Eskies place billboard outside McMahon -WAR!

“EE-Hawww!? the billboard outside McMahon Stadium screams.

“See you Monday Stamps fans,? is the rest of a message.

The billboard shows an Eskimos fan, wearing a black cowboy hat and wearing a Ricky Ray jersey as he rides and whips a red-wigged Stampeders fan, down on all fours, like a rented mule.

(In smaller print at the bottom it also says: “No Stampeder fans were physically harmed in the making of this billboard.?)

What’s going on here?

The Edmonton team of tradition attempting to bring back the Eskimos Way under Kavis Reed is suddenly trash-talking the Stampeders on a billboard, right under their noses?

And talk about location, location, location.

This billboard is on the back of the McMahon Stadium sign at 16th avenue and Crowchild Trail.

Considering the way Edmonton played in their last three games, you have to wonder if the Eskimos really want to be doing this right now.

I mean, do you really want to add extra motivation and rile up the Stampeders with a billboard that the players drive by every day on the way to the dressing room?

“You might have to call me Tuesday and see how it works out,? said Eskimos new vice-president of marketing and brand management Duane Vienneau.

It’s a new Battle of the Billboards.

Until last year this has been an Saskatchewan thing. But then, last year, the Eskimos fired back with a Rider Pride retaliation billboard: “They can’t count to 13 at Grey Cup. We have 13 Grey Cups and counting.?

That was in reference to the Roughriders losing the Grey Cup due to a too-many men-on-the-field call.

Saskatchewan had most recently bought a billboard outside Commonwealth Stadium trumpeting: “Hey Eskies fans. We’ll save a section for you!?

They didn’t. Saskatchewan fans produced a CFL regular season record attendance of 62,517.

The billboard thing goes back to 2003 and the one with the watermelon headed fan and the slogan which became almost an anthem for former Saskatchewan residents living in Alberta: “We walk among you.?

There’s been a steady stream of inspired offerings ever since.

“Rider Pride Nationwide,? was one.

“Fantutorial? and the date of the game was another.

But that was Saskatchewan. This is Calgary. This is different. There’s no love lost here.

“We’ve never done it in Calgary before,? admits Vienneau.

“We’ve never done it on the road before.?

It should be noted, perhaps, that the Eskimos were 5-0 when they bought the billboard.

“It’s to say we’re fighting for first place on Monday,? said Vienneau, of the situation involving the 6-2 Stampeders and 5-3 Eskimos which hasn’t existed for several seasons.

“The Edmonton-Calgary rivalry has kind of taken second fiddle to Saskatchewan the past few years. But going into this Labour Day doubleheader, the Stampeders and the Eskimos are in first and second.

“That’s one of the reasons we’re doing this. We’re building the Labour Day games up for our fans again.?

GM Eric Tillman offered an enlightened response.

“Marketing concepts have significant value, and creative people with those responsibilities are paid to look after things such as billboards. We, on the other hand, are paid to produce scoreboards that make our fans smile.?

So, Kavis Reed, did you know about the billboard?

“Uh, no,? he said.

But he says he’s OK with it.

“I don’t think those things affect the outcome of games. If I’m wrong about that, I hope it distracts them and they can’t focus on their play,? the new Eskimos coach laughed.

As a former Eskimos player, Reed knows all about Labour Day and how these two games are historically entirely different than the other 16 on the schedule.

If anything, because of the situation this year, with half a team of first-year Eskimos and that three-game losing streak, Reed figures the less focus on the legend and lore of Labour Day, the better.

“I think the best approach I can take is to allow ignorance to be bliss,? he said.

Good luck with that.

I love it! Hilarious.

Now I can't wait for my stamps to destroy the esks! Labor Day!!!

that's awesome!

I would love to see the Argo's do something like that for the next game in Hamilton!

I agree man! Im a stamps fan hark0re. and this works for both cities. Good posturing for Edmonton. and the more tickets they sell to esks fans (who want to show they are still the team of the league) or stamps fans who dont want esks fans there, its more $$ for and seats for the stamps stadium. i think we need MORE of this! I want to see edmonton do more of this. They were the flagship of this league for a very long time. when the esks are on top, the league does better. thats the way it is! This is the battle of Alberta. one of the biggest rivalry in North America! billboards, Adds, whatever.

You back it up with a win and you're ballsy.

Lose and everybody uses that billboard as a running joke for the rest of the season.

Current streaks;
Calgary 4-0, Edmonton 0-3.

Good luck with that.

IMHO i think there is also some leway since the esks won the first time. When it becomes a running joke is if My stamps Run up the score like last year. but that was a different year. i dont see that happening.

I stated the Battle of Alberta is one the biggest rivalries in North America. The Battle of ontario SHOULD be the biggest in the CFL. Hopefully they do take some notes and get it going.

Them's fighting words for sure. Esks stooping to Rider level with this one.

Basically what I was saying. They're taking a risk that could backfire. My question would be, is it a good risk when you're on a 0-3 where almost nothing is going right for you?

Should make for a great game 1/2 a Labour Day Classic. Didn't it use to be a double header on Labour Day? :wink:

This is fun marketing. I love it.

I even like the SSK one in Winnipeg, all in good fun.

im not aware of this one.

Funny, on my recent trip to Winn. we were traveling north on Century, I think, and I noticed a billboard with a Sask. fan on it. I think it said something about an oath. Sure surprised me, never saw anything like it before.

I think this kind of marketing is fantastic, but I question this particular idea. The image I get is not one that is necessarily positive or flattering for either the Stamps or the Esks.

when i first saw the pic i thought it was a joke because of the image. defiantely not the most flattering.

Great marketing gimmick, can only help sell more tickets.
Whether the Esks win or lose does not enhance or diminish the creativity of the attempt.
I'd like to see more of this from all teams.

Nope.....It's a PIGSEYE view stooping lower than a CROWCHILD :stuck_out_tongue:

Wow... I'm all for drumming up support to sell tickets, but that's some bold trash talking from a team that's scored 21 points in its last 3 games. This is going to backfire hardcore. Expect another romp. This certainly makes picking Calgary in the VGCC easier.

I picked Calgary in the VGCC; How does 31-18 for Calgary over Edmonton sound Chief? Is this an expected romp?
Could backfire too :stuck_out_tongue:

Love the billboards, good for all teams in this league. Hope to see more of these in the future. Its all in good fun.

I still remember years ago one of the Calgary newspapers showing a "Rider wolf in sheep clothing" after the Riders beat the heavily favoured Eskies in a western final (i may have that one reversed, it was a long time ago). The wolf is picking his teeth with an eskimone bone. They were taking a shot at Edmonton as the Riders had beaten Calgary in Calgary the week before and took a beating for that in the Edmonton papers. Could have been the 89 GC season?

Probably closer to 37-9.

...though that 9 feels generous after our last two outings. :expressionless:

Calgary - 24
Edmonton - 17