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Winnipeg Blue Bombers
AmericanFootball current event.svg 2016 Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Winnipeg Blue Bombers logo

Founded 1930
Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Home field Osborne Stadium (1935–1952)
Canad Inns Stadium (1953–2011)
Investors Group Field (2012–present)
League Canadian Football League
Division East Division
Colours Blue and gold
         
Nickname(s) Bombers, Blue and Gold, Big Blue, True Blue, Swaggerville
Head coach Paul LaPolice
General manager Joe Mack
Owner(s) Community Owned
Grey Cup wins 1935, 1939, 1941, 1958
1959, 1961, 1962, 1984
1988, 1990
Mascot(s) Buzz and Boomer
Website www.bluebombers.com
Uniform CFL WPG Jersey

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are a Canadian football team based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They are members of the East Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL). They played their home games at Canad Inns Stadium, and moved into new stadium (Investors Group Field) for the 2013 season.

The Blue Bombers were founded in 1930. Since that time they have won the league's Grey Cup championship ten times, most recently in 1990. With 10 wins they have the third highest win total in the Grey Cup among active and defunct CFL teams. Though they are currently the team with the longest Grey Cup drought, no other CFL franchise has as many Grey Cup appearances as the Blue Bombers current 24. The Blue Bombers were also the first team not located in Ontario or Quebec to win a championship. The Blue Bombers have won 19 Western Division Championships and 7 Eastern Division Championships.

Team factsEdit

Founded: 1930
Helmet design: Gold background, with a blue "W", lightning bolt and football
Uniform colours: Blue, gold and white.
Stadium: Osborne Stadium (1935–1952), Canad Inns Stadium (1953–2011, known as Winnipeg Stadium prior to 2000), Investors Group Field (2012–present)
Local radio: CJOB 68
First place regular season finishes: 23 — 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1947, 1950, 1952, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1972, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2001, 2011
Eastern Division championships: 7 — 1988, 1990, 1992, 1993, 2001, 2007, 2011
Western Division championships: 19 — 1933, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1950, 1953, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1984
Grey Cup finals appearances: 24 — 1935 (won), 1937 (lost), 1938 (lost) 1939 (won), 1941 (won), 1945 (lost), 1946 (lost), 1947 (lost), 1950 (lost), 1953 (lost), 1957 (lost), 1958 (won), 1959 (won), 1961 (won), 1962 (won), 1965 (lost), 1984 (won), 1988 (won), 1990 (won), 1992 (lost), 1993 (lost), 2001 (lost), 2007 (lost), 2011 (lost)
Grey Cup wins: 10 — 1935, 1939, 1941, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1984, 1988, 1990
Division history: Western Football Conference (1961–1979), West Division (1980–1986), East Division (1987–1995), North Division (1995), West Division (1996), East Division (1997–2001), West Division (2002–2005), East Division (2006–present)
Main rivals: Saskatchewan Roughriders (see Labour Day Classic and Banjo Bowl), Hamilton Tiger-Cats, a team they have played on numerous occasions for the Grey Cup, and the Toronto Argonauts
2011 regular season record: 10 wins, 8 losses, 0 ties

Ownership Edit

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers Football Club is one of only three remaining "community owned" teams in the CFL (owned by local shareholders)[1]. This was once the most common type of ownership in the CFL.[2]

Board of directors Edit

Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Inc., is governed by a ten-member Board of Directors. As of 2011, the board consists of Bill Watchorn, Chairperson; Gene Dunn, Past Chair; David Asper; Brock Bulbuck; Bob Cameron; Trevor Kennerd; Eugene Kostyra; Debbie Metcalfe; Chrys Pappas; and Phil Sheegl.[3] The club's president and CEO is Garth Buchko, he is not currently a member of the 10 member Board of Directors.[4]

Financial statements Edit

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers Football Club's total ticket revenue increased by $239,925 in 2008 from 2007. There was a 15 per cent increase in sponsorship revenue in 2008, from $3,667,523 to $4,090,343. The team’s total operating revenue increased by 8.3% in 2008, a total of $1,078,443. The total expenses of the football club increased to $13.4 million in 2008 compared to $13.3 million in 2007. The football club’s net surplus at the end of year was $5,088,578 compared to $4,327,483 in 2007.[5]

