'I don't like the Riders, but I love their fans': Riders, Bombers rivalry still strong for Labour Day Classic
Meeting for the first time since the 2019 West Final Saskatchewan Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue Bomber fans welcomed back the Labour Day Classic.
Riders and Bombers fans alike flocked to the neutral ground dubbed “Wayne’s World” as most of them have done many times before to revive the rivalry before kick-off.
“It’s just so good to be back here after a year and a half,” said Bombers fan Cindy Sylvester.
Fans have been gathering at Wayne’s World before the Labour Day Classic since 2004 when Regina resident Wayne Kuntz invited fans getting off the bus to use his yard for some drinks before the game.
“They said 'but we're Winnipeg fans' and I said 'I don't care we're football fans’ so he turned around he said 'hey everybody over here' and so here they were," said Kuntz, who was pleased to see his backyard filled once again.
Cindy and her husband, Brad Sylvester, help organize the Bombers bus tours and were happy to be back at Wayne’s World with all their friends and fellow football fans.
In Wayne’s World the colour blue outweighs the green and white, but for two friends the yard serves as an annual halfway point.
Travis Currah and Neal Einarson met at the 2011 Grey Cup in British Columbia, and have been meeting at Wayne’s World ever since.
“Not having last year was crushing. It was weird to be in Manitoba on Labour Day,” said Einarson, who travels from Winnipeg each year.
Currah travels from Red Deer, Alta. to cheer on the Riders.
“It feels so good to see these Blue people coming here. I love it, I love every minute of it,” said Currah. “I missed it so much.”
Like Einarson, many Bomber fans make the trip to Regina to soak up the atmosphere in Mosaic Stadium.
Bobby J. St. Laurent said he loves the rivalry between the two teams.
“I don’t like the Riders, but I love their fans,” said St. Laurent. “They’re so passionate, we have a great friendly rivalry and they’re so nice.”