Gopher banned from Stamps' field

PABLO FERNANDEZ -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:40 AM ET

On the heels of a concerted outcry by outraged Saskatchewan fans, the Calgary Stampeders announced yesterday the Roughriders' mascot will be allowed to attend this weekend's game.

And the controversy was enough to force the gopher to ground.

Anger brewed on both sides of the provincial border, and in both CFL camps, after it was reported Roughrider mascot Gainer the Gopher would not be allowed to attend Sunday's West semifinal at McMahon Stadium against the Stampeders.

With a reputation for being some of the most passionate fans in Canadian sports, Rider fans were quick to charge the situation head-on, spearheading phone and e-mail campaigns.

Rider fan Aymie Rondeau of Calgary called for Saskatchewan fans to purchase gopher puppets from the Riders' online store.

"Our goal is to fill the stands with Gainers," she said.

"The Stamps may be able to ban our beloved mascot, but you can never stamp out our Rider Pride."

Reports in Saskatchewan and Alberta over the last three days Gainer was banned from the game are not true, said Stampeders spokesman Kelsey Goldade.

Gainer has only been denied access to the field, he said.

"Gainer will have, and always has had, the same access and privileges as any other Rider fan sitting in McMahon Stadium," said Goldade.

Although Gainer declined to comment, a Riders spokesman said the gopher won't be at Sunday's game.


Videos

Photos