Not sure what impact the weather will have on this, but between 8-10 a.m. on the Scarth Street Mall there’s supposed to be a pancake breakfast to kick off the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ 100th anniversary season.
Today also marks the opening of the exhibition Saskatchewan Roughriders: The Team the Fans Built at the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame. Later this summer, two other exhibits with a similar theme are scheduled to be held at the Dunlop Art Gallery and at the Legislature’s Cumberland Gallery. The former is called Green is the Colour: The Art of Rider Pride, while the latter is titled HeART of the Rider Nation: a Centennial Exhibition [1910 – 2010] Celebrating the Greatest Fans on Earth.
I’m not sure when, but sometime during the season we’re planning a special feature on the Riders that, in typical prairie dog fashion, will go beyond mindless boosterism to take a critical look at what the team has meant, and continues to mean, to the province and its citizens. With revenues of around $30 million last year, the Riders have definitely transformed themselves into a CFL juggernaut.
That’s good, I guess. But at some point you have to wonder how healthy it is for Regina, and the province as a whole, to have a situation where a sports team, due to the fanatic support it enjoys, is more or less able to write its own ticket when it comes to corporate and other forms of support. Formal ties may or may not exist between the Riders and the Sask Party, but certainly Brad Wall and his MLAs have never met a Rider photo-op that they didn’t leap at. With the province currently considering whether to proceed with a hugely expensive domed stadium for the team in Regina, that raises obvious concerns.
As far as music goes tonight, local metalmeisters Agonal are at O’Hanlon’s Pub with Royal Red Brigade. And at McNally’s Tavern, Montreal-based reggae artist Auresia is playing. Here’s video of her performing “What is Right” in Banff.