It’s been more than 100 days since their historic victory, but the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are still basking in the afterglow of the 2019 Grey Cup championship.
They’re enjoying it so much, in fact, that they’ve decided to keep the CFL trophy – for a few more months, anyway.
“We were supposed to give the Cup back in February, but I let (the league) know we’ll keep it here until the home opener,” Bombers president and CEO Wade Miller told 680 CJOB.
“It’s really magical to see the interaction people have with the Grey Cup, because it’s Canadian history – whether you’re a football fan or not.”
And Manitobans have certainly interacted with the Cup since the Bombers claimed it in November.
Players have brought it to communities across the region, from Brandon to Dauphin to Gillam, and even to Kenora, and Miller said the fan support has continued unabated. People are posing for photos with the Cup and buying a seemingly never-ending supply of Grey Cup champion merchandise.
“We’ll never run out,” Miller said. “It’s been replenished multiple times, and it’s just been phenomenal to see the response throughout the city and the province.
“It’s just been an unbelievable welcome we’ve got in these communities across the province.”
Soon enough, though, the party will be over, and the Bombers will be starting from scratch in a bid to defend their title.
While Miller said season ticket sales have been brisk – a trend that started even before the team’s championship season – he’s hoping the team’s outreach to the province and the goodwill generated by the Cup’s tour of Manitoba will help draw some new faces to IG Field this season.
“You don’t need to (already) be a football fan,” he said. “We’ll teach you to be a football fan.”