Gainer the Gopher's new look draws mockery online
Roughriders' mascot has had several looks through the years
The Saskatchewan Roughriders' July 1 game had a few surprises.
A storm rolling through Regina caused a two-hour delay near the end of the second quarter at Mosaic Stadium. The Riders eventually won 32-7 against the Toronto Argonauts.
Meanwhile, the team introduced a new look for its iconic mascot Gainer the Gopher.
We’re THIS⤵️ excited to get back to playing tonight:<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UniteInGreen?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UniteInGreen</a> <a href="https://t.co/A8qIhj07GU">pic.twitter.com/A8qIhj07GU</a>—@sskroughriders
The new mascot design is thinner than before, has defined green eyes and a bigger, smiling mouth.
Some fans of the mascot have been rallying on social media, saying the changes were unwanted. There is at least one online petition calling for the change to be reversed.
Look, I know Gainer. I've worked with Gainer, and you sir ... you are no Gainer. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/bringbackoldgainer?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#bringbackoldgainer</a> <a href="https://t.co/QtplSFIJmS">pic.twitter.com/QtplSFIJmS</a>—@kdorse
Some fans said the new design is "creepy," while others claimed it has caused nightmares.
C’mon New Gainer ... you aren’t helping your case. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/creepy?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#creepy</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/iheardchildrencrying?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#iheardchildrencrying</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/adultstoo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#adultstoo</a> <a href="https://t.co/I2d3uzmYmw">pic.twitter.com/I2d3uzmYmw</a>—@hockeymom1509
A spokesperson for the Riders said, "we've decided to just let Gainer speak for himself."
Gainer through the years
Gainer the Gopher has been a symbol for the Saskatchewan Roughriders since 1977, according to the Riderville website.
Gainer has gone through many changes over his 40-year career. The mascot wore jersey number 44 in the early days. Starting in 2006, Gainer started wearing the number 13 to represent the "thirteenth man."
In 1982, Gainer wore a lone collar.
The mascot is modelled after the Richardson ground squirrel, or gopher, a common sight in southern Saskatchewan.