Scott Bradley hoped his silver dollar would bring the Redblacks good luck, just like the loonies frozen into the ice at the Winter Olympics for Team Canada’s hockey teams.
Back in May 2014 when construction at Lansdowne was in full-swing to ensure the Redblacks’ home at TD Place would be ready for their inaugural season, Bradley, a member of R-Nation, reached out to OSEG and offered up a 1976 coin to be buried at centre field — the year of the last Rough Rider championship.
Much to OSEG’s credit, they ran with it, and held a ceremony that included Bradley, Mayor Jim Watson, Rough Rider legend Gerry Organ and photographers. But what happened at the end of the ceremony might have tainted any luck the coin brought with it.
After being buried, one of the photographers present decided that they didn’t have enough pictures and asked for the coin to be removed for one last shot. Despite objections from some of those present that it would be bad karma to remove it for more pictures, the coin was indeed fully unearthed before being buried again.
Now, is that the reason why the Redblacks boast a sub .500 record (24-33-2) at TD Place? Probably not, but then again, Ottawa’s lack of success playing in front of almost constant sold out crowds is puzzling. For whatever reason, the incredible atmosphere and energy generated by R-Nation’s passion simply hasn’t translated to any tangible home-field advantage.
Despite some of the most iconic moments in franchise’s history occurring at Lansdowne — think Jasper Simmons’ game-sealing interception for the team’s inaugural win; Greg Ellingson’s miraculous touchdown on second and 25 to send Ottawa back to the Grey Cup for the first time since 1981; Kienan LaFrance running roughshod over the Eskimos in the snow to seal another Grey Cup appearance and Trevor Harris’ six touchdown East Final performance — the fact of the matter is that Ottawa has a 40.6 win percentage at home.
That’s far less than ideal.
And even if the 1976 silver dollar isn’t cursed because of what happened when it was buried, the fact that OSEG is replacing the existing turf and installing a new, state-of-the-art surface provides an excellent excuse to try to reverse any curse that might be hanging over the field.
Turf Upgrade Status: Unlocked
— Ottawa REDBLACKS (@REDBLACKS) July 3, 2020
On Tuesday afternoon, OSEG laid a 2016 silver dollar next to their 1976 coin, hoping to channel the good karma of the franchise’s 2016 Grey Cup winning squad. I think I speak for most people in R-Nation when I say I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious and burying the 2016 coin under the turf certainly can’t hurt.
With a new coaching staff, an overhauled roster and a brand new field, adding a lucky coin certainly seems appropriate as the franchise ushers in a new era. Hopefully this time around, those on hand got all the pictures they need before it was buried.