Rider Nation heads to Toronto for Eastern finals
Spectators are rarely able to fill BMO field, but the Riders' legendary fans might just do it
Rider Nation is on its way to Toronto, and if the fandom has its way, the Argonauts will be facing a sea of green as the Saskatchewan Roughriders take them on to battle for a spot at the 2017 Grey Cup.
"They are definitely going to win, and they're going to make it to the Grey Cup," said Shelly Marlowe, an optimistic Riders fan who on her way to Toronto.
The Saskatchewan team's fans have accepted the Roughriders as the underdogs, but many are following their favourite players all the way to Ontario to cheer them on in Sunday's game.
They have faith in their team.
"I'm very confident. We've beat 'em twice this year. The Riders are playing well," said Brian Mohr, also on his way to cheer his team on in Toronto.
There are a few tickets left for the game against the Argonauts, but "they're limited," according to the Toronto office.
The Toronto Argonauts' home turf, BMO Field, is rarely full of spectators, but Saskatoon's Mongovius family is doing their part to fill it up.
"We're heading out on Saturday morning and we're there to cheer on the Roughriders against the Argos," said Arlene Mongovius, who will be joined by her husband.
"Go Riders," she added, which she says after almost every sentence.
She predicts a tight game, giving each team credit for having great players and coaching.
"But I'm gonna go with the Riders, by three," she said.
Even Arlene's mother-in-law, Ethel Mongovius, is a fan. She's a convert, though. Ethel used to cheer for Edmonton.
"I got married into the Rider family. Now it's Riders all the way," she said.
Premier Brad Wall hung a Saskatchewan Roughriders flag at the legislature Friday to support the province's favourite team, and workplaces across the province, including Saskatoon and Regina city halls, declared it Green Day.
Ethel Mongovius was completely decked out in green gear on Friday — including hand-knit green mittens with white accents.
The family waits until February to book their vacation dates for the year, because that's when the CFL regular season schedule is released.
"We find out when the games are, where they're being played, and then we plan our whole vacation around the Roughriders schedule," said Arlene Mongovius.
The Roughriders take on the Argonauts Sunday at 1 p.m. ET in Toronto.