WINNIPEG - The 18th annual Banjo Bowl between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Saskatchewan Roughriders is set to kickoff this afternoon at IG Field at 4pm (680 CJOB, TSN 3).
In case you were wondering, the "Banjo Bowl" was created by Blue Bombers board member David Asper in 2004, inspired by an infamous comment made by Bombers placekicker Troy Westwood in the week prior to the 2003 Western Division Semi Final. Westwood was quoted in the media as saying that people from Regina were "a bunch of banjo-pickin' inbreds." He later apologized for those comments, saying that "the vast majority of the people in Saskatchewan have no idea how to play the banjo.” There is a trophy presented to the winners, and the Blue Bombers have claimed it 10 times including the last two times the game was played (2019 and 2021).
Last week in the Labour Day Classic, Winnipeg put up 20 points on touchdown grabs from Nik Demski and Dalton Schoen and two field goals by Marc Liegghio, including his 55-yard game winner. Saskatchewan played excellent football in the first quarter putting up 11 points, then added a touchdown in the second. Aside from a single from a punt in the fourth, the Bombers defense played like the two time defending champs they are and manhandled their green rivals.
As I wrote last week, the Roughriders are a mess and it seems like Head Coach Craig Dickenson has lost control of his team. Sure they released Garrett Marino, but that’s just a superficial move as the league would of suspended him after last week’s unpenalized hit on Zack Collaros. Saskatchewan’s issues run deeper than that.
Winnipeg smashed the ‘Riders 33-9 last year, and with a sold out crowd behind them, expect another huge Bomber win.