For one night anyway, Winnipeg was the best sports town in the nation and we're willing to bet this Prairie city could hold the Canadian title well into the fall.

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This article was published 26/8/2011 (3924 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Opinion

Blue Bombers' sultan of sack Odell Willis brings down Tiger-Cats QB Quinton Porter in the first half Friday night at Canad Inns Stadium.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Blue Bombers' sultan of sack Odell Willis brings down Tiger-Cats QB Quinton Porter in the first half Friday night at Canad Inns Stadium.

For one night anyway, Winnipeg was the best sports town in the nation and we're willing to bet this Prairie city could hold the Canadian title well into the fall.

With 30,000-plus Bombers fans stretching Canad Inns like a pair of fat pants, more than 8,000 customers downtown watching the Goldeyes clinch a pennant and another 15,000 lying awake dreaming about Jets opening night, there is no question Winnipeg owned centre stage on Canada's sporting landscape.

We won't try and win an argument about the sustainability of this boast. But if you were anywhere near Polo Park Friday night listening to the Blue and Gold backers absolutely losing their minds, then you know what we're talking about.

This was Super Bowl-loud without the mini-sticks and hellacious halftime show.

Just a mid-season Friday night football game in Midwestern Canada with fans that amped the scene to rare heights of noise and clamour.

TSN's Sara Orlesky twittered the following midway through a deafening fourth quarter at Canad Inns Stadium:

"I've done games in every CFL city and tonight, Canad Inn Stadium is the loudest spot I have been in this season," wrote the national sports network's sideline reporter.

Winnipeg loves its Bombers and while it has been easy to anoint Rider Nation as the reigning champs of CFL fandom the past few years, that claim is now in danger.

The Bombers faithful are in the conversation and threatening to own the chatter.

Nothing is forever, Regina, and it may be time to move over for a while as Winnipeg takes its place as the home of the CFL's most fervent followers.

The Bombers ground out a 30-27 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to move to 7-1 on the season and hold onto their claim as the country's best football team.

There's no question that record plays a role in the pandemonium but so what? You think half the world's baseball fans would worship the Yankees if they didn't have all those World Series trophies? Winning breeds love and the Bombers are feeling it people.

But it doesn't stop with the Big Blue.

Winnipeg's minor league baseball team is a national gem. Well run and consistently a playoff contender, the Goldeyes are a feature of Winnipeg summers. A night at the ballpark has become ritual for so many here while pro baseball has faded from the map across our country.

Both the Bombers and Goldeyes recorded sellouts Friday in facilities just six kilometres apart, creating a sporting buzz in this town that's rarely been seen before.

Close to 40,000 folks watching their teams win, and in the case of the Goldeyes, capturing a pennant as well. Not bad no matter the area code -- whether it be 514 or 604 or 416.

Seems like the 204 is rocking hardest of all.

Tickets to sporting events in this town have become gold. Jets tickets are hot and promise to stay that way for five years. The Bombers have sold out their last three games and are threatening to run the table and fill this stadium until they close it for good.

The Goldeyes are a consistent, solid draw and will lead the American Association in attendance this season while once again threatening to top all of independent baseball at the gate.

The Jets? Just try and get a stub for opening night.

Winnipeg has taken its lumps and been the butt of endless jokes for its cold, mosquitoes and departed NHL team.

None of those things resonate right now in this glorious hotbox of a province that can't get enough of its sporting heroes.

Maybe it will last and more likely it won't, but for right now Winnipeg is the finest place in Canada for sports fans.

While you're busy doing all that clapping and screaming as fans of the Bombers, Goldeyes and Jets, give yourself a hand.

Turns out you're the best too.

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca