Advertisement

‘Bring Back Gainer’ petition trending online as Riders reveal mascot’s new look

Click to play video '‘Bring Back Gainer’ petition trending online as Riders reveal mascot’s new look' ‘Bring Back Gainer’ petition trending online as Riders reveal mascot’s new look
WATCH ABOVE: Football fans bash Gainer's new makeover.

Many Saskatchewan football fans are up in arms after the CFL franchise revealed Gainer the Gopher’s new look at the Roughriders‘ season home opener against the Toronto Argonauts on Monday.

The beloved mascot appears to have lost some weight as well as received an eye adjustment.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan Rush fan dressed as Hulk faces roadblocks at Calgary Roughnecks game

Some fans are referring to the changes as a botched “gopher facelift.”

“I hate his new look with a passion,” said one fan. “It’s not the traditional Gainer.”

Gainer has been a symbol of the franchise since 1977.

READ MORE: Bombers die-hard in Saskatchewan looking forward to showing his colours with a lawn sign

Story continues below advertisement

The costume is modelled after the Richardson’s ground squirrel, commonly referred to as a gopher in many parts of North America.

In 2006, Gainer was given the jersey No. 13 to symbolize his contributions as the “13th man” on the field.

Although the design of the costume has evolved over the years, Gainer’s newest look is sparking outrage among longtime fans.

The hashtag #BringBackGainer was trending online with some saying the gopher’s new look will “haunt [their] dreams.”

READ MORE: Sinkhole nearly swallows truck in Regina

Others were poking fun at the coincidence a massive sinkhole appeared near Mosaic Stadium before the game that looks like a giant “gopher hole.”

One user created a ‘missing’ ad to try and track down the old mascot.

Another fan has started a petition on change.org calling on the Riders to reverse the changes.

Story continues below advertisement

The petition surpassed more than 1,900 signatures by Tuesday morning.

Gainer continues to be the face of the Riders both at Mosaic Stadium during the football season as well as community events across Saskatchewan throughout the year.