The Winnipeg Football Club reported a net loss of $1.2 million in 2009: league revenues dropped by $150,000 year-over-year, almost $1 million ($981,950) in severance charges in 2009 fiscal year, the gate receipts only decreased $66,436 while sponsorship fell $205,232, the deficit was covered by the the team's surplus, which was reduced to $3.88 million.[6][7][8]

The 2010 season showed net earnings of $409,000 for the year. Total game revenue (including season ticket sales and game day ticket sales) approached $5.3 million for the year which is an increase of $186,000 or 3.6% over 2009 figures. Increases in CFL revenue, Winnipeg Football Club revenue (sponsorships, concessions, merchandise sales and interest income) and stadium management revenues also contributed to the positive financial outcome in 2010. The club also achieved cost savings of $219,000 in 2010. Despite the continuing challenge to operate and maintain an aging stadium, net stadium occupancy costs were able to be reduced year over year by $185,000.[9]

All of these positive factors contributed to net earnings from operations in 2010 of $698,000 as compared to a loss from operations of $109,000 in 2009, an increase of over $800,000. Stadium development costs relating to the continued effort to get the new stadium project underway, which were successful, were $288,000 (2009 – $110,000). This bottom line profit helped to increase the Winnipeg Football Club's surplus to over $4.1 million at December 31, 2010 up from $2.9 million at the end of 2009. Net assets also increased to $4.3 million by December 31, 2010 up from $3.9 million a year earlier.[10]

Fan support Edit

The Blue Bombers set attendance records in 2011, most noticeably the club posted six consecutive sell-outs at Canad Inns Stadium in the regular season in addition to selling out the Eastern Division Championship game.[11][12] The average regular season home attendance for the Blue Bombers in 2011 was 29,606, which set a franchise record, eclipsing the mark of 28,739 set in 1985.[13][14]

Big Blue Flight CrewEdit

The Big Blue Flight Crew is a Volunteer program, sponsored by Tim Hortons. The Flight Crew has evolved from its humble beginnings into an extremely organized group of eager individuals that provide essential services to the Blue Bomber Organization. Members of the Flight Crew assist with game days, concert, amateur football games and office administration work throughout the year. Game day positions include, but are not limited to; ticket scanning, guest services, parking attendants, VIP hosting, on-field promotions, shuttle service, and pre-game activities. Each position is essential to the game day experience and every volunteer brings a variety of skills that are an integral part of ensuring our game days run smooth from start to finish.

MascotsEdit

Buzz & Boomer have been the official mascots of the Winnipeg Blue Bomber since the Spring of 1984. The dynamic duo never fails to entertain fans with their slapstick comedy routines and outrageous stunts during Blue Bomber home games. The pair has also been know to take flight to cheer on the team for road games. Buzz & Boomer make countless appearances throughout Manitoba on behalf of the football club.

Team historyEdit

BeginningEdit

The first football team in Winnipeg was formed in 1879 and was called the Winnipeg Rugby Football Club. In 1888 the Winnipeg Football Club, St. John's College and the Royal School of Infantry formed the Manitoba Rugby League. In October 1890, Regina North West Mounted Police played the Winnipeg Football Club twice in Winnipeg with each side winning once. In 1892 the Manitoba Rugby Football Union was formed on Monday, February 22, and played Fall and Spring Schedules. Teams included the Winnipeg Victorias, Winnipeg Rowing Club, and the St. John's. In 1896 MRFU adopted the CRU rules.

In 1911 Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta Unions formed the Western Canada Rugby Football Union on Saturday, October 21. Winnipeg realtor Hugo Ross donated the championship trophy bearing his name. He subsequently drowned in the sinking of the S.S. Titanic in April, 1912. In 1913 the Hamilton Tigers played four exhibition matches in Western Canada defeating Winnipeg 26–1, Regina 26–4, Moose Jaw 25–1 and Calgary 19–2. This is the first documented East-West series of games.[15] In 1928 the Tri-City Rugby Football Union was formed on Saturday, August 25, and consisted of Moose Jaw, Regina and Winnipeg. The Union disbanded the following year because of travel expenses. Saskatchewan and Winnipeg re-formed their unions.

