WINNIPEG – A Winnipeg billboard is making fans of the Blue and Gold see green.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders have doled out $1,700 to display a billboard on Plessis Road with the words “Green is the new Blue.”
“We have a terrific rivalry with the Bombers, and we wanted to have a little light-hearted fun with Winnipeg,” Saskatchewan Roughrider vice-president of marketing Gregg Sauter said in a phone interview Monday.
Rider Nation has tried to tweak CFL teams coast to coast in recent years, using billboards to antagonize rival fans.
This latest gag isn’t getting the attention of the Bombers coach.
“I tend not to think about that sort of stuff,” Mike O’Shea said Monday.
That sentiment was echoed by president Wade Miller, who said the club won’t retaliate against the Riders.
“No, we’re fine. We’ll focus on what’s happening on the field, and that’s what’s important to us,” Miller said.
Fans of the Blue and Gold don’t seem to be angry — but they would like to see the Bombers return the favour.
“I don’t have a problem with it at all. I find it really amusing, and we should go to Regina and put up some signs too,” one fan said.
“A rivalry is a rivalry. We should be getting a group together and doing the same. Let’s get it going,” another Bomber fan said.
A similar sign was put up in B.C. earlier this month, with the statement, “Green is the new orange.”
“We just wanted to have some fun and kinda lighten the mood and also expand the conversation around the game,” Sauter said.
CFL Commisioner Mark Cohon said he thinks the Riders billboard adds some light-hearted fun to the football league and is a great addition to the Canadian club.
“I think it’s healthy. We love to see rivalries, historical rivalries. There are rivalries that are being built today and I think it’s great for the game,” Cohon said.
The billboard on Plessis Road will continue to taunt Bomber fans until Sept. 7, when the Bombers play the Riders at Investors Group Field. The Bombers play in Regina on Aug. 31.
© Shaw Media, 2014