After last weekend’s Grey Cup matchup between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats (a 45-23 victory for Saskatchewan), the Roughriders took out a full-page ad in the Hamilton Spectator Tuesday to “tip our hats” to a worthy opponent.
And the Ontario city seems to have appreciated the gesture. On Wednesday, the following letter to the Spectator appeared in print.
On Tuesday, I woke up to read The Hamilton Spectator with my morning coffee and was pleasantly surprised and moved to see a full-page ad with a picture of a handsome young man decked out in Saskatchewan Roughrider gear with a thumbs up, Rider Nation behind him and a headline that reads: LET’S SHAKE and “today, our fans want to shake your hands.”
The message from Saskatchewan Roughriders president Jim Hopson and chair Roger Brandvold was rooted in empathy and understanding, no doubt. Most importantly, it truly illustrates great leadership in understanding that great sportsmanship is demonstrated before, during and after the game, after all the hoopla has subsided.
Naturally, Ticat nation, disappointed as it is, will grow stronger. Our mayor will wear the Roughrider jersey at the next council meeting while the Saskatchewan flag flies at City Hall. The Roughriders’ kind gesture makes it easier as our disappointment turns to admiration. So when Mayor Bob Bratina puts on their jersey, I too, will wear green as a sign of respect and good will and I urge my fellow Hamiltonians to do the same.
As coach Vince Lombardi once said, “After all the cheers have died down and the stadium is empty, after the headlines have been written, and after you are back in the quiet of your room and the championship ring has been placed on the dresser and after all the pomp and fanfare have faded, the enduring thing that is left is the dedication to doing with our lives the very best we can to make the world a better place in which to live.”
The City of Hamilton congratulates you not only on the Grey Cup victory but for your classy example of great character and leadership. You have made the world, at least in Hamilton, a better place in which to live. We look forward to seeing you next season, in our new Tim Hortons Field. Just don’t expect any doughnuts with green icing.
JOSEPH BAIARDO, MOUNT HOPE
It’s nice to remember that ad space is a communication tool, and that not every full pager needs to shill products.