WINNIPEG - The annual Labour Day Classic held in Regina has always had a place in my life. My earliest memory was watching the game with my friends in my parents basement in 1980 while my Mom and Dad went away for the long weekend…I thought they would be gone until the Monday. Surrounded by some fellow underaged beer drinkers and about 20 cases of empties, my parents returned home a day early and my 16 year old butt got kicked all over Birds Hill that night and next day. The Bombers won that game by the way.
My first venture out to Regina to attend the game live was in 1993, that year the Bombers beat the Roughriders 25-24. The Bombers then went on to 4-15 record during the next 19 years of attending LDCs. The last straw for me was in 2012; Saskatchewan clobbered us 52-0. I was tired of the “walk of shame” out of Taylor Field and I never returned.
I was in attendance on Canada Day when they opened Mosaic Stadium in 2017 when the Bombers beat the ‘Riders 43-40 in a thrilling overtime game. Since Saskatchewan opened Mosaic Stadium, Winnipeg has gone 1-4 in regular season games there, but have beaten the Roughriders in both of the playoffs games the two teams have played there.
This Sunday I return to Regina for the LDC. The men in Green are 3-0 thus far while the boys in Blue are 3-1; the Bombers having played one additional game.
One thing I do know, both teams regard this game as the unofficial start to the playoff drive. The ‘Riders are coming off their bye week and will be well rested. The Bombers still have a few holes in their lineup due to some nagging injuries (although Nic Demsky returns on Sunday) but I expect the magnitude of the game to translate into an amazing team effort and a big Bomber victory as Zach Collaros will be extra focused to beat a team that basically turfed him in 2019 while he was injured.
Then, bring on the Banjo Bowl!