I’ve been to close to 200 pro lacrosse games over the last 14 years. In that time, I’ve seen some weird things: a player sent off the floor by the referee because he was wearing Nike shoes instead of Reeboks, a player step on another player’s back while walking back to the bench, goalies fighting with non-goalies, the list goes on. The funniest was probably the time a goalie (Anthony Cosmo) made a save, then picked up the ball and while deciding which teammate to pass it to, didn’t notice the ball slowly roll out of his stick and bounce into the net. The guy who got credit for the goal was already sitting on the bench when it went in.
Given all that, it’s a little surprising that the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen at a sporting event comes from the world of football.
I’m not a football guy. I don’t mind watching the odd CFL game on TV but I don’t really pay much attention to the league in general, and I never watch the NFL. But I’ve been to a couple of Argos games over the years and one Tiger-Cats game too. It was at an Argos game at Skydome a bunch of years ago that this particular event occurred.
It’s not a long story, so don’t blink.
The Argos were playing the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and at some point during the game I heard a chorus of male voices chanting “Here we go Riders, here we go! <clap> <clap> Here we go Riders, here we go! <clap> <clap>” I remember noticing not only because the Riders were the away team, but because I’m used to hearing that chant as “Let’s go <team>, let’s go” rather than “Here we go <team>, here we go”. I figured it was a Saskatchewan thing.
I looked around for the group of Roughrider fans that made the trip to Toronto, or perhaps a group of Saskatchewan ex-pats living in Toronto, but couldn’t find any. Then I realized what was happening.
It was a recording.
The sound was coming directly from the Roughrider bench. They were playing a recording of people chanting “Here we go Riders”, presumably to get their team pumped up.
I’m no pro athlete but I would imagine that playing in front of thousands of people cheering for you or your team can indeed get you pumped. But that’s because of the people themselves and their obvious passion and enthusiasm, not the sounds that they are making. Were the coaches or whoever trying to fool the players into believing they were in Regina and those sounds they heard we the rabid Roughies fans cheering them on? Did they honestly think that would work?