August 30, 2018 5:38 pm
Updated: August 31, 2018 9:21 pm

Blue Bombers prepared for hostile environment at Labour Day Classic

A Winnipeg Blue Bomber fan congratulates Ian Wild after the Bombers defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sept. 4, 2016 for their first Labour Day Classic win in 11 years.

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With the 54th annual Labour Day Classic already sold out the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are expecting Mosaic Stadium to be at it’s loudest on Sunday when they face the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

It’s a game many players look forward to the entire season.

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“I’ve had this circled on my calendar for a little bit now,” Bombers receiver Nic Demski said.

Demski is one of nine former Riders on the Bombers roster.

READ MORE: Former Bison receiver settling in with Blue Bombers

After playing his first three seasons in Saskatchewan, this will not only be his first game back, but also his first taste of the Labour Day game on the visitors’ sidelines.

“It’s gonna be weird man,” Demski said. “It’s gonna be a lot of fun these next two games. Obviously it’s a lot of tradition behind it so it’s going to be a lot of emotion behind it and a lot of energy, so I’m looking forward to it.”

WATCH: Raw Nic Demski Interview

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The Bombers swept the annual home and home, winning both the Labour Day game and the Banjo Bowl just two years ago. But historically, the Bombers have had a terrible time at the Labour Day Classic where they have been victorious just a single time in the last 14 years.

“Is that what it is?” head coach Mike O’Shea asked. “Yeah I don’t put much stock in that.”

WATCH: Raw Mike O’Shea Interview

“Its a hostile environment for sure,” said former Riders and current Bombers offensive lineman Patrick Neufeld.

“It’s 12 guys on the field versus 28-32 thousand fans and those other 12 guys on defence. It’s nothing insurmountable. It’s not a monumental task.”

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In preparation, the Bombers have been pumping in crowd noise at practice to get the offence more comfortable playing in the loud and crazy environment.

“It’s loud here, don’t get me wrong, but it’s loud over there,” Demski said. “I remember even being on the sidelines when the offence was out there on opposing teams. You can’t even talk to people beside you on the sidelines.”

The game always has extra meaning with bragging rights and such, but with both teams having five wins in the tough West Division the magnitude of this game will only be amplified.

“We’re on the outside looking in, I guess you could say in the west right now,” defensive back Jeff Hecht said. “But one game and we’re right back in the mix.”

Andrew Harris, Weston Dressler, Darvin Adams, Jackson Jeffcoat, Jermarcus Hardrick and Maurice Leggett were among the players who sat out of Thursday’s practice.  Dressler and Leggett are questionable to play on Sunday while Hardrick is doubtful. Jeffcoat has already been ruled out.

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