My Friend Rog

5 08 2012

I have always liked the game of football. I had asked early on in my marriage if my ex and I could make our annual anniversary outing a trip over to the mainland to Vancouver to watch a B.C. Lions game. It wasn’t the men in the tight pants that drew me to the game I actually enjoyed watching it. I remember being 18 years old and staying up all night long with a guy friend I had at the time watching games he had taped over and over so that he could explain the rules to me. I don’t like to watch a game if I don’t understand it so an all nighter it was in football rules bootcamp. I don’t profess to know all the rules in fact I probably am a pain in the butt to the person sitting beside me at a game because I ask a lot of questions. Why is that a penalty? Why can’t you grab a player from the opposing teams face mask ? It seems a like a pretty good way to stop a guy by grabbing his mask rather than jumping on him and crushing his bones now doesn’t it?

A very good friend of mine Roger Wade is alumni of the local junior football team here in Victoria. He is a city councilman, has a beautiful wife and 3 children as well as his own business, and when he can coaches baseball. Adding the Title of President of the Westshore Rebels to his already crazy life is something that most people as busy as he would not even consider taking on But Roger is passionate about the game and about this team. When the original teams ownership moved the team to Nanaimo Roger worked tooth and nail to put together another team so that Victoria could still enjoy a good game of football.

Roger has been asking me for the past 7 years to join the board of directors and help him with the team. As with Roger I have always worn a lot of hats in my life and don’t like to take something on unless I know I can take the time to do a good job so every year I have turned him down. This fall he asked me again if I would help out and join the board of directors to help get them organized and whip them in to shape and this time I agreed.

When I first met with Roger about the team and what he needed help with he spoke with such passion and it was immediately apparent that the only reason Roger is involved with The Rebels is that he is passionate not only about the game but about every aspect of the team. It is hard enough being the president of any club let alone one that is responsible for giving up to 65 young men between the ages of 18-21 the opportunity at a scholarship or a career in the CFL or NFL. I have known many presidents of associations or clubs that are merely figureheads and leave the actual day to day operations to other board member or simply delegate to volunteers. Not Big Rog, he has his fingers in every single part of this team from the 50/50 sellers to dealing with the local media.

Tonight was the season opener for the Westshore Rebels. It was a 7:00 game against their arch rivals the Nanaimo Raiders. It was still 30 degrees , sunny and hot at the stadium at game time. Most people would expect that the President would be sitting in the Team Suite enjoying a beer waiting for the game to start. Roger was down on the field mic in hand welcoming everyone to the game and thanking everyone who has volunteered and the fans for coming out on such a beautiful night. He stood on the field and watched proudly as the team was announced and it seemed like he felt that each of the young men were his own. Once the game started he was making sure all of his guests in the suite were enjoying themselves, searched for sponsors he did not know so he could introduce himself and personally thank them for spending their hard earned money to support his team.

While I was in the suite I noticed for the first time a plaque on the wall that honoured Rog as the volunteer for the year for the league a few years back. A very fitting honour for a man who gives so much to this team. I am convinced that the only reason he does not receive it every year is that they have to change it up once in awhile.

This is Rogers birthday weekend and I am sure the boys on the field and the coaching staff were hoping to give Big Rog the gift of a win on opening night but it wasn’t in the cards. The boys lost 44-14 but because of my friend Roger Wade hundreds of fans were able to enjoy a great game of football out on the Westshore in Victoria.

Happy Birthday Rog!!



One response

5 08 2012
Jacquie Ker

I remember that night you stayed up all night watching and learning FOOTBALL ❤

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