It’s an Alberta bucket list kind of year for me. Lots of things are getting knocked off the list, like visiting Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, hiking Mount Yamnuska and .. seeing the spectacle that is Riderfan in person, at a Stampeders game.
The first time I saw Riderfan in the wild was one afternoon the day after a game at Peters’ Drive In. A rickety old short school bus was pulling out of the lot. It had been overhauled and painted up in the colours of Rider Nation. Love for the team was plastered over the sides, as it struggled out of the parking lot heading east after another loss in Calgary.
But when I was asked by Ford to take their Fusion Hybrid out for a spin and experiencing Green Tailgating, I knew what I had to do… see these little green fans in person for the first time.
I’m not a car guy, I never even test drove the first three cars I bought, I just liked how they looked. So asking me for a technical review of the Ford Fusion Hybrid is a little out of my league. Check out this review from my pal EnviroDad did if you want to know the ins and outs of the car.
I just noticed this: it looks like a beefy Mustang from the side, a classy Aston Martin from the front, and the fact it’s a hybrid means it puts my own small car to shame on fuel economy.
I still find it weird, these push to start cars that purr with a whisper. There is no ignition. You keep your keys in your pocket and press a button to start it up while your foot is on the brake. And it doesn’t make a sound. At least twice I got out of the car with it still running. Because I couldn’t hear or feel a thing.
Back to our Riderfan experience. Before heading out to experience the green guys in real life, we had a green tailgate party with the kids. (Clever tie-in by Ford’s PR agency there, green tailgating in my green/hybrid car before seeing the green riders at McMahon).
According to Ford, large football games and other sporting events can produce up to 63,000 kilograms of (largely unnecessary) waste. As part of an overall commitment to reducing its environmental impact, Ford has put together some easy tips to help make tailgating just a little bit greener.
So we did just that. We tailgated in the garage. And then moved inside when things got windy. Because we’re rookies like that.
When we got to the game, however, we saw the real tailgating in full swing. Huge trucks with flatbeds open, footballs being tossed, grills going, and people smiling. And they were doing it up right too – plastic plates, recycling bags, keeping the place clean. Fans of the Green Riders know how to green tailgate.
Riderfan travels well. We met people from Kelowna, Saskatoon, and Calgary all wearing green and at the game to cheer on their team. Riderfans are like like Newfoundlanders. Fiercely patriotic and love to party. Seeing the way they greeted each other reminded me of being a Canadian traveling in Europe. You have an immediate kinship when you see that friendly flag on foreign soil, and Riderfan was there to make friends.
We saw Oscar, Kermit, and Hulk. We saw kids with green hair and grandpas with green face paint. They had balloons in their hair, watermelons on their heads, kilts, pyjamas, blankets, and boas. Riderfan was there to party.
And it was a fun party – while it lasted. Charlie is 4. A 730p kick-off in a loud, windy stadium pushed his patience. Still, as we walked around the stadium back to our Ford Fusion Hybrid, we heard the stadium erupt in cheers. The Riders had made a big play and scored. Riderfan was happy.
When we got home, Zacharie and I took to more comfortable seats to watch the rest of the game and see things end as they should.
By the end of the night Riderfan would be heading home with a frown. The home team came back with 25 points in the fourth quarter to win.
I didnt see the shortbus at the game this weekend. But I’m sure Riderfan was on it, sad his team had lost, smiling that he had spent the weekend with so many green friends.
Thanks to Ford and their PR Agency for supporting Team Diabetes in exchange for this branded content.