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Gainer the Gopher is the mascot of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, a Canadian Football League team. The Gainer costume is modelled after the Richardson's Ground Squirrel, commonly referred to as a "gopher" in many parts of North America. He is from Parkbeg. Gainer, whose name is an anagram of "Regina", made his first appearance in 1977 and has been entertaining Rider fans ever since. In 2006, Gainer was given the jersey number 13, symbolizing his contributions as the "13th man" on the field. Prior to this, he wore the jersey number 1/2. He also has two cousins named Leonard and Goof that usually only appear at Roughrider home games
Gainer continues to be an ambassador for the Riders both at Mosaic Stadium during the football season and at community events all over Saskatchewan throughout the year.
Gainer was first 'played' by Don Hewitt; of Regina, SK, in 1977. Don Hewitt is currently a reporter and on-air personality with CTV Regina
Controversies[edit | edit source]
Gainer was banned from attending the November 5, 2006, playoff game versus the Calgary Stampeders at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alberta to prevent him from rallying the thousands of Roughrider fans that attended the game. Due to fan outrage, Stampeders Officials lifted the ban but barred Gainer from on field. Despite this the Roughriders won the game by a score of 30–21.
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