Home town fans welcomed back their arch-rivals to Mosaic Stadium after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.
The defending Grey Cup champs went into Saskatchewan and handled business in the annual Labour Day Classic. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers rolled into town sporting their 3-1 record to faceoff against the division leader’s undefeated 3-0 record. And according to several Bomber players, “The Riders have not faced anyone yet.”
It’s great to be confident, and Bomber fans have all the reason to be optimistic about their team’s chances of going deep into the playoffs. The Bomber, Rider Labour Day game was epic and no other rivalry within the CFL drew more attention than this game. Then, of course, Canadians can not forget the day former Bomber place kicker Troy Westwoods commented about the people from Regina were “a bunch of banjo-pickin’ inbreds.” Westwood later apologized for his comment as it was meant to be in good nature, but it gave rise to what is called the Banjo Bowl. The second rematch to the home-and-home series following the Labour Day Classic.
On game day, the Bombers have no shortage of support as thousands of die-hard fans take over Regina for the weekend. Whether it being hotel balconies draped with Bomber flags to nightclubs packed with fans wearing the jerseys of their favourite player, the weekend is always filled with excitement.
Not to be outdone by the influx of Bomber patriots, the fans and hospitality of Saskatchewan are second to none. From the very moment you arrive in Regina, you can sense something special is about to happen. Everyone is decked out in the green and white colours of the home team. From the local restaurant employees and gas attendants to the political officials, the weekend exudes Rider Pride.
The 2021 Labour Day Classic was extra special because it marks the first time the game has been played in Mosaic Stadium after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Although the Bombers won with a final score of 23-8, the real winners are Canadians who persevered through the pandemic and get to once again celebrate our version of football.