Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/4/2016 (1313 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers chose their annual fan forum Wednesday evening to announce a move Bombers fans have been demanding for years — a return to the royal blue home uniforms that were synonymous with the Bombers for decades.
"In 1995, the Blue Bombers changed logos and colours to navy. For the past 21 years, the team’s primary colour has been navy," Bombers CEO Wade Miller told the gathering at the Pinnacle Club.
"For the 2016 season, in front of the CFL’s loudest fans, our players and our fans will be going back to our roots and wearing royal blue jerseys."
The Bombers haven’t won a Grey Cup since 1990 and a return back to a colour their fan base associates with better times on the field has been long anticipated and made sense this year with the league changing its official uniform maker from Reebok to Adidas.
A formal unveiling of all the league’s new uniforms is still weeks away and the Bombers were prevented Wednesday by the terms of the league’s contract with Adidas from unveiling their new uniforms or even to comment on whether a move back to royal blue uniforms at home means the team will also go back to the traditional white uniforms they used to wear on the road.
A couple hundred fans attended this year’s fan forum on what was a good news day for the Bombers as they released their annual financial report showing the club made a total profit in 2015 of $11.5 million.
Here are a few highlights:
❚ Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea says Chris Randle is expected to be fully healed after last season’s knee surgery and will head back to his traditional position at cornerback after an experiment at strong-side linebacker last season. Maurice Leggett, who took over at SAM after Randle got hurt, will remain in that position this season, O’Shea said.
❚ Bombers GM Kyle Walters, who was the busiest GM in the CFL this past winter during free agency, said he’s finding it a lot easier to attract players to Winnipeg than it used to be. "It hasn’t always been like that," said Walters. "But I can assure you the Winnipeg Football Club is now a destination people want to come to play."
❚ There were a few funny lines over the course of the one-hour presentation and question-and-answer session.
A fan whose family have been season-ticket holders for 44 years said he’s been watching the Bombers so long, "We saw Wade Miller in his prime."
"I’m still in my prime," replied Miller.
Asked how he intended to ensure quarterback Drew Willy stays healthy this season, O’Shea replied, "We’re going to play with 19 offensive linemen."
And then there was the fan who demanded the Bombers snap a four-year playoff drought and make the post-season this year, "because five years in a row in a nine-team league is almost mathematically impossible."
O’Shea deadpanned: "You sound like my wife."
❚ The "my sympathies" award of the night went to the Bombers fan who announced he’d been a season ticket holder for 25 years, meaning he signed up in 1991 — the year after the Bombers last won a Grey Cup.
Next up for the Bombers is their mini-camp April 25 to 27, which will be exclusively for offensive players this year and will once again be held in Winnipeg after being in Florida the last two years.
Paul Wiecek was born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End and delivered the Free Press -- 53 papers, Machray Avenue, between Main and Salter Streets -- long before he was first hired as a Free Press reporter in 1989.