Riders vs Eskies; Billboard War

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It's the Battle of the Billboards.

To this point, the battle has been as one sided as some of the Edmonton games so far this season. But the Eskimos have, on behalf of their fans, entered the battle when it comes to the billboards.

In a season which so far hasn't been any fun at all for Edmonton fans, finally there's something out there to have some fun with.

This week, on 112th Avenue outside the Eskimos' offices, a location where the Saskatchewan Roughriders have purchased fun billboards before, a new one appeared with a significantly different message than the ones which preceded it.

It features a Saskatchewan fan sitting and watching last year's Grey Cup game wearing a Riders No. 13 jersey totally discombobulated by the too many men on the field penalty on the "winning" field goal which cost them the game.

The message: "They can't count to 13 at Grey Cup. We have 13 Grey Cups and counting."

This comes after last year's Saskatchewan winner in the billboard game, on Stadium Road on the LRT side of Commonwealth Stadium.

It read: "Hey Eskies fans. We'll save a section for you!"

They didn't.

Saskatchewan fans swarmed Commonwealth Stadium like an infestation of grasshoppers to produce 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 placed not only in Edmonton but in Calgary, Toronto and Winnipeg.

"Fantutorial" and the date of the game was another winner.

"It actually started as a way to connect with our ex-pat fans around the country as a way to bring them to the pay portion of our website," said Ryan Whippler, the Roughriders executive who has been booking them primarily in Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg since the beginning.

"We don't have that pay portion anymore. But the billboards brought us so much publicity and our fans love them so much, we've kept doing it."

This year, not expecting the Eskimos to enter the game, the Roughriders, celebrating their centennial, took a different approach.

"We decided not to be too cheeky," said Whippler.

The Saskatchewan billboard will be going up this week, too. Featuring a picture of Ron Lancaster and the Saskatchewan centennial logo, it reads: "100 years of pride ... And we're just getting started."

The timing of the Battle of the Billboards, at least from an Eskimos point of view, is a little off.

The Eskimos, coming off an 0-4 start with everybody in the organization and on the team put on notice and Danny Maciocia fired as general manager, have a home game Friday and they don't want to be taking the focus off the Toronto Argos.

But billboard space is rented by the month and this is the start of the month with the Saskatchewan game on the 28th. And maybe taking the focus off the current crisis and having a laugh isn't a bad thing at the moment.

"It's probably been a billboard in the making for years," said Eskimos' marketing manager Dave Jamieson.

"They'd had a lot of light-hearted fun poking fun at us and inspiring Rider Nation.

"So why not create a buzz, take a shot at the Riders and, if nothing else, make people laugh."

And while having all those Saskatchewan fans buying tickets to Eskimos games isn't a bad thing, it does tend to make the Riders feel like the home team.

"We want as many Eskimos fans at that game as possible," said Jamieson

For the record, the Saskatchewan organization thinks it's great.

"I think it's fabulous," said Whippler. "It's great for the rivalry. They're eight years behind us, but it's great to see they've finally caught up."

President and CEO Jim Hopson loved it, too.

"It cracked me up," he said. "I have to admit it made me laugh.

"I think we had it coming. We've been doing it to them for years. I guess it was time for them to put one up on us."

Great stuff. It's about time the Esks stuck up for themselves off the field, they can't do it on the field at the moment so they might as well do this. I want to see a picture of it though.

go check out www.edmontonsun.ca

it has a picture.. it looks funny

i didnt see it at that link.

i saw a pic of the riders '100 years of pride' billboard, tho.

I gotta be honest... "100 years of pride ... And we're just getting started," is kind of a terrible slogan. :lol:

gotta look around the site. It would be in the Sports section.

The Billboard is less confrontational. I think they're trying to avoid giving the Esks something to use as motivation.

as in the past they had some more confrontational billboards and the Esks used them as motivation to defeat the Riders when clearly the Riders were better.

although I think this year, it may not matter.

...'just getting started', hence the 3 grey cup victories...the rest of the league caught on to the whole purpose decades ago...

hey now, the Stamps only had 2 Grey Cups from 1948 until 1992!.. and even then they only have 6.

they didn't exactly have much success either until Buono came around.

....6, oh yeah, better than 3

...should stick that on a billboard on Albert Street

still, 13 is better than 6!

there's 6 teams currently ahead of you!

Lions are tied with you at 6 as are the Als..

Lions have been around shorter so they have a better winning percentage!

...my eyes just about popped when I first read that

...of course there are better records than my team, that's not the argument....

...this is what I'm talking about:

PS - Hey CFL posters, looking for some awesome MS Paint contract work? References, cheap rates!! Call Now!

:lol: Brilliant!

oh, and for those who haven't seen the billboard, here you go!


Red, you're killing me! :lol:

You're image URL isn't working. Do you have another link?

Haha that's some funny stuff.
The funny thing is rider fans can't come back with anything since they almost never win!

Here is a picture.
BTW more teams should do this. I think the riders started something with the friendly ribbing.
After all, the CFL is a league of rivalries above all.

Anyways: http://tweetphoto.com/36830405

Not bad. :lol:

2 community owned teams... using that "extra" cash on billboards. funny stuff.

works fine for me...

how about this...


or you can see it here http://tweetphoto.com/36830405, or check out http://www.esksfans.com ... it's on the home page. 8)