On Tuesday, June 10, 1930, the Winnipeg Winnipegs Rugby Football Club was formed and adopted the colours of green and white. The Winnipegs played their first game against St. John's Rugby Club on September 13, 1930 where St. John's won by a score of 7–3. In 1932, the Winnipegs and St. John's merged into one team and adopted the colours of blue and gold.[16]

Notable seasonsEdit

Record 24 Grey Cup appearancesEdit

League annals show 10 Grey Cups (CFL championships), and 24 Grey Cup appearances the most in the CFL.

1935 Grey Cup ChampionsEdit

Western teams had been to the Grey Cup game ten times since 1909, but they had always gone home empty handed. It was clear in those days that the East was much more powerful, outscoring their opponents 236–29 in these games. On December 7, 1935, the Bombers got their first shot at winning the Grey Cup. The game was being held in Hamilton, with the home-town Tigers being their opponent. It was a rainy day at Hamilton Amateur Athletic Association Grounds, with 6,405 fans in attendance.

Winnipeg was up 5–0 before many fans had even reached their seats. Hamilton player Jack Craig let the opening kickoff bounce to the turf while a Winnipeg player promptly recovered the ball at the Hamilton 15-yard line. Winnipeg scored quickly on a Bob Fritz pass to Bud Marquardt to get the early lead. After scoring another touchdown off of a Greg Kabat catch in the endzone, Winnipeg went into halftime up 12–4. Their lead was soon cut to three points in the second half after Hamilton scored a touchdown of their own, helped by a blocked kick that placed the ball on the Winnipeg 15-yard line.

Then, after a Hamilton rouge, Winnipeg's RB/KR Fritz Hanson caught the kickoff, and after a few moves and a few missed tackles, was on his way to a touchdown, making the score 18–10. Hamilton would force a safety to bring themselves within six points, but failed to crack the endzone, getting as far as the Winnipeg four-yard line. The final score was Winnipeg 18, Hamilton 12. With that, Winnipeg had become the first team from Western Canada to win a Grey Cup.[17]

Blue BombersEdit

In 1936, during a game against the University of North Dakota, Winnipeg Tribune sports writer Vince Leah remarked "these are the Blue Bombers of Western football." This phrase was referring to then heavyweight champion Joe Louis, known as the Brown Bomber. From that day forward the team has been known as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. In that same year, the Blue Bombers, Calgary Bronks and Regina Roughriders formed the Western Interprovincial Football Union as the highest level of play in Western Canada.

Early days of gloryEdit

In 1936 the Western Interprovincial Football Union (WIFU) was formed with Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Calgary Bronks and Regina Roughriders. In 1940 the only two-game total point series in Grey Cup history was played. Ottawa defeated Toronto Balmy Beach 8–2 and 12–5. The series was arranged by the Canadian Rugby Union when it refused to allow Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the Western winners, to compete in the final because the West had played its season under rules which varied from rules in the East. In 1946, Air travel in football was used for first time. The Argos flew to Winnipeg for pre-season games.

From 1936 to 1949, the Bombers won the right to compete for the Grey Cup 9 times (1937, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1943 and 1945). Of these appearances, Winnipeg won only twice, in 1939 over the Ottawa Rough Riders and again in their 1941 rematch.

The Jack Jacobs era: 1950–1952Edit

In 1950 the first professional playoff game was played at night under lights – Winnipeg at Edmonton.[18] Jack Jacobs, known as Indian Jack, was a Creek quarterback from Oklahoma. He came to the Bombers in 1950 after a successful career in the United States. He led the Bombers to two Grey Cup appearances, losing both. His exciting style of play and extreme talent increased ticket sales and overall awareness and popularity of the club. The revenue the Bombers were getting from their new found popularity was enough to convince them to move from the small outdated Osborne Stadium to the new Winnipeg Stadium (now known as Canad Inns Stadium). Jacobs was so well liked that the fans even referred to the new stadium as "The House that Jack Built". Jacobs retired in 1954 to become a talent scout for the team.

