The almost-completely-green stands played a key role in Sunday's Grey Cup.REGINA—For the third straight season, the team hosting the Grey Cup lifted it, but the effects of a hometown crowd might have been more acutely felt this night than ever. The 44,710 fans in attendance at Mosaic Stadium for Saskatchewan's 45-23 win were mostly clad in Rider green, and they made an earsplitting din that made life extremely hard for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Saskatchewan head coach Corey Chamblin said after the game that the fans were a massive part of the Riders' success against the Tiger-Cats.
"The fans were unreal," he said. "It was unreal. From pregame warmup I knew it was going to be tough for those guys. I looked at them and said I wouldn't want to be in your shoes. That was the best home game we had all year."
Middle linebacker Mike McCullough said he thought the crowd threw the Tiger-Cats off.
"I think it had to," he said. "Coming into this environment, it's not an easy environment to play in. To know all those people 45,000 fans were behind us. I mean, they played unbelievably well, and I wouldn't want to be them having to come into this stadium and play against us."
He said the support the fans gave the Riders really amped up their defence.
"Just to see the fans, and the cheering, it was awesome," McCullough said. "This was just another home game for us, and that's what made it so special."
Running back Kory Sheets, who was named the game's Most Outstanding Player for his 20-carry, 197-yard performance, said the crowd was definitely an edge for the Riders.
"I said before the game started this is not a neutral crowd, this is not a neutral site. Our fans are going to be here rocking and they proved it."
Hamilton quarterback Henry Burris, who had complained about the league's ostensible Riders' bias before the game, had a particularly tough night, with thousands screaming "HEN-RY! HEN-RY!" mockingly during every Tiger-Cats' huddle, and the fans' abuse likely played a role in his performance; while he threw for 272 yards, he finished the night with just 20 completions on 43 attempts (46.5 per cent) with one interception and no touchdowns. Saskatchewan defensive halfback Dwight Anderson played with Burris in Calgary and won a Grey Cup with him in 2008 in Montreal on hostile turf against the hometown Alouettes. Anderson said things were difficult for Burris and the Stampeders' Read More »from Riders’ crowd leads them to home Grey Cup win