The Yule log on Mosaic Stadium's video boards prompted 911 calls.It's time for another instalment in the "only in the CFL" file, and this time, we have the Saskatchewan Roughriders to thank. You see, with their season long over, the Riders decided to use Mosaic Stadium's fancy video boards to display a holiday message to their fans. They opted to go with a long-running tradition, and one you can find on many television channels at this time of year; a burning Yule log. The only problem? The Riders made the log look just a little bit too realistic, prompting plenty of locals to think the stadium was actually on fire. From the CBC:
For weeks, the cheery image of the burning log was displayed on the video scoreboard at the Saskatchewan Roughriders home venue west of the downtown.
The flaming log was also shown on banner screens across the stands.
The problem was, from a distance some people thought the stadium was on fire — there were four frantic calls to 911 in the past few weeks.
Deputy fire chief Gerard Kay said the callers were very descriptive, reporting "a very bright flame. In some cases the smell of smoke."
Clearly, someone should have brought in Basil Fawlty to tell the department "Is no fire! Is only drill!"
Oh well, at least this didn't do any damage to the stadium, unlike the $4,000 vandalism spree a bunch of kids aged 8-14 went on back in 2011. Still, it's a hilarious story, and it's apparently prompted the Riders to change their video boards to a more generic "thank you" message to fans. It's not the first time video boards at a CFL venue have proved controversial, either; the three giant video screens outside B.C. Place, home to the CFL's Lions and the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer, have drawn plenty of complaints from neighbours. Video screens are only going to become a bigger and bigger part of the CFL experience in the next few years as the league focuses on attracting fans to games, but as these stories show, you have to be careful how you use them. Otherwise, what's intended as holiday cheer turns into the fire department getting overworked...