Darian Durant could teach Cody Fajardo how to handle boos from Riders fans

Photo: AP/Jeff McIntosh & CFL. Photo editing: 3DownNation.

Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo draws comparisons to Darian Durant, the man who led the Riders to their Gray Cup championship in 2013, but not in a very flattering way.

Some nearly a decade-old comments from Durant are attracting new attention in response to Fajardo’s post-game press conference following Friday night’s disappointing loss to the Edmonton Elks at Mosaic Stadium.

After fans booed their displeasure, the 30-year-old quarterback was clearly unnerved on the podium and made no attempt to hide his disappointment.

“I’ll be honest, hearing your own fans booing wasn’t great,” Fajardo said.

“Especially when you’re home we need a great energy and a good crowd and I’ll always tell you guys the honest truth and it hurts. But we scored at the end and gave (Rider fans) something to celebrate at the end and unfortunately couldn’t make it happen. But (that loss to Edmonton) was tough because I felt like a lot of people gave up on us.

About nine years earlier, Durant was questioned about being booed after a game he and his Roughrider teammates played won. When asked if it shook the team, he had a very different answer.

“Not at all,” said Durant Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leaders post on Aug. 17, 2013 after a 24-21 win over the Montreal Alouettes.

“The fans want perfection. I’ve been here for eight years and I’ve often been booed. It’s nothing new. Of course it’s not something you want to hear, but at the same time you understand why. If you don’t want to hear it, just go out and do plays and give them something to cheer about.”

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The 2013 Roughriders were then 6-1 and finished second in the West Division topped off by a Gray Cup win at their home field – their only championship won at old Taylor Field.

The 2022 Roughriders, on the other hand, are 6-8 in fourth place in the West and are beginning to come to terms with a playoff berth on the back of five straight home losses.

As in 2013, the Roughriders will host the Gray Cup again this year, but the likelihood of further similarities between this year’s juggernaut and this year’s disappointment is rapidly diminishing. Comparing the starting quarterbacks for these two teams doesn’t seem flattering either.

One of them, Darian Durant, will almost certainly be a castle for the Plaza of Honor one day. The other, Cody Fajardo, has a long way to go before being considered for such an anchor.

It is unknown if Fajardo ever spoke to Durant or asked his advice. If so, all indications are that Darian would have advised Cody to handle the boo birds differently than he did on Friday night.

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