In 1951, Jack Jacobs became the first pro football quarterback to throw for over 3,000 yards in a season with 3,248. That year he was also the first pro football quarterback to throw for at least 30 touchdowns, with 33. The next year he bested that mark with 34.

Glory years and Bud Grant saga: 1953–1966Edit

File:WinnipegBlueBombers1963.png

Bud Grant joined the team in 1953 after a two-year stint with the Philadelphia Eagles, as one of numerous NFL players lured to Canada during the first part of the decade for then better salaries. After a four-year career as a receiver, then at the time called an offensive end, he accepted the position of head coach of the Bombers in 1957. Grant went on to coach the team for the next ten years before becoming the head coach of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings.

In 1956, the Canadian Football Council was formed Sunday, January 22, at Winnipeg and national negotiation lists were introduced. In 1956, Blue Bombers fans named Labatt's Pilsener Lager, which had a blue label, Labatt Blue, in honour of their team.[19][20]

During Grant's tenure as head coach, the Bombers welcomed the likes of Ken Ploen, Leo Lewis, Ernie Pitts and Ed Kotowich to the team. The Bombers competed in six Grey Cup games during Grant's tenure, winning four (1958, 1959, 1961, and 1962).

The CFC was renamed the Canadian Football League on Sunday, January 19, 1958 at the Royal Alexandra Hotel in Winnipeg. G. Sydney Halter, Q.C. of Winnipeg was appointed Commissioner. The CFL opened on Thursday, August 14, as the Blue Bombers defeated the Edmonton Eskimos 29–21 at Winnipeg before 18,206 spectators.

In 1961, the Bombers won 21–14 over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the first Grey Cup game to go into overtime.[21] The Bombers and Ticats met again in the 1962 Grey Cup, with the game being postponed with 9:29 left in the fourth quarter due to zero visibility in the famous "Fog Bowl". The game resumed the next morning with the Bombers winning 28–27.

During the second half of the 1960s, the Bombers domination gave away to lean years, with four seasons of double digits in the loss column.

The 1970sEdit

The team bounced back in the early 1970s from four seasons of double digits in the loss column with the likes of quarterback Don Jonas, running-back Mack Herron, and wide receivers Jim Thorpe and Bob LaRose. The team finished first in the Western Conference in 1972, the first time it had done so since 1962. However, the Bombers came up short in the Western Final against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. In the game, the Bombers squandered a thirteen point, third quarter lead enroute to a heartbreaking 27–24 loss, with Saskatchewan kicker Jack Abendschan converting a short field goal attempt on the last play of the game to send the 'Riders to the Grey Cup against Hamilton. The 1972 season also marks the last time the team has finished first in the West. The team struggled for a few more seasons under coaches Jim Spavital and Bud Riley before Ray Jauch was brought in as head coach before the 1978 season. Under Jauch, the Bombers became one of the stronger teams in the West, but usually behind Jauch's former team, the powerhouse Edmonton Eskimos coached by Hugh Campbell.

The 1980s & the 1990s: The Cal Murphy eraEdit

In 1981, wide receiver Eugene Goodlow became the first CFL player to reach the century mark in receptions in a season. Goodlow caught 100 passes for 1,494 yards and 14 touchdowns. That season the Bombers became one of the first teams to have three receivers with at least 1,000 yards in a season. Goodlow with 1,494; Joe Poplawski with 1,271; and Rick House with 1,102.

File:BlueBombersgame.jpg

In 1983, Cal Murphy was hired to be the new head coach of the Blue Bombers. Almost immediately, Murphy set the tone for his career with the Bombers by trading popular QB Dieter Brock to Hamilton in exchange for lesser-known QB Tom Clements. Trading Brock turned out to be a wise decision, with Clements leading the Bombers to a crushing victory in the 1984 Grey Cup, coincidently over the Brock-led Tiger-Cats. This was Winnipeg's first Grey Cup in 22 years. Murphy was named coach of the year in both 1983 and 1984.

In 1986, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Montreal Alouettes played the first pre-season game in the Canada Games Stadium at Saint John, New Brunswick. Winnipeg won 36–10.

