Tue Jun 28 05:34pm EDT
While quite humourous on its own, it's worth pointing out that the Saskatchewan Roughriders' cereal celebrating quarterback Darian Durant is a long way from the wackiest promotion they've ever done. A strong contender for that title is their 1988 music video, Eleven That's Enough (found via Twitter user @MouradB). Here it is:
Put together by Rob Bryanton and Don Hewitt of CKCK TV in Regina, that video features a legendary cast of vocalists: noted receiver Don Narcisse (whose career is quite applicable to the current Roughriders), defensive back Harry Skipper, defensive back Mike "Scooter" McGruder (who went on to a famed NFL career) and defensive back Glen Suitor, who many today probably know more for his work as a TSN analyst (the role he's pictured in at the top of the post) than his memorable career with Saskatchewan. The combination of rock, rap, electric guitar, drum machines, video highlights, repeated audio clips and 1980s hairstyles simply has to be seen to be believed.
The point of the song's titular reference was the Roughriders' 11-year absence from the playoffs, and it did turn out to be quite enough. In 1976, the team won the West Final but lost in the Grey Cup to the Ottawa Rough Riders, the last recorded act of Roughrider-on-Rough-Rider violence in the Grey Cup. They then went on to miss the playoffs for 11 straight seasons, never finishing better than fourth in the West during that time and only finishing above .500 once (when they put up a record of 9-7 in 1981). That led to this being recorded in 1988, and much like the Chicago Bears' famed Super Bowl Shuffle, it worked; the Riders went 11-7 that year and made the playoffs for the first time since 1976. However, they lost in the West Semi-Final to the B.C. Lions.
Full success would have to wait for another year, when Saskatchewan went 9-9 in the regular season but blazed a path through the Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos before taking down the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the iconic 1989 Grey Cup. Skipper, Suitor and Narcisse were all around for that, but McGruder had already left for the NFL. The video he helped record lives on, though, and it sets a promotional legacy that's going to be tough to top for today's Roughriders.