The Saskatchewan Roughriders are using Andrew Harris’ remark for bulletin board material ahead of the Labour Day Classic in their own way. Head coach Craig Dickenson doesn’t see Harris’ comments as inflammatory.
“Whatever gets guys motivated we’ll try to find a way to use. I read that the other day. I’m sure that’s Winnipeg’s motivation coming in, they want to turn this place into a quiet little place. Our motivation is the opposite, we want to get people excited and cheering for good things,” Dickenson said.
“What he says is accurate, that is a rewarding feeling when you’re a team on the road and we’re hoping they don’t feel that way on Sunday. He’s got a lot of street cred. He’s played in a lot of games. And I’m sure what he says is what they’re talking about over there in that locker room.”
The veteran running back was ineligible to participate in the rivalry game last season due to a two-game suspension. Winnipeg lost the matchup — they’ve only won once on Labour Day Weekend since 2005 — but beat the Riders in the Banjo Bowl the following week by 25 points.
“Every once in a while you scratch your head, but the reality is that’s the beauty of the CFL. It’s very much a player-driven and fan-driven league, we encourage our players to interact and say what’s on their minds. I’ve got no problem with that and I’ve got great respect for Andrew,” Dickenson said.
Dickenson likes the back and forth banter from players on each side and isn’t worried about anyone putting their foot in their proverbial mouth. Rider defensive end, the CFL’s sack leader with five coming into the weekend, Jonathan Woodard was given the chance to reply after a recent workout at Mosaic Stadium in Regina.
“No response at the moment. We’ll let our play speak for itself,” Woodard said.
The pre-boxing match style hype has added an element of intrigue for the first tilt between the prairie rivals since the 2019 West Final.