07/03/2019 18:05 EDT | Updated 07/05/2019 15:53 EDT

The Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Mascot Got A Makeover And It Is Horrifying

Gainer the Gopher is ... different now.

He’s beauty and he’s grace, he’s got a terrifying smile on his face — he’s the new Gainer the Gopher, and people are not happy about it. 

The Saskatchewan Roughriders’ mascot, an anthropomorphized gopher, underwent a makeover that was revealed during the football team’s Canada Day game against the Toronto Argonauts. The results are … terrifying.

The gopher went from a portly, simple creature to a lean, mean, terror machine

New Gainer gives off strong “stressed college student” vibes. He gives me flashbacks to staying up until 2 a.m. finishing the weekly edition of my university newspaper having only consumed a single Kit-Kat bar and three energy drinks, and then walking home and realizing there was a typo on page 6 and there was nothing I could do about it. Those vibes.

Seriously, if I sent this tweet my friends would call me because they were worried about me. 

New Gainer would say “I’m fine” if campus security found him living on the 3rd floor of the university library. New Gainer is that guy who is “too much.” New Gainer hasn’t blinked in 32 years. 

What I’m saying is a sports mascot shouldn’t look like that. 

And people agree. 

In a blog post, sports columnist Rod Pederson compared Gainer to the Philadelphia Flyers’ own viral mascot, Gritty.

“The thing is, Gritty is fun and is supposed to be dumb, Gainer is haunting and should be burned immediately,” Pederson wrote. “Bring back old Gainer.” 

Roughriders fan Maria Vicente even started a petition to bring the old Gainer back, which has over 3,000 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon. She couldn’t be reached for comment, but on Twitter said “for the love of God why would you mess with our Gopher.”

And former Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall referred to the new Gainer as something out of a horror novel. 

Is he the most terrifying mascot in Canada?

 Some others might give Gainer a run for his money. 


Harvey the Hound (The Calgary Flames):

Larry MacDougal/The Canadian Press
Harvey the Hound pictured with Calgary Flames fans. 

I hate him so much. Why the tongue?


Fin (The Vancouver Canucks): 

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press
Fin, Vancouver Canucks mascot during a game.

I’m going to be honest here, whales should not be anthropomorphized. The explanation of where the legs come from, and how the head is proportioned, is too much for me. 


Hunter (The Edmonton Oilers):

Jason Franson/The Canadian Press
Hunter, the Edmonton Oilers' mascot, poses with fans. 
Jason Franson/The Canadian Press
Hunter, the Edmonton Oilers' mascot, poses with fans. 
Jason Franson/The Canadian Press
Hunter, the Edmonton Oilers' mascot, poses with fans. 

[Simon and Garfunkel voice] “Hello darkness, my old friend.”

Seriously, why can’t Canadian teams have nice normal mascots like The Raptor — maybe that’s the key to winning championships. 

CORRRECTION: A previous version of this story identified Brad Wall as the premier of Saskatchewan. In fact, he is the former premier and Scott Moe is the current premier.

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