This Blue Bombers logo change is brought to you by the letter 'W.'
The Winnipeg Football Club is returning to the symbol that has served as the definitive trademark for nearly half of the franchise's 83-year history. The bold, white 'W' is back on the gold helmets, the club officially announced Tuesday, though the use of the classic emblem has been public for a while now.
"A lot of our fans have said over the last couple of years that the 'W' has been iconic with this football club," said Jerry Maslowsky, the Bombers vice-president of marketing. "There were certainly some changes to that logo and bringing out different jerseys but the 'W' truly represents this football club and who we are."
The 'old' helmet/logo -- it's difficult to call something that has been around for 33 seasons 'new' -- features the gold shell, a white 'W' with a navy blue border around the letter, a navy stripe running along the top of the helmet and a navy face mask, suggesting the shade of blue will continue to be the primary colour of the home uniform.
The move back to the traditional primary logo means the Bombers are finally ditching the italic 'W' with the football-themed lightning bolt, a controversial mark that found its way onto helmets back in 1995 and remained there in some form right through the 2011 season.
For those of a superstitious nature, please note Winnipeg did not win a Grey Cup with the 'pigskin lightning bolt.' Conversely, and this is for those same superstitious souls, the franchise picked up four CFL titles (1962, 1984, 1988, 1990) with the solid white 'W' helmet logo.
Maslowsky said the last few years of wearing retro uniforms -- throwbacks honouring the 1950s and 1970s eras -- and the positive feedback from ticket holders regarding those duds gave the front office a good indication they needed to embrace the tradition of the club.
Returning to the 23rd letter of the alphabet seemed like a good start.
According to the club, the white 'W' logo has been in operation since the 1962 season, when a slightly different symbol was featured on a royal blue helmet (the 'W' met up to a peak in the middle). The team switched over to gold helmets in 1965, the same year the traditional block 'W' was introduced.
During those years, the logo was outlined with a royal blue border -- the colour of the home jerseys at the time.
The Bombers went through two versions of this old helmet. From 1965 to the mid-1980s, the team wore grey face masks on the helmet; they switched to a royal blue mask for the remainder of that era, before drastically tweaking things to the leaning 'W' and lightning bolt on a navy blue helmet in 1995.
Players, current and retired, love the old 'dub.
"It's great they're going back to it," said Bombers punting legend Bob Cameron. "To tie that back to the 60s and upgrade it into the new era here, it's a great move.
"That is a classic Winnipeg Blue Bombers helmet -- no more lightning bolts and all the other stuff that goes with (that). We've gone back to our roots and I like that part of it."
Long snapper Chris Cvetkovic said he was a fan of the "college feel" the traditional logo brings, an appraisal that was shared by teammate Marcellus Bowman.
"It's simple and powerful," the linebacker said. "It's a strong look."
The second half of the Bombers fashion show is Tuesday (May 1), when the club unveils new home and away jerseys. The event takes place at the Pan-Am Boxing Club, a gym backdrop that connects the sweet science to the origin of the Blue Bombers nickname.
All eight CFL clubs are scheduled to introduce new uniforms next week.
Blue add trio of imports to off-season roster
Add three more names to the Blue Bombers off-season roster.
The club announced the signings of import defensive lineman Alex Hall, import linebacker Terrell Parker and import defensive back Demond Washington Tuesday afternoon.
Hall, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound lineman, last saw football action in 2010, when he suited up for two games with the NFL's New York Giants. A seventh round draft choice of the Cleveland Browns in 2008, the 26-year-old played 16 games as a rookie for the Browns, registering 28 tackles, three sacks, and two forced fumbles.
Hall also spent time in the Philadelphia and Arizona organizations.
Parker (5-foot-11, 220-pounds) started 40 games over four seasons at Glenville State, recording 287 tackles, 53 tackles for loss, 19 sacks, 10 interceptions, five forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and two blocked kicks in that time. Parker started 12 games for the Assindia Cardinals of the German Football League in 2010.
Washington is an Auburn product, where he won the National Championship in 2010 before signing on with the Kansas City Chiefs. Recording four tackles and a 21-yard kickoff return, the 5-foot-9, 182-pound defensive back was one of the final cuts in Chiefs camp.
Hall, Parker, and Washington will not be in Winnipeg for the club's three-day mini camp, which starts this morning at Canad Inns Stadium (10:30 a.m.).