saying otherwise and that we need a whole new team. We just have to cancel that noise out, and do what we do.”
Certainly Saskatchewan fans get a little more rowdy when their team loses to the rivals from Winnipeg. Going into the first match-up, Ferland knew the importance of the Labour Day Classic in the province.
“Labour Day is the big one, but honestly my preparation doesn’t change much. It’s a really exciting game and obviously very special to the team and province,” said Ferland on his personal excitement, “I found it was a lot like the home opener energy level wise, that was really the only thing that changed for me.”
One other thing changed as Ferland was able to don the Saskatchewan famous white stripes that the Riders wear so well every Labour Day.
“They are a sick uniform for sure. I think we got the best in the league for the Labour Day Classic for sure. Pretty awesome uniforms to wear.”
The uniforms would change again a week later, as Ferland and the Riders’ traded their LDC alternates in for a white road kit for their first road game of the season. Ferland dressed for the Roughriders on the road against Calgary back in the 2019 pre-season. The ever famous ‘Banjo Bowl’ in Winnipeg was Ferland’s first taste of regular season action on the road, and a great place to first experience the hostile nature of opposing fans.
“This was totally different you know actually being able to start, and going into a regular season game. It was a lot different.”
The atmosphere was completely different from whatever 2019’s pre-season debut on the road brought brought for Ferland, though it didn’t completely meet his expectations after so much talk about IG Field in Winnipeg being “Home to the CFL’s Loudest Fans” as stated at their home track.
“You know to be honest, it’s a very hostile environment, as I imagine it would be in Regina at home for anyone playing there,” reflected Ferland, “It’s right there. I felt like it was the same. Us doing the silent count we handled it very well. So honestly I would put them right at the same level right now.”
Ferland has heard the rumours that Winnipeg’s stadium reverberates the sound a little more than others, but last week’s experience isn’t to the level that he might have expected. He mentioned how the next potential match-up between Winnipeg and Saskatchewan would have to come in the playoffs, and history shows that the regular season results don’t exactly tell the whole story when you get into playoffs.
“If you look at what happened in 2019, I’m pretty sure we blew them out two games in row. Then come playoffs, we lost.”
Ferland and the Roughriders offensive line will take on some familiar faces on the Toronto defense tomorrow night. Charleston Hughes and Cameron Judge will be returning to Riderville as the enemy, as well as Dariusz Bladek coming back as a member of the Argonauts offensive line.