It’s the little things in life that make it all worthwhile and for Bo Levi Mitchell, there is no greater pleasure than sticking it to Rider Nation.
As the Calgary Stampeders lined up for a walk-off game-winning field goal to notch their second straight victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders, their star quarterback admitted he looked away from the field to soak in the dumb-founded faces of the 13th man as they attempted to comprehend what was happening.
“Silencing in the crowd is huge,” Mitchell grinned post-game. “When Renee takes that [kick], just to look at a crowd and they’re all kind of like ‘wait, what the hell just happened these last few games?’ It’s big.”
The Stampeders walked away with a 22-19 victory and are now nipping at the Riders’ heels for second in the West, a fact that is not lost on Mitchell. His rivalry with the the Rider fanbase — and occasionally their broadcasters — has been well documented and he never misses a chance to walk into Mosaic Stadium and effect the standings in his team’s favour.
“I don’t think there’s anything better in football. It’s a great football atmosphere. I imagine it’s like playing in the old Raiders’ stadium. No matter who you are, they’re throwing beer bottles at you and that you kind of thing. Not here obviously, but there,” Mitchell chuckled, walking his comments back slightly lest he give the prairie faithful any ideas.
“There’s no better atmosphere than to be somewhere where nobody likes you. This is what they love. They have football, like this is their thing, and to be able to come out and get a win, man, it’s just the funnest [sic] thing there is.”
The Stamps and Riders will meet again in two weeks, with major playoff implication, but this time it will be back in the comfort of McMahon. Home field advantage will help Calgary, but maybe not as much as they previously thought. In Mitchell’s view, Mosaic was loud this last game, but not loud enough to effect their game-plan.
“I think the guys really handled it well. I expected to be a little bit tougher on those guys, so I was very impressed with a lot of the receivers, the o-line and obviously our running game there,” he said.
You can be certain that those in watermelon helmets will take those words to heart.