It’s the annual battle of rivals Rider fans have come to count on for a win.
Sunday’s Labour Day Classic will be the last played at Taylor Field. The match-up has become a fan favourite in Saskatchewan and a pilgrimage for loyal Winnipeg Blue Bomber fans.
Bert Lyke works at the Co-op in Wolseley, Sask. He said Winnipeg fans have made some interesting purchases while stopping at the service station located along the Trans-Canada Highway.
“There’s a few Bomber fans that have picked up some Rider merchandise, but I think they’re secretly Rider fans, so they kind of do it without anybody knowing,” he said.
While Bombers fans have returned home with a loss the last 11 years, Lyke said many who come through are still in good spirits.
“There not depressed, they just come back and say, ‘We’re going beat them in the Banjo Bowl anyway.'”
Donna Brown works at the Co-op in Broadview and said some Bomber fans who stop by get into shenanigans.
“(They’ve) found round bails on the side of the highway and spray painted them ‘Riders suck’ and stuff like that,” she said, adding it’s become a tradition now.
“They usually stop in and hassle us, and we hassle them.”
One time, a group of Winnipeg fans left a toilet sitting outside the Co-op’s front door with a reference to the Roughriders inside.
Brown said the pranks are all in good fun.
The 52nd annual Labour Day Classic kicks off 1 p.m. Sunday at Mosaic Stadium. The game was on track earlier this week to sell out.
Winnipeg hosts the traditional Labour Day rematch—the Banjo Bowl—the following Saturday starting at 3 p.m.