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 (previously held at 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.
|First meeting||September 12, 2004|
Blue Bombers 27, Roughriders 24
|Latest meeting||September 8, 2018|
Blue Bombers 27, Roughriders 32
|Next meeting||September 7, 2019|
|All-time series||Blue Bombers lead, 8–7|
|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||Roughriders: 1 win |
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." 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." 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 Liquor & Lotteries Corporation. The game has been sold out every year since 2005. As of the 2018 season, Winnipeg leads the series 8–7.
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 as does the league's official television broadcaster, TSN. 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.
|Year||Date||Winner||Result||Loser||Venue||Attendance||Roughriders QB||Blue Bombers QB|
|2004||September 12||Blue Bombers||27–24||Roughriders||Canad Inns Stadium||27,160||Henry Burris||Kevin Glenn|
|2005||September 10||Roughriders||19–17||Blue Bombers||Canad Inns Stadium||29,653||Marcus Crandell||Kevin Glenn|
|2006||September 10||Blue Bombers||27–23||Roughriders||Canad Inns Stadium||30,026||Kerry Joseph||Kevin Glenn|
|2007||September 9||Blue Bombers||34–15||Roughriders||Canad Inns Stadium||29,783||Kerry Joseph||Kevin Glenn|
|2008||September 7||Roughriders||34–31||Blue Bombers||Canad Inns Stadium||29,770||Michael Bishop||Kevin Glenn|
|2009||September 13||Roughriders||55–10||Blue Bombers||Canad Inns Stadium||29,533||Darian Durant||Michael Bishop|
|2010||September 12||Blue Bombers||31–2||Roughriders||Canad Inns Stadium||29,533||Darian Durant||Steven Jyles|
|2011||September 11||Roughriders||45–23||Blue Bombers||Canad Inns Stadium||30,518||Darian Durant||Buck Pierce|
|2012||September 9||Roughriders||25–24||Blue Bombers||Canad Inns Stadium||30,077||Darian Durant||Joey Elliott|
|2013||September 8||Blue Bombers||25–13||Roughriders||Investors Group Field||33,500||Darian Durant||Justin Goltz|
|2014||September 7||Roughriders||30–24||Blue Bombers||Investors Group Field||33,234||Darian Durant||Drew Willy|
|2015||September 12||Blue Bombers||22–7||Roughriders||Investors Group Field||35,156||Brett Smith||Matt Nichols|
|2016||September 10||Blue Bombers||17–10||Roughriders||Investors Group Field||33,234||Darian Durant||Matt Nichols|
|2017||September 9||Blue Bombers||48–28||Roughriders||Investors Group Field||33,134||Kevin Glenn||Matt Nichols|
|2018||September 8||Roughriders||32–27||Blue Bombers||Investors Group Field||33,134||Zach Collaros||Matt Nichols|
- Penton, Kirk (September 9, 2006). "Evolution of the Banjo Bowl". Winnipeg Sun. Retrieved 2009-09-13.
- Jones, Terry (September 2, 2007). "Labour Pains". Calgary Sun. p. S11. Retrieved 2007-09-02.
- "Preview: Bombers, Riders Set for 'Banjo Bowl' in Winnipeg". cfl.ca. September 7, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- TSN story Archived December 16, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- "Premier picks on Bombers prior to Banjo Bowl". CBC News. September 6, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- "Riders Unable to Pluck Victory from Bombers Sep.12/04". riderville.com. September 12, 2004. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-29. Retrieved 2010-03-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Bombers Find Right Tune to Capture Banjo Bowl". cfl.ca. September 11, 2006. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- "Blue Bombers 34, Roughriders 15". cfl.ca. September 9, 2007. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- "Riders' 17-point Comeback Stuns Bombers". cfl.ca. September 7, 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- "Sunday Sep. 9, 2007: Saskatchewan @ Winnipeg Recap". CFL.ca. Archived from the original on 2009-09-15.
- "Riders Out of Tune in Bombers Banjo Bowl Win". cfl.ca. September 12, 2010. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Riders dispatch Bombers in Banjo Bowl
- "Green Sweep" Riders Shock Bombers, Win Banjo Bowl". cfl.ca. September 9, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- "Bombers Strum Their Way to Banjo Bowl Victory". cfl.ca. September 8, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- "Heavy Price: Riders Win Banjo Bowl, Lose Durant". cfl.ca. September 7, 2014. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- "Back at Ya: Nichols Strong-arms Bombers in Rematch". cfl.ca. November 29, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- "Strumming along: Bombers win Banjo Bowl, lose Harris to injury". cfl.ca. September 10, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
- "Saskatchewan Roughriders Winnipeg Blue Bombers game stats". cfl.ca. September 9, 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2017.