There are still a few t’s to cross and i’s to dot but at some time in the near, or distance future an open air, or dome-ready facility will be built somewhere in our province in which all likelihood the Saskatchewan Roughriders will play in.
I have a lot of opinions on this topic that some readers would agree with and others that would result in a truck load of manure dumped on my lawn but I hope one opinion that everyone can agree on is the need for this new stadium to have a ‘Ring of Honour.’ One of my fondest memories of playing in the CFL is entering an empty stadium hours before the game and staring around the arena at the names. Names like Doug Flutie, Ron Lancaster, Allen Pitts, Angelo Mosca, Annis Stukus, Warren Moon… they are not all players - just a Ring of Honour, or Golden circle, or Wall of Fame of the most significant people in the organization.
I may not have played with, or even in the same era as these legends, yet I knew that at one time they had all sat where I sat, had the same thoughts that I had and played the same game I was about to play. It gave me a sense of the history of the CFL and always made me feel part of something bigger than just the football game I was about to play in.
I can’t recall who said it, but they said that the only way to make the new facility have the same game day ambiance as Mosaic is to spill a little Lancaster and Reed blood, sweat, tears, and any other DNA that’s appropriate on the new artificial surface. Although I don’t necessarily disagree, I realize that this is very unlikely to happen but there is nothing like honouring the past like immortalizing the people who helped built the franchise by adding their names to the bricks and mortar of the new facility.
Bricks and mortar- this is no easy decision. I am not talking about a temporary banner like Montreal and Toronto put up only on game day to recognize their rich history; or, the imaginary Chris Walby and Milt Stegal pennants you don’t see hanging from the rafters at Canad Inns stadium. These will be permanent fixtures for our children’s children to enjoy…choose carefully because we all see the difficulty they are having at Penn state in removing people’s names from buildings.
So then, what’s the criteria to get into my imaginary “Circle of Honour” to a team that may, or may not use this idea in a stadium and who might not have the ‘pull’ to get it done or ever even be built?
I think we are looking for a number between the 8 retired Rider numbers (only 4 from playing accolades) and the Plaza of Honour (who induct a handful of people annually)…say between 8 and 12. I also think we can all agree to include George Reed, Ron Lancaster, Roger Aldag, Kent Austin, Gene Makowsky, Ray Elgard and Dave Ridgeway.
That’s 7. Do we need any more?
I acknowledge that my names may be generationally biased so there should be a waiting period before you’re eligible to get etched on the walls so Dominguez, O’Day, Greene, Miller, Schultz, Szarka, Fantuz and Cates will have to wait to have their legacy considered for immortality. But how about Narcisse? Keys? Richie Hall? Jurasin? Poley? Piffles?
This is no easy feat. Good thing we’ve got a few years.
(I look forward to your feedback at Mike.Abou-Mechrek@InvestorsGroup.com)
|June 29, 2013||Saskatchewan||Edmonton||@ 1:30 PM|