Two teams, two sets of season tickets but just one love: the CFL

Every week is CFL Week for dual season ticket holder Dave Hanni.

For the last six seasons Hanni has attended every home game for both the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Calgary Stampeders – unless they’re scheduled on the same day.

Born and raised in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Hanni attended his first Roughrider game at age 20 after getting a radio internship in his hometown, which gave him the “bug” to see more games live.

“I got a radio job in Red Deer in 1999 and that’s when I got my first season tickets to the Calgary Stampeders and I’ve been a season ticket holder ever since,” Hanni says.

Then in November 2010, he moved to Medicine Hat when he was hired as the station manager at 102.1 CJCY.

“I wasn’t going to give up my Stampeders season tickets. I was close enough to Regina and I thought, I like my Stamps season tickets, but now I can get Roughrider ones too because it’s only four hours away,” Hanni explains. “I’ve had the two sets going on seven years this coming season.”

“I don’t have any vices, but football is my thing. I played in high school, junior and senior men’s tackle until I was 40. “It’s a very expensive hobby I have in the summer and into the fall.”

The day the CFL schedule comes out in February is a very important one for Hanni and his family.

“It dictates my summer holidays because football is my thing. When the CFL schedule comes out, I make sure I’ve got the Stampeders home games highlighted in red and Roughriders home games highlighted in green.

“Then I cross-reference to see if there are any conflicts. For example, Week 2 of the season this year there is a Stampeders home game on the Thursday and Riders on Canada Day the first of July – that’s a double weekend, I can do both, so I have a lot of miles on Highway 1 back and forth.”

If there are Stampeder and Rider home games on the same day, how does Hanni decide what to do?

“Green blood flows through my veins. I usually lean towards Roughrider games if there is a conflict. My wife Danna her family is from Calgary, so if we’re going there anyway then I’ll give my Rider tickets away for that week.”

When Calgary and Saskatchewan play against each other the rooting side is clear.

“I’m green all the way whether it’s in Calgary or Saskatchewan,” Hanni says.

Hanni’s fandom for the CFL can best be shown by the trek he made to attend CFL Week. On Tuesday he left work at the radio station at 11:30 a.m., stopped by the house, grabbed his Fun Police uniform and lighted helmet, kissed his wife goodbye, gassed up and hit the road to Regina.

“It was a windy drive that took about two hours from Medicine Hat to Swift Current and about two hours from Swift Current to Regina,” he says.

Hanni got to Regina just short of 5 p.m. and the Roughriders store was open so he popped in and got a new customized Rider jersey with his name on it. Then went back to the parking lot, changed into his Fun Police outfit – detailed in green – and headed into CFL Fan Fest.

“I got Chad Owens’ and Henoc Muamba’s autographs. There was a lot of people that I see at Grey Cups and the tweet up was awesome.”

After enjoying the CFL Week experience it was time to get on the road back at 9 p.m., which got him home soon after 1 a.m. He was up at 7 a.m. for work.

“That’s similar to what I do for Stampeders or Riders mid-afternoon home games. If it’s a late game I’ll get a hotel and go home in the morning.”

Hanni met his favourite Rider player Don Narcisse which made the eight-hour single-day road trip worth the trek for a CFL fix in March.

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