Winnipeg looking to win first title since 1990
By Hiatt Abendschoen
Bombers fans and city officials raised a Winnipeg Blue Bombers flag in front of city hall Tuesday morning to kick-off the week’s Grey Cup Festivities. The flag waves alongside the Winnipeg and Canadian Flags.
Mayor Brian Bowman initially welcomed Bombers fans, cheerleaders, downtown workers, and team mascots Buzz and Boomer in anticipation of the team bringing the Grey Cup back to Winnipeg for the first time in almost 30 years.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers CEO Wade Miller also spoke addressing the uphill battle the team fought all year. He described the boys in blue as the underdog and compared their hard work this season to the work of the community behind them.
Jeff Browaty, city councillor for North Kildonan, helped raise the flag and held his own blue “North Kildonan #FORTHE W” flag.
Browaty is going to the title game this Sunday and said he is glad the Bombers will be vying for the cup this year.
“I bought my plane ticket [to Calgary] months ago,” Browaty said. “I was pretty confident… the hope was there.”
Browaty, a season-ticket holder, has yet to purchase his tickets to the game this Sunday, but he said he is sure he will be able to find some. He is meeting two friends in Calgary on Saturday who are flying in from Cabo San Lucas to watch the game.
“It’s great to get behind the team and for the community to have something to get behind,” Browaty said.
Latasha Spence, a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Cheer and Dance Team, represented the squad at the flag raising. This was Spence’s first season cheering on the blue and gold from the sideline.
“It was great looking up into the stands and seeing my friends… it brings the community out,” Spence said. “We did a lot of events around the city.”
Spence said she was proud to be a part the Winnipeg Blue Bombers collaborative community initiative with Boston Pizza, “BP in the Neighbourhood.” She and her team, along with Bombers players would visit Boston Pizzas around the city and spend time with families in the restaurant.
This Grey Cup trip has extra community backing with some home-town heroes starting on Sunday. Running Back Andrew Harris and Wide Receiver Nic Demski will be fighting to bring the cup back to where their football career began.