CFL fans pumped for Banjo Bowl showdown in Winnipeg

Ahead of the annual Manitoba-Saskatchewan CFL showdown, fans on both sides of the field prepared for the 2023 Banjo Bowl at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg.

Players of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders weren’t the only ones preparing to go head to head at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg Saturday afternoon.

In the lead-up to the annual Manitoba-Saskatchewan CFL match up, fans bearing both blue & gold and green & white were scattered around IG Field for a tail gate before kick off at 3 p.m.

Amid beer tents and bouncy castles festooned with Blue Bombers paraphernalia, Bombers fan Tatum Lee looked for redemption from last weekend’s Labour Day Classic.

In the annual match-up, the Bombers fell to the Roughriders in overtime. Defensive end Pete Robertson headbutted Winnipeg quarterback Zach Collaros, earning the Roughrider a one-game suspension.

“I shouldn’t say this but I wouldn’t mind seeing the headbutt on somebody else,” Lee remarked outside IG Field Saturday afternoon, wearing a blue t-shirt emblazoned with the words “SUCK SKATCH EWAN” on it.

Kirk Copping expressed hope his boys in blue will crush the Roughriders.

“A lot of intensity and a lot of points on the board for us,” Copping said he’ll be looking for from the Bombers, who currently stand 1st in the CFL West Division.

Strumming a miniature ukulele amid a sea of blue and gold, Roughriders fan Janice Owen said she was being realistic about Saturday evening’s outcome.

“I’m positive about our team this year, I think we can actually make it a good game. But it’s a tough field, it’s a tough place to win,” she said, sporting a bright green wig and Roughriders-branded cowboy hat.

Owen also noted the environment which fans were being treated to.

“I do Banjo Bowl every year, I do Grey Cup every year … the CFL is an amazing league with awesome fans, but Winnipeg … top-notch hospitality,” she said.

Former Blue Bombers quarterback Chris Streveler, who helped lead the Bombers to Grey Cup victory in 2019, was on-site Saturday afternoon signing autographs for fans. Standing in line to meet the former Bomber, Trevor Ellis was blunt about his hopes for the game.

“Kicking some Riders’ butt,” Ellis said he’s looking forward to the most.

Contemplating the possible outcome of the game, Riders fan Owen and her fellow Saskatchewan supporters hoisted their drinks and said while her team might not take the game, she knows one thing those sporting green will win tonight.

“We might not win the game, but we never lose a party.”

— with files from Katherine Dornian

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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