Roughrider fans across Saskatchewan went through an emotional roller-coaster Sunday night as they watched their team lose the Grey Cup to the Montreal Alouettes in heartbreaking fashion.
At the Press Box, a Regina sports bar where virtually everybody was decked out in Riders jerseys, Riders hats and Riders stick-on tattoos, happy cheers filled the air for most of the game, which was played in Calgary.
'I wanted to cry.' —Rider fan Roddy Ruggieri
But the mood suddenly turned sombre when the Alouettes scored a field goal at game's end to win 28-27.
I wanted to cry," said Roddy Ruggieri, a patron at the bar. "It was our game ... and we lost it."
The toughest part, she said, was that the Riders appeared to have won the game 27-25 after a Montreal field goal attempt went wide..
However, Saskatchewan had 13 men on the field, one too many, and Montreal was allowed to kick again, this time successfully
Fans watching the game with Ruggieri erupted in a mixture of confusion and dismay as Montreal snatched victory from their team.
"It was like, 'Are you kidding me?'" she said. "There was nobody laughing. It was not cool."
The loss meant police in Regina had a relatively quiet night.
They had been ready for something much more boisterous, with 40 crowd-control officers, 50 patrol officers, and 10 supervisors on duty.
When the Riders won the Grey Cup in 2007, thousands flooded the area around the corner of Albert Street and Victoria Avenue.
This time, only a dozen or so loitered at the corner. One man urged people to come out and say thanks to their team for a season of thrills.
Ruggieri agreed with that sentiment.
"We are so proud of our boys," she said. "They took us this far."