In 1987, the Montreal Alouettes folded on June 24; the schedule was revised and the Divisions realigned with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers moving to the Eastern Division. In 1987 Murphy stepped down as head coach to become the team general manager, with assistant coach Mike Riley (son of former Winnipeg coach Bud Riley) taking over head coaching duties. Riley's teams won the Grey Cup in both 1988 and 1990, garnering Riley the coach of the year award both seasons.

After Riley left, Darryl Rogers and Urban Bowman each helmed the team for a season until 1993, when Murphy took over head coaching duties again. Murphy went on to lead the team to a total of five Grey Cup appearances, winning, as a coach in 1984, and as a GM, in 1988 and 1990. He left the club after the 1996 season, having spent 14 years with the team. Later, he would coach the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1999.

In 1991, at the conclusion of the regular season schedule 58,862,660 people had attended CFL games since the League's first game was played on Thursday, August 14, 1958 at Winnipeg. Winnipeg played host to the Grey Cup Game for the first time on Sunday, November 24. Toronto defeated Calgary 36–21 before a crowd of 51,985 fans. The Game was the most-watched Canadian TV show with an audience of 3,531,000 viewers.

Reinebold years: 1997–1998Edit

In November 1996, Cal Murphy left the Blue Bomber organization, after 14 years. This was partly due to a 68–7 playoff thumping by the Edmonton Eskimos, and partly because the team had not had a winning record the previous two years, winning only seven games in 1995, and nine in 1996.

Jeff Reinebold was hired to replace Murphy as the teams coach, and despite a huge amount of hype, and championship promises going into the 1997 season, proved to be one of the least successful head coaches in team history. The Bombers won four games in 1997 and failed to qualify for the playoffs, ending the second longest consecutive playoff appearances streak at 17 seasons.[22] Reinebold's Bombers would win only three games the following season.

The few notable highlights from that era include:

  • Milt Stegall becoming an all-star in 1997, his first full year with the team, and scoring what seemed like at least one long TD in every game.
  • A 43–12 drubbing of the eventual Western Division champion Saskatchewan Roughriders in the 1997 Labour Day Classic.
  • A dramatic win over the Roughriders at home in 1998, with forgotten backup QB Troy Kopp leading the second-half more-than-20-point comeback. This was the "Guaranteed Win day" that the club had been promoting all week, as well as the first win of the season, in week 11.

The Milt Stegall era: 1995-2009Edit

Milt Stegall joined the Bombers in 1995 after a 3-year career returning kicks and seeing spot duty at receiver with the Cincinnati Bengals. He played in the Bombers' final six games of the 1995 season, racking up 469 receiving yards. In 1997 Stegall set a new league record that still stands today for average gain per reception with 26.5 yards on 61 catches for 1616 yards, including 14 touchdowns. Following a brief return to the NFL, that saw him on the verge of making the Green Bay Packers if not for a serious knee injury at the end of training camp, Stegall remained the team's primary receiver.

In 1999, the Bombers acquired Khari Jones from the BC Lions. Together, Stegall and Jones brought the Bombers back to prominence, with Jones being the CFL most outstanding player in 2001, and Stegall getting the honour in 2002. During the 2006 Grey Cup festival, Khari Jones and Milt Stegall were voted and honored as the best QB/WR combo in CFL history. Charles Roberts joined them in 2001, a year which the Bombers went to the Grey Cup, which they eventually lost to the Calgary Stampeders. The team was a powerhouse during this period, being one of the best teams in the league from 2001 until 2003.

Midway through the 2004 season Jones was traded to the Calgary Stampeders, with backup QB Kevin Glenn taking over the starting duties. Glenn led the team to two mediocre seasons after the trade.

With the offensive core of Stegall and Roberts still intact, Glenn led the Bombers back to respectability in 2006. The season included many highlights but none as exciting at what is simply known as "The Play". On July 20, 2006, trailing the Edmonton Eskimos on the road 22–19, and facing third and long on their own 10 yardline with 4 seconds left in the game, Milt Stegall caught a 100 yard TD pass from Kevin Glenn as time expired to win the game 25–22. It is considered by many as the greatest play in CFL history. Aided by the "miracle" catch, the Bombers ended up making their first playoff appearance in two years. Despite losing in the first round, optimism going into the 2007 was higher than ever.

