© Scott Anderson
Roughriders alumni Roger Aldag spoke during the Grey Cup 100 Train Tour stop in Swift Current.
Southwest football fans had a chance to get an up close look at the Grey Cup, but Canadian Football League Hall of Famer Roger Aldag reminded the Rider faithful how hard the cup is to win.
The Grey Cup stopped in Swift Current as part of the Grey Cup 100 Train Tour, with Saskatchewan Roughriders alumni Aldag featured during ceremonies during the train's four hour visit.
"Like I've always said, the 17 years that I played, I really realized how hard this Cup is to win. When you look at our franchise, we're going on to 101 years now, and only winning three Grey Cups. It's a tough, tough Cup to win," Aldag said.
As a long time CFL fan, he recalls watching his brother Barry Aldag playing with the Riders and reaching the Grey Cup in 1972, only to lose the Grey Cup to Hamilton on a final play field goal by Ian Sunter.
When Aldag dressed as a rookie offensive lineman in 1976 and played a roll in helping the Riders reach the Grey Cup that season, only to lose to the Ottawa Rough Riders when Tony Gabriel hauled in "The Catch" from Tom Clements in the final minute.
"That Grey Cup is a tough, tough Cup to win. I was very fortunate in 1989 when we won the Grey Cup. To bring it back to all you great people in the Southwest, and the province of Saskatchewan, was a big thrill."
Aldag, who was wearing his Grey Cup ring to show to fans, was an eight time Western All-Star and a five time CFL All-Star during his playing career. The pride of Gull Lake also boasts winning a pair of Schenley Awards as the Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman in 1986 and 1988.
While he enjoyed participating in Wednesday's festivities, Aldag did not venture too close to the coveted Grey Cup.
"That was close enough," he said of his standing near the Grey Cup while speaking on stage to a crowd of fans. "It's kind of an unwritten law, as alumni or a player, you don't touch the Grey Cup unless you win it. So I respect that. But I just think it's just great to see people lined up to get their picture taken with it."