Thursday, September 26, 2013


Is this it? Is “next year” finally here? Is the “13” in 2013 finally a lucky number? Many of my pessimistic, cynical friends are going to hold out that something disastrous may still happen but it sure looks like this year’s harvest is going to be one of the most bountiful in history.

            The latest crop report from the Government of Saskatchewan’s Department of Agriculture is a week old and it stated, "Of the crop that been harvested, above average yields are being reported in most areas." Anecdotally, while speaking to area farmers, reports are coming in that there are some very good yields in many varieties of crops in our immediate area and an awful lot of it is in the bin already. Up until now, that is, because you just never know what kind of evil will rob of us of this bounty, you know. Then again, as they say, experience is a brutal teacher.

            However, barring an asteroid hit or a freakish September tornado, or something, I think we’ll be okay. By the way, the law of averages says a “city-killing” asteroid hits the Earth only once in a thousand years but my pessimistic, cynical friends also figure that, using those odds, maybe we’re about due. Who knows?

            So it goes with our Saskatchewan Roughriders, too, eh? They started the year off with eight wins in nine games and now that they have lost the last two in a row, including the famed “Banjo Bowl” against the lowly Winnipeg Blue Bombers, good ol’ Rider Nation is going nuts. They’re taking hand-wringing to new heights, in fact.

            Adding to the ‘Rider fans’ agitation and frustration are the recent rash of key player injuries, (see: Rey Williams, Weston Dressler, Ben Heenan and Kory Sheets to name a few), and then tack on the news that three Roughrider players have just been charged with aggravated assault, resulting from an incident at a Regina night club in August, and it would be difficult for even the hardiest of fans to remain hopeful for a championship-type season.

Sticking with the “experience is a brutal teacher” theme it’s no wonder that ‘Rider fans are always cautiously optimistic/eternally pessimistic having had their hearts ripped out too many times. The Saskatchewan Roughriders have won just 3 of the 18 Grey Cups that they have played in. These are the facts, people, not justification for defeatism.

I, myself, am fully optimistic that the “13th Man” incident from the 2009 Grey Cup game will finally be vindicated in the 101st Grey Cup Game at Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field in Regina on the 24th of November, 2013, and that the true “13th Man/men-women-children” will have much cause to celebrate.

So, maybe 20-13 is really going to be our lucky year. Believe it. Why not? The crop is this close to being fully in the bin, the ‘Riders have a great mid-season record, a very competent and confident Management/Coaching team and as talented a group of players as any other team in the league and I’d much rather think and hope that good things will happen than to think that “next year” will never come.

‘I have friends who are very pessimistic. They say you can’t possibly be an optimist nowadays. But I think, taking the longer view, you can still be as optimistic as you want.”- Edwin Morgan (1920-2010).

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