The 2007 CFL season was in some ways the year of Milt Stegall: he broke the career CFL touchdown record and fell just short of overtaking the career receiving yards record held by Allen Pitts. The 2007 season would likely be Stegall's last, as he was 37 years old and had been contemplating retirement for the previous two seasons. The Bombers led the East Division with 10 all-star selection in 2007. The Bomber selections on offense include quarterback Kevin Glenn, running back Charles Roberts, receivers Derick Armstrong, Terrence Edwards and Milt Stegall and offensive linemen Alexandre Gauthier and Dan Goodspeed. On defence, the Bomber all-stars included defensive tackle Doug Brown, defensive end Tom Canada and linebacker Barrin Simpson.[23]

The 2007 Grey Cup game was played between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the first time the two prairie teams met for the championship. Winnipeg was defeated by the Saskatchewan Roughriders 23–19 in the Rogers Centre in Toronto. During the East division final win over the Toronto Argonauts, quarterback Kevin Glenn broke his arm and Winnipeg was left with an inexperienced rookie to take his place for the championship game. Back-up quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie — in his first CFL start — did not fair well and threw one touchdown pass, fumbled once and threw 3 interceptions to Saskatchewan cornerback James Johnson. Johnson was later declared the game MVP. One of the picks, was shown in the instant replay to have hit the ground before it was caught. Despite his rookie mistakes, Dinwiddie showed promise going into the 2008 season. He was released prior to the 2009 season.

It was announced on January 31, 2008 that Milt Stegall would be returning for one more year for the 2008 season. He signed a one year contract for $200,000 on the basis of the fact his wife wanted to have their next child in Winnipeg, and the fact that they were in line to be a contender for the Grey Cup. He took a $50,000 pay cut, and started the season 159 yards away from breaking Allen Pitts all time receiving yards record. Other returning players who were free agents going into the 2008 season, including star DE Tom Canada, OL's Dan Goodspeed & Matt Sheridan, signed for less money from the Bombers than other teams were prepared to pay them, in hopes of a Grey Cup run in 2008. Tom Canada in particular, reportedly turned down a much higher contract offer from the Montreal Alouettes, to come back to Winnipeg.

File:Winnipeg Blue Bombers v. Hamilton Tiger-Cats.jpg
The Bombers made a surprise trade when they sent all star running back Charles Roberts to B.C. for Joe Smith on September 2, 2008. Then on September 8, 2008, they traded all star DE Tom Canada to Hamilton for Zeke Moreno. But on September 9, 2008, the trade was cancelled because Canada was injured and could not play for at least 10 weeks. So since they could not trade Canada they sent over Corey Mace and a First round pick for Moreno.

Following the 2008 season in which the Bombers were defeated in the division semifinals, Doug Berry (the head coach) was fired. Mike Kelly was chosen to replace him. At the end of the Cal Murphy era Mike Kelly was the offensive coordinator and was passed over for the top job in favour of Jeff Reinebold. With Milt Stegall's early season knee surgery and drop in production it was once again speculated that Milt Stegall would retire.

The departure of Brendan Taman on January 13, 2009, was another sign that this era was coming to an end and a new one was beginning.[24] On February 18, 2009, Milt Stegall did retire from the CFL which formally ended the Milt Stegall era.

A new eraEdit

The return of Mike Kelly opened a new Cal Murphy era, and the board hoped to bring back Murphy's success. However, Kelly was fired by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Board of Directors on December 17, 2009, after one year of employment.

File:Grey Cup 2011 2.jpg

Paul LaPolice was introduced as the 28th head coach in Blue Bombers history on February 5, 2010. The new coach emphasized the idea of "team" and playing for the uniform. He also made it a point to talk about fixing problems rather than making excuses.

