'It's always a good time': Bombers, Roughriders fans enjoy rivalry ahead of Banjo Bowl

·2 min read
A Blue Bombers fan dressed like former WWE wrestler Randy 'Macho Man' Savage showed up at the Banjo Bowl tailgate party outside IG Field in Winnipeg on Saturday. (Stephanie Cram/CBC - image credit)
A Blue Bombers fan dressed like former WWE wrestler Randy 'Macho Man' Savage showed up at the Banjo Bowl tailgate party outside IG Field in Winnipeg on Saturday. (Stephanie Cram/CBC - image credit)

A sea of Winnipeg Blue Bombers jerseys, the smell of barbecue in the air, blaring music and wild costumes — all ingredients for a successful tailgate party outside IG Field before the Banjo Bowl game on Saturday afternoon.

The annual matchup between the Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders, held on the weekend after the Labour Day Classic, is beloved by Canadian Football League fans in both provinces.

Adria Mielke said she came to the Banjo Bowl to "watch the Bombers kick some Rider butt."

"It's one of the biggest games of the year … and there's so much history between Saskatchewan and Winnipeg, it's always a good time," she said.

Regarding the rivalry between the two cities, Mielke said that "Winnipeg is just better at everything."

"It's always been the Prairies against each other."

Walther Bernal/CBC
Walther Bernal/CBC

Mielke's friend Jackie Hanna came to the game with a sign that reads, "Rescue Me Brady," a reference to her favourite Blue Bomber, Brady Oliveira, and his dog rescue.

"I work with an animal rescue called K9 Advocates, and Brady [Oliveira] is part of our group that goes out and rescues dogs, saves them, brings them in from all over the northern areas," said Hanna.

"He's a great guy, he's got a big heart."

Randi Thomas, who is a Saskatchewan Roughriders fan, said she was getting strange looks from people at Saturday's tailgating party for her green jersey, especially since her son and husband both were wearing Blue Bombers jerseys.

Stephanie Cram/CBC
Stephanie Cram/CBC

Ahead of the game, Thomas was looking forward to the Roughriders "hopefully winning, and rubbing it in," to her husband Tommy.

Thomas said whoever wins would buy the loser dinner.

Stephanie Cram/CBC
Stephanie Cram/CBC

Meanwhile, fans from of teams did not fail to disappoint with the creativity of their costumes.

"I am the dark side. I represent the defence from Winnipeg. Adam Bighill has dubbed his defence the dark side," said one fan wearing a gold Darth Vader helmet.

Stephanie Cram/CBC
Stephanie Cram/CBC

Some Roughriders fans were jeered as they walked through the crowd dressed as the "Rider Hillbillies," inspired by the hit 1960s TV sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies.

"They always call us the hillbillies, so we thought we'd dress up as the Hillbillies," said one Riders fan who was dressed like the character Granny.

It was the Rider Hillbillies' fourth Banjo Bowl, and despite the boos, the group said they keep coming to Winnipeg because Blue Bombers fans are great.

Stephanie Cram/CBC
Stephanie Cram/CBC