Weyburn's bid to earn the right to officially be called "Riderville" was a success, despite the fact that honour was given to Avonlea by the judging committee for the contest.
A success? How can that be?, some Rider fans may be wondering, especially the many, many fans who went all out to show their heart and soul belongs to the Green-and-White.
Even though our city was a runner-up, one has to consider this question first: What was this all about anyway?
As the Roughriders are marking their 100th year as a team, they set up this contest to see where the greatest Rider fans live, outside of the big cities of Regina and Saskatoon; first, Weyburn made the cut out of a sizable list to be one of the top five finalists, so that alone shows we're doing fairly well in that department.
The bottom line is, we were showing where the best Rider fans reside, and the beneficiaries are the Riders team, who are doing not too badly so far this season. Unlike in other CFL centres, here in Saskatchewan the Roughies are the province's team; they truly belong to all of us, and the fan base is just enormous.
This is quite evident anytime the Riders have a game in Calgary, or Winnipeg or even Edmonton. The sea of green is huge, even in these other stadiums, because "Rider Nation" is known Canada-wide as the greatest boosters of this football team of any CFL franchise - and in part, that is why this team is still around, celebrating their 100th birthday, when other teams have sunk and closed up or were sold to another city.
Secondarily, as we were a top-five finalist, Weyburn still gets $2,500 to go towards minor sports, in this case, to Minor Football. It's not quite the sweetness of the $25,000 first-place prize, but it's still a good boost for the football program, particularly as they seek to build a new field, possibly on the Comp sports grounds.
Thirdly, I think Weyburn became a better and more united community as a result of this contest. During the height of the Riderville campaign, people in businesses and as individual home owners were all displaying their Rider loyalty, and at the two public events, the public came out in huge numbers to throw their support behind the community's efforts.
Weyburn as a whole won out, and our young athletes will have some benefit of it - so, on the whole, I would say we came out pretty well, and we had fun besides, and will continue to as the Riders enter the crucial part of the schedule towards playoffs. Go Riders Go!