Labour Day weekend ‘truly the first time’ Riders’ QB Cody Fajardo missed the CFL in 2020

Photo courtesy: Matt Smith

Having no Labour Day Classic in 2020 hit Saskatchewan Roughriders’ quarterback Cody Fajardo right in the feels.

Fajardo and fellow Riders’ QB Isaac Harker took a holiday weekend break from The Rouge Report Podcast. In a non-COVID-19 world, the pair of pivots would have been in Regina preparing and playing in the prairie showdown.

“Man, we took a Labour Day week off and it was probably one of the hardest weeks for me. That was truly the first time I ultimately missed the CFL, thinking about Labour Day and last year’s Labour Day Classic and everything that it entails,” Fajardo said.

The 2019 edition marked the first time Fajardo started in a Labour Day Classic. With less than three minutes and 30 seconds on the clock, Fajardo led a 10-play, 87-yard drive to set-up Brett Lauther’s game-winning field goal. The Riders edged the rival Bombers 19-17.

Fajardo spent the 2020 holiday weekend in the United States, far away from the prairies.

“It was tough. For me at least, Labour Day has been this big thing in the CFL and now all of a sudden you look around and you’re like, ‘Well, what am I going to do for Labour Day? I usually have my schedule planned,'” Fajardo said.

Harker was the backup to Fajardo a year ago. During his rookie season the 24-year-old quickly embraced the CFL and playing for the Green and White. Even though Harker didn’t take a snap during his first Labour Day Classic, he was dressed and enjoyed the experience of the Labour Day Classic in the Saskatchewan capital.

“You usually have an itinerary with everything you need to do and all the excitement for all the events and the game itself, and them boom, nope,” Harker said.

“I tried to stay off social media as much as I could because everything was just reminding me of it. I was just like, let me just not do that to myself.”