For fans of the Blue Bombers and Roughriders alike this weeks round of games brings an annual classic. Of course we are just coming off a very enjoyable traditional slate of CFL labour day match-ups but for these two teams the rematch has an added significance, for this week they are battling for the now famous, (or infamous depending on your point of view), ‘Banjo Bowl’.
It may not be the Grey Cup and it’s only of interest to these two teams but still the competition for this in-season trophy will be fierce. Especially as these two teams are currently on seemingly divergent trajectories what with the Bombers having lost their last 3 games and the Riders having won having won their last 3 games.
So where does the Banjo Bowl name come from and what is it all about? According to Wikipedia, ‘the “Banjo Bowl” moniker was coined by a Blue Bombers board member in early 2004, inspired by an infamous comment made by Bombers kicker Troy Westwood in the week prior to a 2003 Western Division Semi-final game between the two teams.’
In a media interview, Westwood had referred to fans of the Riders as “A bunch of banjo pickin’ inbreds” Before the two teams met in the 2003 West semifinal he apologised for the comment, in the most tongue in cheek way possible; He said “the vast majority of the people in Saskatchewan have no idea how to play the banjo.”
Westwood himself has attributed this all to growing up in the cauldron of the Bombers-Riders rivalry and pointed out many times that it was all in fun and that his mother’s side of the family is from Regina.
This will be the 15th ‘Banjo Bowl’ match-up and the Bombers currently lead the series 8-6. It may not be an official event but you can bet both sets of fans will be up for this one and you can expect a loud, sold-out crowd to be on hand.
Banjo Bowl Results:
BB1 Sept. 12, 2004 – Bombers 27 Riders 24
BB2 Sept. 10, 2005 – Riders 19 Bombers 17
BB3 Sept. 10, 2006 – Bombers 27 Riders 23
BB4 Sept. 9, 2007 – Bombers 34 Riders 15
BB5 Sept. 7, 2008 – Riders 34 Bombers 31
BB6 Sept. 13, 2009 – Riders 55 Bombers 10
BB7 Sept. 12, 2010 – Bombers 31 Riders 2
BB8 Sept. 11, 2011 – Riders 45 Bombers 23
BB9 Sept. 9, 2012 – Riders 25 Bombers 24
BB10 Sept. 8, 2013 – Bombers 25 Riders 13
BB11 Sept. 7, 2014 – Riders 30 Bombers 24
BB12 Sept. 12, 2015 – Bombers 22 Riders 7
BB13 Sept. 10, 2016 – Bombers 17 Riders 10
BB14 Sept. 9, 2017 – Bombers 48 Riders 28
BB15 Sept. 8 2018 – ????????????????????????
Image from bluebombers.com