The new paradigm was tested in the 2010 season in which the team finished 4–14 and missed the playoffs for the second straight year. Nine of those games were lost by 4 points or less, while ten were lost by a touchdown or less. The nine games lost is a record in the CFL after the 1993 Ottawa Rough Riders had seven such losses during their season and when the BC Lions also had seven of these losses in 1996.[25] To further the difficulties of the 2010 season, the Bombers started four different quarterbacks that year, due to injuries to Buck Pierce and Steven Jyles.

The 2011 season featured an almost completely unchanged team (save for a few losses to the NFL and a few gains from the draft). The Blue Bombers reversed their standings from last place in the east in 2010 to finishing in 1st place in the East division with a 10–8 record.[26] The team success hinged around one of the league's leading defence that adopted the name Swaggerville, which led them to their first division title in 10 years.[27]The 2011 season saw the passing of Bombers Defensive line coach Richard Harris. Harris' impact on people was evident with the tributes from current and former players.[28] [29] After finishing first-place in the CFL East Division, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were rewarded with eight players (Receiver Terrence Edwards and offensive linemen Brendon LaBatte and Glenn January,were recognized on offense, while defensive linemen Doug Brown and Odell Willis along with defensive backs Jovon Johnson, Jonathan Hefney and Ian Logan took home the honors on defense) being named to the CFL’s 2011 East Division All-Star Team[30], the most by any other team in their division. Five Blue Bombers were named to the Canadian Football League 2011 CFL All-Star team: Offensive lineman Brendon LaBatte, defensive end Odell Willis, defensive backs Jonathan Hefney and Jovon Johnson as well as safety Ian Logan were selected to the All-Star team by fans, members of the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) and CFL head coaches.[31] The team advanced to the 99th Grey Cup after defeating Hamilton in the Eastern Final. However, they lost to the favored BC Lions by a score of 34–23.

Current personnelEdit

Current rosterEdit

Template:Winnipeg Blue Bombers roster

Current staffEdit

Template:Winnipeg Blue Bombers staff

ManagementEdit

Head coachesEdit

General managersEdit

RadioEdit

CJOB is the official radio broadcast rights holder for the Blue Bombers. Award-winning, CFL Hall of Famer Bob Irving is the voice of the Blue Bombers, and calls every home and away game from pre-season through to playoffs. On November 20, 2011 Jim Bell, President, Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced that CJOB/Corus Entertainment signed a seven-year extension to continue carrying Blue Bomber games.[32]

StadiumEdit

During the Blue Bombers' early years the team played at Osborne Stadium, a small stadium near the Manitoba Legislative Buildings. The fast passing-dominated play of Bombers quarterback Jack Jacobs dramatically increased attendance at Blue Bombers games and precipitated the need for a new, larger stadium. Winnipeg Stadium was built in the West End of the city near Polo Park, and the Blue Bombers began play there in 1953. The Blue Bombers played their last game at the stadium, on October 29, 2011.[33]

In recent years, various plans were proposed to relocate the stadium. The latest was a 2008 plan to build a new stadium at the University of Manitoba, with both private and public funding. On April 2, 2009, David Asper (a media mogul located out of Winnipeg associated with Canwest and Creswin Properties) finally inked a deal with all levels of governments to build a new 33,422 (expandable to 45,000) seat stadium at the University of Manitoba in Southwest Winnipeg. This will serve as the home for the Blue Bombers as well as the U of M Bisons. The deal includes refurbishing the existing Bison Stadium for practice and training as well as upgrading, expanding, and building new sports and fitness facilities. This project, once complete, will be the premiere sports training facility in Canada.[34] The new stadium and facilities will be complete for the 2013 CFL season, with the retail development finished in 2014, and it will be known as Investors Group Field.[35][36]

