50 of these t-shirts referencing the Regina non-fire were apparently sold in the Rider Store.The best story of this CFL offseason just got better. That, of course, would be the Saskatchewan Roughriders' decision back in November to show a burning Yule log on the Mosaic Stadium video boards, which prompted four Regina residents to call 911 and report a fire at the stadium and made international news everywhere from Deadspin to Sports Illustrated. The Yule log has since been replaced with a more generic "Thank you" message to the team's fans, but it lives on in our memories—and, apparently, in unauthorized t-shirts produced and sold through the team's official Riderville store! From The Regina Leader-Post's David Fraser:
An inside joke that got outside the Saskatchewan Roughrider organization added confusion to an already bizarre story Wednesday.
A picture of a T-shirt dawning the team logo on fire with a caption blazed across the top reading, “I survived the great fire of 2012 at Mosaic Stadium” was tweeted out to the Rider Store’s (@theRiderStore) 1,770 followers.
It was an attempt to forever immortalize the internationally-spread news story about Mosaic Stadium’s video screens displaying a burning yule log, which caused the fire department to respond to phone calls from residents fearing the stadium was going up in smoke.
Wednesday’s befuddlement started when it became unclear whether or not the shirts actually existed, and if they were on sale at the Rider store’s or not.
And here's what Riders' communications manager Ryan Pollack told Fraser:
“It’s just kind of been a joke gone awry. It’s just a joke, they’re not actually being sold in the store,” said Ryan Pollock, manager of communications for the Riders, who added a “handful” of the shirts existed but he was unsure of where they came from or where the idea originated. Pollock couldn’t elaborate on how many a “handful” meant.
Staff at the Mosaic Stadium Rider Store said there were around 50 shirts available, but they had all sold out.
That's amazing. Big props to whoever came up with the idea for the shirts, which is a brilliant one. It's even better that this appears to have been generated within the Riders' organization without the approval of higher-ups. It's unfortunate that the Riders aren't happy with this, though; really, it's hilarious, and it doesn't say anything bad about the organization (except that perhaps those at the lower levels have better senses of humour). It's not their fault at least four Regina residents couldn't tell the difference between a real fire and a video board. Perhaps it's good that these had such a limited run, though! Now they're a rare novelty. To the 50 or so lucky people who got one of these shirts, hang on to them tight! If people question you about your involvement in it, too, you can always crank up the Billy Joel: