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Newly-minted Saskatchewan Roughriders historian Rob Vanstone displays on a sports-writing profession

For Rob Vanstone, it is the beginning of his second chapter. Little did he know, the primary 36 years of his writing profession can be making ready him for his dream of becoming a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Whereas he will not be seen within the beginning lineup, his new job would be the subsequent neatest thing.

on Feb. 19, the Riders introduced that the famend Regina-based sportswriter and columnist can be becoming a member of the inexperienced and white as its “Senior Journalist and Historian.”

For Vanstone, it was a whirlwind course of, placing an finish to his greater than three-decade profession on the Regina Chief-Publish.

“I am nonetheless not satisfied that at 10 am on Tuesday, I’ll Mosaic Stadium to work. Like that simply appears so surreal to me,” he chuckled whereas talking to CTV Information.

“There’s simply a lot happening in my mind proper now. I really feel like I am six or seven-years-old and it is the evening earlier than Christmas — I am simply that enthusiastic about it.”

In his new function, Vanstone will write in regards to the staff’s exploits on the Riders’ web site.

Vanstone is ecstatic with the prospect of seeing his favourite staff from a wholly new perspective.

“What’s a street journey like, proper? What’s it like getting on a constitution flight with a staff? What’s coaching camp like for a substantial interval away from residence? Will my canine ​​acknowledge me once I get again? I hope so,” he laughed.

Because the Riders’ historian, Vanstone will dive into the archives, whereas ensuring to proceed the staff’s historic file.

“The first operate of a newspaper is to report information, presumably newer than 1946,” he chuckled.

“So I could not wallow in that without end. Now I’ve acquired license to try this full time. It is simply unleashed one thing in me that may be terrifying, however I feel it is also intriguing and thrilling.”


Based on Vanstone, his selection to maneuver on from his job of virtually 40 years was fueled by the necessity for a brand new problem.

“I at all times needed to have one thing that I felt was difficult for me. I felt over the previous couple of months they [the Leader-Post] weren’t getting my greatest anymore. I really feel considerably like I used to be on a little bit of a treadmill,” he informed CTV Information.

“A pal of mine requested me just a few weeks again ‘what’s in your bucket record for the Chief-Publish?’ and I sat there and I used to be completely stumped for a solution. I could not consider one factor that I used to be completely burning to do, that I hadn’t performed already.”

From that dialog, got here an inquiry, which finally led to a job.

“I could not think about even a month in the past, a little bit informal inquiry that I despatched to the Roughriders, earlier than I knew it, it changed into one thing that was a job provide,” Vanstone defined.

“All within the house of seven days and 24 minutes.”


Since beginning on the Chief-Publish within the mid 1980’s, the world of sports activities has modified dramatically.

Nevertheless, in line with Vanstone, the fundamentals of the job he is loved for over 30 years haven’t.

“When it comes all the way down to it, it is no totally different than Might of 1986 once I went and lined my first occasion for the Chief Publish; wheelchair rugby … you continue to go there, you get the knowledge, and also you write it,” he mentioned.

In addition to just a few gigantic leaps in expertise because the mid 1980’s, one main change Vanstone famous was the dynamic between the media and the groups themselves.

“The character of the connection was such that each side actually wanted each other. I do not assume that is essentially the case anymore,” Vanstone defined.

“There’s clearly nonetheless that want for the connection or media and groups would not co-exist in any respect. Groups would simply have their very own bugs that they’d toot,” he chuckled.

“However the media remains to be a part of the equation and it offers a dynamic that I feel is crucial. Nevertheless it’s not the [whole] equation anymore.”


A 36-year profession holds a staggering quantity of recollections.

From his first story about wheelchair rugby to his final in regards to the Regina Pats dealing with off in opposition to the Winnipeg Ice on Feb. 18. — Vanstone has too many to rely.

However there are just a few moments that at all times come to thoughts when he displays on his work.

“It is simply these quiet, little moments. I bear in mind after the Grey Cup in 2013, that is most likely the day that can stand out greater than something,” he mentioned with a smile.

“I am writing so furiously … you are documenting historical past, not solely have the Roughriders received a Grey Cup, they’ve received it at residence for the primary time. That is an angle I by no means thought I’d see rising up right here,” he recalled.

“I lastly acquired the column performed. I could not recite a phrase of it proper now as a result of it is only a blur. And I go searching and there is nothing on the sphere however simply inexperienced and white confetti. Its like, ‘what simply occurred right here?’”

The Riders’ 2013 Grey Cup victory was a excessive level for Vanstone in his profession and as a Riders fan; a fandom that started earlier than he was even born.

“I used this line too usually, however I used to be born in 1964 and I went to my first Rider sport in 1963. My mother was pregnant, and he or she was taking me to video games additional again than I can bear in mind.”

As Vanstone defined, his love of sport could be traced again to the earliest Rider video games together with his mother, Helen, who handed away in 2019.

“It was the day I accepted the job I needed to name her. That was actually essentially the most emotional a part of this. Realizing I can not name my mother and inform her,” he defined.

“That will imply a lot to her. She can be sitting beside me at my desk for the primary seven days,” he mentioned with amusing.


In Vanstone’s final column for the Regina Chief-Publish, he wrote: “There may be far an excessive amount of finality in ‘goodbye.’ ‘Thanks’ is extra agreeable, extra acceptable.”

A sentiment that he reiterated, saying even together with his change of venue, he’ll nonetheless be shut by and can eagerly anticipate a brand new voice to interchange his personal on the Regina information staple.

“I like the Chief-Publish. It and the Roughriders have been simply two establishments in my life. I will by no means lose that love for the newspaper. I actually need to see it do nice issues, because it has at all times been performed,” he mentioned.

“Whoever leads to my chair might be presumably youthful and also will be very, very fortunate and I want all of them one of the best. As a result of as a subscriber I need to benefit from the newspaper as a lot as I’ve ever had.”

Whereas reflecting on his new alternative, Vanstone mentioned he skilled a flurry of feelings. Nevertheless, he mentioned he nonetheless felt the identical pleasure that adopted him for his total profession.

“I by no means actually misplaced that sense of surprise, that sense of appreciation. I am glad that at an expert degree I had that potential to lock in and do what needed to be performed,” he mentioned.

“I am glad that over 36 years I have never misplaced that … It is by no means appeared like a job. It is at all times appeared like an honor.”


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