November 10, 2012
Stampeders plan to silence Rider Nation
By IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency
There’s nothing like trying to quiet the crowd in your own stadium, but the Calgary Stampeders must accomplish just that Sunday.
In some ways, though, the Stamps may be thankful that Rider Nation will be showing up to cheer on its team at McMahon Stadium.
With green people in the stands, there is a guaranteed atmosphere — good or bad.
Although they would be trying to win no matter what, the Stamps would love to send Saskatchewan Roughriders supporters home unhappy, too, after Sunday’s West semifinal (2:30 p.m., TSN, QR77).
“Any time you go up against the Riders, half the fun of beating them is beating the fans because they are so obnoxious,” Stamps safety Eric Fraser said.
“It’s not that they say things witty or funny. They are just annoying through the whole game. That’s half the thing when you are playing Saskatchewan.
“You get up for it a bit more just to shut those guys up.”
A crowd of between 31,000 to 32,000 fans is expected for the game, which should be played in decent conditions. The temperature is expected to be around-2C for kickoff, which is a dramatic change from earlier this week when a blizzard hit the city.
The last time the Riders played in Calgary was July 19, so this will be a much different setting. That Week 4 game drew 32,228 fans to McMahon Stadium, which was the most well-attended game of the season.
As usual, the stadium featured a lot of green, which is always a shock for newcomers.
“There was a lot of energy, that’s for sure,” said Stamps rookie-of-the-year candidate Chris Randle. “It was a good battle between fans and a good battle between the teams.”
The Riders certainly feel at home in Calgary, and not just because they have several former Stampeders on their roster and coaching staff.
“It’s not going to feel like a full home game. There will be 15,000 to 20,000 of your own fans. It’s one of the reasons players like Rider Nation so much,” Riders defensive end Odell Willis said.
“They support us whether we’re at home or on the road. We have to put on a good show for those who support us.”