Banjo Bowl

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Banjo Bowl
First meeting September 12, 2004
Blue Bombers 27, Roughriders 24
Latest meeting September 9, 2017
Blue Bombers 48, Roughriders 28
Next meeting TBD
Meetings total 14
All-time series Blue Bombers lead, 8–6
Largest victory Roughriders: 55–10 (2009)
Blue Bombers: 31–2 (2010)
Smallest victory Roughriders: 25–24 (2012)
Blue Bombers: 27–24 (2004)
Longest win streak Blue Bombers: 3 (2015–17)
Current win streak Blue Bombers: 3 wins

The Banjo Bowl is the annual rematch game between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (CFL) after the Labour Day Classic. While the traditional Labour Day Classic game is always played on the Sunday before Labour Day at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan (successor to the stadium historically known as Taylor Field), there is usually a rematch on the following weekend between these two rival prairie teams at Investors Group Field (previously held at Canad Inns Stadium) in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


The "Banjo Bowl" moniker was coined by Blue Bombers board member David Asper in early 2004, inspired by an infamous comment made by Bombers placekicker Troy Westwood in the week prior to a 2003 Western Division Semi-final game between the two teams. Westwood was quoted in the media as saying that people from Regina were "a bunch of banjo-pickin' inbreds."[1] He later apologized halfheartedly for those comments, saying that "the vast majority of the people in Saskatchewan have no idea how to play the banjo."[2] This further fueled the Winnipeg–Saskatchewan football rivalry and has made the rematch game even more of an event. The game is sponsored by the Manitoba Lotteries Corporation. The game has been sold out every year since 2005. As of the 2017 season, Winnipeg leads the series 8-6.

As on Labour Day weekend when many Winnipeg fans visit Regina to support the Bombers, many Saskatchewan fans visit Winnipeg the following weekend to support the 'Riders. Many come, tongue-in-cheek, with banjos.

Despite not being an official event, the Canadian Football League website promotes the game by referring to it as "Banjo Bowl" in some of its online coverage[3] as does the league's official television broadcaster, TSN.[4] In 2013, the Premier of Saskatchewan, Brad Wall, joined in the spirit of the event by posting a video on his YouTube channel making reference to the rivalry and the Banjo Bowl game.[5]


Year Date Winner Result Loser Venue Attendance Roughriders QB Blue Bombers QB
2004 September 12 Blue Bombers 27-24[6] Roughriders Canad Inns Stadium 27,160 Henry Burris Kevin Glenn
2005 September 10 Roughriders 19-17[7] Blue Bombers Canad Inns Stadium 29,653 Marcus Crandell Kevin Glenn
2006 September 10 Blue Bombers 27-23[8] Roughriders Canad Inns Stadium 30,026 Kerry Joseph Kevin Glenn
2007 September 9 Blue Bombers 34-15[9] Roughriders Canad Inns Stadium 29,783 Kerry Joseph Kevin Glenn
2008 September 7 Roughriders 34-31[10] Blue Bombers Canad Inns Stadium 29,770 Michael Bishop Kevin Glenn
2009 September 13 Roughriders 55-10[11] Blue Bombers Canad Inns Stadium 29,533 Darian Durant Michael Bishop
2010 September 12 Blue Bombers 31-2[12] Roughriders Canad Inns Stadium 29,533 Darian Durant Steven Jyles
2011 September 11 Roughriders 45-23[13] Blue Bombers Canad Inns Stadium 30,518 Darian Durant Buck Pierce
2012 September 9 Roughriders 25-24[14] Blue Bombers Canad Inns Stadium 30,077 Darian Durant Joey Elliott
2013 September 8 Blue Bombers 25-13[15] Roughriders Investors Group Field 33,500 Darian Durant Justin Goltz
2014 September 7 Roughriders 30-24[16] Blue Bombers Investors Group Field 33,234 Darian Durant Drew Willy
2015 September 12 Blue Bombers 22-7[17] Roughriders Investors Group Field 35,156 Brett Smith Matt Nichols
2016 September 10 Blue Bombers 17-10[18] Roughriders Investors Group Field 33,234 Darian Durant Matt Nichols
2017 September 9 Blue Bombers 48-28[19] Roughriders Investors Group Field 33,134 Kevin Glenn Matt Nichols


  1. ^ Penton, Kirk (September 9, 2006). "Evolution of the Banjo Bowl". Winnipeg Sun. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  2. ^ Jones, Terry (September 2, 2007). "Labour Pains". Calgary Sun. p. S11. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  3. ^ "Preview: Bombers, Riders Set for ‘Banjo Bowl’ in Winnipeg". September 7, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  4. ^ TSN story Archived December 16, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Premier picks on Bombers prior to Banjo Bowl". CBC News. September 6, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Riders Unable to Pluck Victory from Bombers Sep.12/04". September 12, 2004. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-29. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  8. ^ "Bombers Find Right Tune to Capture Banjo Bowl". September 11, 2006. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Blue Bombers 34, Roughriders 15". September 9, 2007. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Riders' 17-point Comeback Stuns Bombers". September 7, 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Sunday Sep. 9, 2007: Saskatchewan @ Winnipeg Recap". Archived from the original on 2009-09-15. 
  12. ^ "Riders Out of Tune in Bombers Banjo Bowl Win". September 12, 2010. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  13. ^ Riders dispatch Bombers in Banjo Bowl
  14. ^ "Green Sweep" Riders Shock Bombers, Win Banjo Bowl". September 9, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Bombers Strum Their Way to Banjo Bowl Victory". September 8, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Heavy Price: Riders Win Banjo Bowl, Lose Durant". September 7, 2014. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Back at Ya: Nichols Strong-arms Bombers in Rematch". November 29, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Strumming along: Bombers win Banjo Bowl, lose Harris to injury". September 10, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Saskatchewan Roughriders Winnipeg Blue Bombers game stats". September 9, 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2017. 
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