ruffy prez calls eskimos the EVIL EMPIRE

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It's becoming almost as famous a year in Canadian sports as 1967, the year Toronto last won the Stanley Cup.

It was 1988. The last time Saskatchewan played host to a playoff game.

Tom Shepherd was the president of the Roughriders back then.

"We have two kinds of season ticket holders in Saskatchewan. Half our fans go back to Ron Lancaster and George Reed. The other half have never witnessed a playoff game in Taylor Field. Half our fans don't even believe there is such a thing."

Shepherd is the ultimate representative of the stubble jumpers. He's as big a fan as there is and has raised $9.5 million running the Roughriders lottery since his term of president to keep the team in the province.

"I'm the last president to have a home playoff game and I'm the last president to win the Grey Cup," he said.

"We've been to two Grey Cups and won one since we had that home playoff game. So much is made of 1988 and that home playoff game, people forget this team hadn't even made the playoffs since 1976 before that."


Despite an Eskimo win and Rider loss this past weekend, hope of Saskatchewan ending the drought will be the storyline when the combine pilots cross the border for Saturday's game in Commonwealth Stadium.

If the Riders defeat the Eskimos, the two teams will be tied, each with two games remaining. In the event they stayed tied in the standings, Saskatchewan would finish ahead of Edmonton.

If the Riders lose, it's 34 straight seasons in the playoffs for the Esks and Saskatchewan couldn't finish second.

"Normally Saskatchewan fans have only two types of emotion," says Shepherd.

"It's either the end of the world or we're going to the Grey Cup. When we had that five-game losing streak earlier in the year it was the end of the world. When we turned it around and had the five-game winning streak, we were going to the Grey Cup."

This week, leading up to the game in Edmonton, Shepherd says they're not quite sure if it's the end of the world or if they're going to the Grey Cup.

"One thing we all agree on is that was the worst trade in the history of football," he said of the Eskimos getting Dan Comiskey and Troy Davis from Hamilton.

"All of a sudden that trade makes Edmonton a contender again. They weren't, really, in my eyes, until they did this deal. Now you'd have to rank them stronger than B.C..

"Up until last weekend, everybody around here thought we were going to finally have that home playoff game again. Now ...

"That trade is sensational for Edmonton. They replaced their worst offensive lineman with an all-star and they not only came up with a running back who could give them the ground game they didn't have, but the guy can block, too.

"They fixed their team.

"It was the worst trade in the history of football.

"I called Rick LeLacheur and asked him how he could sleep at night after making that trade.

"He said 'very, very well.' It's just another reason why the people over here call them the Evil Empire.


"I have a love/hate thing with Edmonton personally. But most of our fans just have a hate.

"The Eskimos are in the playoffs every year and almost always have a home playoff game. And we're always scrapping to make the playoffs and never have playoff games at home.

"It seems like this team just can't win at Commonwealth Stadium in the regular season.

"But some of our biggest victories have been playoff victories over there. Like in 1989.

"The Eskimos were 16-2. That was a bigger victory in many ways than winning the Grey Cup the next weekend.

"We beat a great Eskimo team and it wasn't just luck."


The Roughriders, of course, came back and beat the Eskimos to return a week later for the 1997 'Party In Your Parka' Grey Cup game in Edmonton.

You may remember Sheppard as the guy on the front of the bicycle-built-for-12 he entered in that Grey Cup parade.

"Maybe the loser of this game will finish fourth in the West, go through the East on the crossover rule, and meet the other team in the Grey Cup. Now, wouldn't that be a great way to celebrate the 100th birthdays of both provinces?"

Shepherd says he might save six of the seats on his bicycle-built-for-12 for Edmonton guys if that happened.

The world is coming to an end.

This guys an idiot. Most of the analysts around the league are naming Hamilton as the winner of the trade.

Anyway, maybe it's time for the Rider organization to stop making excuses and start focusing on how they can improve their club. They should use the Eskimos as an example of how to build a winning organization.

its funny how he sums up all the sask fans on this forum…when they win, all the fans brag about this being thier GREY CUP year…hahahahaha

I like how you guys single in on one thing in his post. The artyicle is not about Edmontoin being an evil empire, its about trying to get a home playoff game. Way to spin it guys, real objective.

And as far as the trade goes he is right, just ask any lion, stamp or rider fan.

They only need to be objective when they're discussing their own teams, or something else. When it comes to rider fans, we're all the same, and we're all stupid morons that brag and complain about the refs.

BTW, drumming_god, how many times do we have to bring up that we're not ALL the same. Every team has the fans that talk trash all the time, and ones that don't. Don't try to pretend that it's only Rider fans.

EE, tell me of one, just one, analyst that is saying Hamilton won this trade..... they'll try to spin it to say that Hamilton didn't get ripped off, but seriously, how can you even begin to say that Hamilton "won" the trade??

I thought Hughie was wearing the Mask when he pulled off this trade. Edmonton definately got the best of this trade.

The only analyst that I found that says that Edmonton didn't steal this trade was the playmaker (if you can consider him an analyst).

And in the article the Roughrider president didn't call the Eskimos an evil empire, he said the Rider fans call the Eskimos organization an evil empire.

For the most part, I have agreed very very little with anything the playmaker has said. Last year, he wasn't so bad, but now I really don't see where he's coming from most of the time.

I wonder if part of the reason we have an "us against the world" mentality is that at times, we all get lumped together, so we might as well go around being idiots if that's what people expect.

The only peple who said Hamilton came out ahead were those who knew Hamilton could not afford Davis's salary next season SO THEY TRADED HIM AND GOT SOMETHING INSTEAD OF WAITING TILL THE END OF THE SEASON - LOSING HIM TO FREE AGENCY AND GETTING NOTHING. This is another example of how the wealthy teams have a decided advantage. Davis is a HUGHE gain for the Eskimos. It probably makes them the favouites to win the west. However, MY RIDERS HAVE GRIT AND THE GREATEST FANS IN THE COUNTRY ON THEIR SIDE. EVEN THOUGH WE MAY BE UNDERDOGS, THE POOR COUSINS, THE GUYS FROM THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS - YOU CANNOT BUY HAEART AND ;LOYALTY!

RIDER PRIDE NATION WIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Boo Hoo Turkeynuts.
You guys could afford a key player.
There is money in the Riders bank.
Just stupid Shivers does not want to spend a dime.
It is not a money issue.Riders have the money.

LoL all rider fans do is complain about the other teams, and then claim to be the best fans in the world, then after that they will go find the biggest pile of crap they can get there hands on, and god knows there is plenty of crap in saskbush, and proceed to throw it on there veterans home. ya, thats classy.

I couldn't agree with you more GoEsksGo.
However the only crap there in Saskabush.Is the riders,and anything to do with politics.Calvert is full of crap.
O.K. the roads are crap.
People are great.Not the brightest.However they are great.

Wow do you got us pegged. I still remember that day where every single Rider fan got together and threw crap on his driveway.

Yep he sure does.
It was nice to see some rider fans put on a appreciation(SP) party for Paul after that stunt.
I heard they got the banjos out.
Over a hundred couples there.All in love.All related too.
That shows the love of Saskatchewan.

Speaking of class GoEsksGo saying that someones province is full of crap is quite classy itself, don't you think?

Hey I called everyone from Saskabush a redneck.Does that mean I am one.It sure does!!!!

Just curious what your definition of redneck is?

Lets put it this way.
All rider fans are related to me.
Grade five you have a prom.
Your home is attached to your truck.
Must I go on.

That's a pretty blanket statement. I suspect that other provinces have these Rednecks as well.