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Eskimos stoke rivalry with radio ads calling Roughrider fans ‘horrible’ and ‘irritating’

Saskatchewan Roughriders' Macho Harris, right, fails to block a pass to the Edmonton Eskimos' Cary Koch, during second half CFL football game action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday, August 24, 2013.
Saskatchewan Roughriders' Macho Harris, right, fails to block a pass to the Edmonton Eskimos' Cary Koch, during second half CFL football game action in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday, August 24, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Ulan

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Eskimos are taking their rivalry with the Saskatchewan Roughriders to the radiowaves ahead of their much-anticipated Friday match-up.

The first of two spots goes like this:

“You know that guy. The irritating Saskatchewan Roughriders fan. Sorry, that’s redundant. The Saskatchewan Roughriders fan.

“He’s loud, obnoxious, and somehow manages to brag about his team winning a dominant four championships – in just over a century. That guy.

“Well, he’s going to the Eskimo game this Friday, and you should go too. To watch his entire world crumble around him.”

The second ad is half as long, but still packs a punch.

“The Saskatchewan Roughriders have fantastic fans. Even if they are horrible human beings. They’re all coming to Commonwealth this Friday. Taste their delicious tears.”

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Despite an outcry from some Eskimos fans accusing the team of going too far, the organization isn’t apologizing for the ads. VP of Communications Allan Watt says their goal was to reach younger fans and get them to buy tickets to the game.

“The radio stations that they listen to are edgier, and that was why we went that way. We were hoping that people would see the satire in it. And I think most of them did,” Watt said.

“There are no…horrible human beings in Regina,” he added. “I have relatives there myself.”

Advertising expert Dana DiTomaso, who herself is a Tiger-Cats fan, thinks the ads were “effective sports smacktalk advertising.”

“You don’t just want to flat out want to insult somebody, you want to make it a little bit funny. And I think that the ads do a good job of that, which is why it’s like ‘that part may be crossing the line, but the rest of it’s pretty funny so it’s okay.'”

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Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall is not impressed, though. He posted his response on Facebook and Twitter Wednesday, saying “Really Esks? Now you need our help to sell tickets?”

The Eskimos’ have also been turning to social media to sell game tickets.

“Tickets are selling rapidly,” Watt said, “and I’m understanding that Edmonton is almost out of watermelons so things must be working.”

Friday’s game will be the first of three late-season meetings between the two rivals. It will decide which of the two earns second place in the west.

Saskatchewan bought the billboard outside Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium leading up to Friday’s game, something advertising expert Dana DiTomaso thinks is another great marketing strategy. Global News

READ MORE: Riders, Eskimos kick off important stretch

Rivalries aside, the Esks also hope to ‘tackle hunger’ at the game by asking fans to bring non-perishable items or cash donations for the Edmonton Food Bank to the game.

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“We hope our contribution kickstarts a wave of support from our fans in a game that has the potential to be the largest crowd of the year across the entire CFL,” said Eskimos President and CEO Len Rhodes.

So which team has the best fans?

Show us how far you’ve gone to show your team pride, whether it’s for the Riders or the Esks. Tweet a photo and tag @globaledmonton or email it to edmonton@globalnews.ca. We’ll share the best pictures we get.

And be sure to tune in to Global Edmonton’s News Hour at 6 p.m. on Friday, for our special broadcast from Commonwealth Stadium as we count down to the big game.

Listen to both full ads below:

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