Ryan Dinwiddie hopes Rider Nation will cheer for Toronto Argonauts in 109th Grey Cup

Photo: AP/Jeff McIntosh

The 109th Grey Cup in Regina is technically a neutral site game but Toronto Argonauts’ head coach Ryan Dinwiddie is hopeful that his team will garner the favour of Rider Nation.

“I’m hoping that all the local fans around here aren’t selling their tickets to everybody in Winnipeg, we understand that’s probably going to be the case. There’s gonna have to be silent cadence, potentially, we’ve gotta practice that. But you would hope that the Regina fans, if they go to the game, they’re gonna potentially be rooting for us,” he told the media on Wednesday.

Fans in Winnipeg have garnered a reputation for being the loudest in the CFL. The West Final featured a crowd of over 30,000 and it was heard early and often, disrupting the B.C. Lions on offence. This became particularly apparent late in the game as the visiting team managed to run only three plays in the final minute while struggling to communicate.

O’Shea has previously indicated that he hopes fans will travel to Regina to create a “home crowd” though he wants his team to be prepared regardless of what the noise level is come Sunday.

“We talk about our fan base at home and it makes it difficult on other teams, so you’d think I’d say the same thing about other stadiums, but I don’t know that we ever talk about being on the road and being in a hostile environment except for maybe Labor Day where you’ve gotta practice some different snap counts. Other than that, we don’t really treat it differently,” he said.

“I wouldn’t look at success at Mosaic as anything other than we had a good week of preparation and we plan to be successful wherever we’re playing be it the stadium, the parking lot, the backyard.”

Dinwiddie’s team hit the practice field for the first time in Regina on Wednesday morning and plans to ensure that his team is prepared for all circumstances. They opted to practice outdoors all week to get acclimatized to the elements and may incorporate crowd noise as the week goes on.

“For us as a football club, you never know what you’re gonna see,” said the second-year head coach. “Let’s prepare for crowd noise, do what we need to do but we don’t get caught up too much in that.”

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.