Monday’s Riders home opener will have just about everything for Jon Ryan

As the Saskatchewan Roughriders look for their first win of the 2019 season in their home opener against the Toronto Argonauts on Canada Day, many members of Rider Nation will walk into Mosaic Stadium wearing the number 9 jersey worn by Regina-born punter Jon Ryan.

The 37-year-old was in “The Rider Store” when a fan purchased one of his jerseys this week. It is a jersey which is one of the most popular sellers early in the 2019 season.  He says it is very cool knowing fans are snapping up uniforms with his name and number on it.

“It’s really flattering.” Ryan said on Sunday after the Riders workout. “I take a lot of pride being from Regina, being from Saskatchewan and being Canadian.  It means a lot to me for these people to take pride in that by buying my jersey. It’s pretty cool.”

Ryan is looking forward to what will be his first regular-season game kicking in Regina as a Rider.   After his career with the University of Regina Rams, Ryan spent two years with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers before heading to the NFL where he spent many years with the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.    When he takes the field, there will be many friends and family in attendance.

“I’ll have a ton of family in the house. My wife, Sarah, will see her first ever CFL game and I have friends coming from Seattle and Los Angeles.”Ryan said. “It’s a pretty great  opportunity to show off this great stadium and this franchise but also show off the city of Regina to some people that are not from here.”

While the day is one Ryan will cherish, there is one person who he wishes would be there.   Jon’s father, Bob, died of cancer almost 13 years ago.  Ryan admits his dad would be so excited to see him trot out onto the Mosaic Stadium turf wearing the green-and-white of the Riders.

“I get goosebumps thinking of that.” Ryan said. “I don’t know if he ever would have thought the day would come where I would return from the NFL and kick for the Riders, but somehow I think he knows.   We talked about many things over the year and I think it was a dream of his to see me play for the team, but he just said to go after my dream and chase my goals.  I am thankful for the encouragement he gave me and the direction he steered me in.”

Game time Monday afternoon is 5 o’clock on 620 CKRM.  Our pre-game coverage starts at 2.

 

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