The lopsided 54-20 win will make the bus ride back to Saskatchewan long and silent.
The defending back-to-back Grey Cup champs went into Saskatchewan and handled business in the annual Labour Day Classic. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers rolled into town sporting their league-best 11-1 record to face off against the 6-7 Roughriders. Even with the Bombers being the superior team, when it comes to the Labour Day Classic or the Banjo Bowl, records don’t mean a thing. The Bombers escaped Mosaic Stadium with a last-minute 55-yard field goal by kicker Marc Liegghio, giving the Bombers the 20-18 victory.
It’s great to be confident, and Bomber fans have all the reason to be optimistic about their team’s chances of three peating. The Bomber, Rider Labour Day game was epic, and no other rivalry within the C.F.L. drew more attention than this game. The second rematch to the home-and-home series following the Labour Day Classic, the highly anticipated Banjo Bowl.
The name was coined by former Bomber place kicker Troy Westwood after making an offhand comment after a game with the Roughriders, indicating 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 the Banjo Bowl.
Saturday’s Banjo Bowl was a humiliating beat down of the Roughriders that saw Bomber Q.B. Collaros throw 4 T.D.s and scored on nine of the team’s first ten possessions. The lopsided 54-20 win will make the bus ride back to Saskatchewan long and silent.
On game day, the Roughriders have no shortage of support as thousands of die-hard fans take over Winnipeg for the weekend. Whether hotel balconies draped with Rider flags or 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 Roughrider patriots, the fans and hospitality of Winnipeg are second to none. From the very moment you arrive in Winnipeg, you can sense something special is about to happen. Everyone is decked out in the blue and gold colours of the home team. From the local restaurant employees and gas attendants to the political officials, the weekend exudes Bomber Pride.
The Roughriders were no match for the mighty Bombers playing in front of a soldout home crowd of 33,234 die-hard fans at Investors Group Field. With the playing of the 18th Banjo Bowl, the Blue and Gold have an 11-7 series lead, just enough to have bragging rights.
Picture credit, Bomber fan La-Toya Gibbons