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Author Topic: An oral history of the Banjo Bowl  (Read 1715 times)
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Blue Bombers and Fans

« on: September 13, 2020, 03:13:37 PM »

An oral history of the Banjo Bowl - Ed Tait

A few years after he had put his last kick through the uprights for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and before he had career-shifted into a sports radio host on TSN 1290, Troy Westwood received what was both a strange and unique request.

"I can't remember which town it was now - I think it was Yorkton - but I got a call from someone there asking me to come to their town for their annual parade and sit on a float with six banjo players and wave to people.

"I was like, 'Are you serious?!' So I drove out there and they've got this fancy trailer with bales of straw everywhere and six dudes on them... I'm sitting there in my old jersey waving at people with these banjo players on the float like I was the queen or something.

"Ahhh, that was funny. It's crazy stuff, man. Just crazy."

How and why did the Blue Bombers all-time leading scorer - he's also a member of the Winnipeg Football Club's Hall of Fame - find himself on the back of a trailer somewhere in Saskatchewan surrounded by banjo players and waving to the masses?

This is the oral history of the Banjo Bowl and how the biggest event on the local football calendar and the most-unique game on the Canadian Football League schedule was born...


The Bombers have been travelling west to Regina for an annual Labour Day showdown with the Saskatchewan Roughriders dating back to the late 1940s. This year would have marked the 56th time the two rivals would have met for the "Classic' but, alas, the Coronavirus has led to the cancellation of the entire 2020 season.

Just prior to the 2003 Labour Day Classic and, as is tradition in both Winnipeg and Regina, beat writers, columnists, radio hosts and TV types quiz players from both teams about the annual matchup, poking and prodding for something that could fire up the masses.

Westwood, always willing to participate, referred to Roughrider fans as a 'bunch of banjo-pickin' inbreds.'

And we're off.......

More great history of the Banjo Bowl here!


"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one." - John Wooden
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2020, 01:51:14 PM »

Still say move Banjo Bowl to Thanksgiving weekend.

Home isn't where you're from,
it's where you find light when all
grows dark. - Pierce Brown
Everything seems stupid when it fails.  - Fyodor Dostoevsky
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2020, 09:17:17 PM »

Still say move Banjo Bowl to Thanksgiving weekend.

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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2020, 09:24:52 PM »


I agree. Love the back to back games against the Riders.

Don't go through life looking in the rearview mirror.
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2020, 11:45:24 AM »

I'm definitely happy they moved it to Saturday afternoon vs the older Sunday at noon. Gives Rider fans a chance to travel and spend the night in the city which is good for the local economy, and gives Bomber fans more time to tailgate before the game and a Sunday to recover after  Grin
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 11:49:18 AM by blue_or_die » Logged

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