End of a love affair: Rider Nation’s breakup letter to Cody Fajardo

Photo: Bob Butrym/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders appear to be headed for an ugly breakup with franchise quarterback Cody Fajardo after Mason Fine was named the starter for Saturday’s critical game against the Calgary Stampeders.

Breaking up is hard to do, so I’ve taken the liberty of writing a letter on behalf of Rider Nation to help process the impending split. Feelings have a tendency to eat at us when we try to bottle them up inside. Instead, it’s best for all parties to communicate openly and honestly to assist in the process of healing and growth.

Dear Cody,

It is with deep regret and a heavy heart that we write you this letter, but we must be honest and sincere.

Certain events have put us in a different place and while it is one of the more difficult decisions that we’ve had to make, it is the right one.

The purpose of this letter is to end our relationship with you, Cody.

We know we’ve been hard on you lately. But it’s because you’ve changed.

Things were great in the beginning. That first year in 2019, you gave us all a bright future to look forward to.

We were just about ready to give up on ever finding our ‘Mr. Right’ at quarterback when Zach Collaros went down and another year of that great Chris Jones-built defence was going to go to waste.

Then along you came. You lifted our spirits and gave us hope.

You not only gave us Rider fans our third quarterback West Division nominee for Most Outstanding Player in the last 50 years, joining the dynamic Kerry Joseph and great Ronnie Lancaster, but you also gave us our greatest passing season in a decade, rivalling the best season from the magnificent Darian Durant.

You munched on corndogs and looked oh so happy to be one of us with a smile that only Henry Burris could top.

You took a mediocre receiving corps, aging O-line and suspect play-calling and made them all great.

You made chicken salad out of chicken sh– uh, stuff.

You gave us our best win total in 49 years, Cody!

We even forgave you for hitting the crossbar and losing to Winnipeg in the West Final.

But you’ve changed since the pandemic.

We’re now in different places.

When you struggled in Calgary, you blamed your receivers.

At the West Final in Winnipeg last year, you couldn’t score more than 17 points when your defence and special teams gave you six takeaways.

As your offensive line struggled this year, you struggled along with it.

You stopped making chicken salad.

We want to say it’s not you, it’s us. But we did wait patiently through the last four home games and you never did give us that spark.

We’re sorry that things couldn’t have been better between us.

We will still fondly think of you and the time we spent together under the moonlit nights at Mosaic Stadium.

All good things must come to an end and as we go our separate ways, we think this is for the best.


Rider Nation

Brendan McGuire has covered the CFL since 2006 in radio and print. Based in Regina, he has a front-row view of Rider Nation.