Players of noteEdit

Canadian Football Hall of FamersEdit

All-Time 75th Anniversary TeamEdit

Team members notable elsewhereEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2007/01/15/asper-bombers.html
  2. cfl.ca.
  3. No-nonsense boss, New Bombers chairman sets code of conduct by Paul Friesen http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Columnists/Friesen/2010/04/06/13492186.html
  4. Garth Buchko named President and Chief Executive Officer of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers http://www.bluebombers.com/article/garth-buchko-named-president-and-chief-executive-officer-of-the-winnipeg-blue-bombers
  5. http://www.bluebombers.com/article/2008_annual_report_released_
  6. 2009 Bombers Suffer (Final) Loss, Published on April 7, 2010 http://cfldb.ca/single-points/2010/04/2009-bombers-suffer-final-loss/
  7. Bottom-line bungling in Winnipeg Salary cap violation in 2009 proves costly for Bombers, By PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/Winnipeg/2010/04/06/13492006.html
  8. Bombers Release Annual Report http://www.bluebombers.com/uploads/assets/WPG/2009_Annual_Report.pdf
  9. 2010 Annual Report http://www.bluebombers.com/uploads/assets/WPG/2010AnnualReport.pdf
  10. 2010 Annual Report http://www.bluebombers.com/uploads/assets/WPG/2010AnnualReport.pdf
  11. Another sell-out for Bombers; Temporary seats now available 2011-10-19 http://www.bluebombers.com/article/another-sell-out-for-bombers-temporary-seats-now-available
  12. Eastern Final Sold-Out; Temporary Seats Now Available 2011-11-17 http://www.bluebombers.com/article/eastern-final-sold-out-temporary-seats-now-available
  13. http://www.bluebombers.com/article/blue-bombers-will-surpass-single-season-club-attendance-record-friday
  14. http://www.cfl.ca/schedule/year/2011/time_zone/0
  15. http://web.archive.org/web/20091027031640/http://www.geocities.com/cflhistory/Teams/Winnipeg_Blue_Bombers.htm
  16. 2009 Canadian Football League Facts, Figures & Records, Canadian Football League Properties/Publications, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 978-0-9739425-4-5, p.282–283
  17. Grey Cup 1935 1935 Grey Cup. CFL. Retrieved on November 9, 2012.
  18. http://web.archive.org/web/20091027031640/http://www.geocities.com/cflhistory/Teams/Winnipeg_Blue_Bombers.htm
  19. Labatt Blue. Labatt Brewing Company. Retrieved on 2009-08-28.
  20. Labatt renews long-standings relationship with Blue Bombers. Labatt Brewing Company (2007-05-24). Retrieved on 2009-08-28.
  21. http://web.archive.org/web/20091027031640/http://www.geocities.com/cflhistory/Teams/Winnipeg_Blue_Bombers.htm
  22. http://www.cfl.ca/article/by-the-numbers-playoffs By the Numbers: Playoffs???!!!
  23. http://www.bluebombers.com/article/bombers_lead_east_with_10_all_stars
  24. Taman resigns player personal post with Blue Bombers. TSN (January 13, 2009).
  25. http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/Bombers+fail+critical+times/3762472/story.html?cid=megadrop_story Bombers fail at critical times
  26. "Blue go from reverse to first", Winnipeg Free Press, November 6, 2011. 
  27. "Swaggerville reincarnate", Winnipeg Free Press, September 19, 2011. 
  28. Bomber players remember Coach Harris http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8RIpNDB_Hw
  29. http://cfldb.ca/single-points/2011/07/richard-harris-1948-2011/
  30. http://www.bluebombers.com/article/eight-blue-bombers-named-to-cfls-east-division-all-star-team
  31. http://www.bluebombers.com/article/five-blue-bombers-named-to-cfls-all-star-team
  32. Blue Bombers announce seven-year extension with CJOB 680 for radio broadcast rights http://www.bluebombers.com/article/blue-bombers-announce-seven-year-extension-with-cjob-680-for-radio-broadcast-rights
  33. http://www.bluebombers.com/article/toronto-27-winnipeg-22
  34. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/the-jets----and-a--big-league-stadium-too-131439343.html
  35. Official Site of the new Bomber Stadium. Blue and Gold.
  36. Bombers accelerate stadium plan. CFL (March 31, 2010).

BibliographyEdit

  • Bob Irving (edited by). Blue & Gold: 75 Years of Blue Bomber Glory, 2005. ISBN 1-894283-59-7
  • Official statistics of the WIFU, CFC and CFL, 1950 to 2007
  • CFL Facts, Figures and Records 1985 to 2007
  • Winnipeg Blue Bomber Media Guides 2006 and 2007

External linksEdit

MediaEdit

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