Important ‘need to know’ info for the Bombers and Riders Banjo Bowl rematch

Banjo Bowl 15 takes place on Saturday.
Banjo Bowl 15 takes place on Saturday. File

Ed Tait is the director of content for and has put together a list of topics you’ll want to “memorize” ahead of Saturday’s sold out Banjo Bowl.

  • When: Saturday, September 8th, 3 p.m. kickoff
  • Where: Investors Group Field, Winnipeg
  • Radio: CJOB 680 (1 p.m. Pre-game show)


1. Saturday’s matchup between the Bombers and Riders will be the 15th Banjo Bowl since its inception in 2004.

The game has already been announced as sold out, making it the 14th consecutive sell-out in the game’s history.

The first Banjo Bowl drew 27,160 fans at the old Canad Inns Stadium.

2. The Bombers have won the last three Banjo Bowls and four of their last five.

Last year’s win was a 48-28 blowout that featured two touchdown passes from Matt Nichols to Clarence Denmark, and two touchdowns by Maurice Leggett — one on a punt return, the other a Pick Six.

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3. Winnipeg enters Saturday’s game having dropped three straight, the first time that has happened in a single season since the end of 2015.

The Riders, meanwhile, have won three in a row. These two teams will meet one more time after the Banjo Bowl, with Saskatchewan returning on October 13th.

4. Andrew Harris is coming off another spectacular effort, having rushed 15 times for 158 yards in the Labour Day Classic loss.

Harris leads the CFL in rushing with 963 yards — just 72 shy of the total last year that won him the rushing title.

5. And, finally, just for those who need a refresher on the Banjo Bowl and how the game earned its name.

The game was born out of comments made by former Bombers kicker Troy Westwood who, before a playoff contest with the Riders in 2003, referred to Saskatchewan fans as “banjo-pickin’ inbreds.” He then threw more fuel on the fire by offering this apology, tongue in cheek.

“I had referred to the people of Saskatchewan as a bunch of ‘banjo-pickin inbreds’,” said Westwood.

“I was wrong to make such a statement, and I’d like to apologize.

“The vast majority of the people in Saskatchewan have no idea how to play the banjo.'”

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  • The gates will open earlier on Saturday, at 1:30 p.m., with the tailgate area opening at noon. The Bomber Store will open at 9:30 a.m.
  • As well, after the game 15,000 fans will receive an exclusive limited edition 15th anniversary Banjo Bowl poster to take home.
  • Kendra Kay will perform at the Blue & Gold Stage in the Tailgate prior to kickoff and will also headline the halftime show as part of the 2018 Concert Series.


The Bombers will enjoy their second of three bye weeks after the Banjo Bowl and will return to action on Friday, September 21st when the Montreal Alouettes pay a visit.

For tickets, call: 204-784-7448 or visit

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