The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are making waves — and not for the right reasons.
TSN 1040 radio man Matt Sekeres is in Calgary for Grey Cup week and took to his radio show with Blake Price on Friday (24:30 mark) to discuss the petty behavior of the Winnipeg Football Club.
“The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have seemingly been as concerned with media coverage on Sunday as anything else,” said Sekeres.
“The Bombers have been throwing a behind-the-scenes hissy fit that the game is on TSN radio nationally, including the TSN affiliate 1290 AM in Winnipeg, because the play-by-play will not include their legendary, long-time voice Bob Irving.”
Irving has been the voice of the Blue Bombers since 1974. The 69-year-old is beloved in the province Manitoba — he was inducted to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1997 and the media centre at I.G. Field bears his name.
Irving works for CJOB 680 in Winnipeg, an affiliate of Corus Radio. Corus doesn’t own the national radio broadcasting rights to the Grey Cup, which currently belong to TSN.
Television play-by-play man Rod Black will call the Grey Cup on radio as he has for a number of years. Black is a TSN employee; Irving is not. It’s unclear why the Blue Bombers expected Irving would be eligible to broadcast a game to which his employer hadn’t secured the rights.
“The Bombers threw another tantrum about which reporter would cover their sidelines on Sunday — which radio reporter,” said Sekeres.
Sekeres says the club is “apparently still sore at one TSN reporter,” the identity of whom is TSN 1290’s Darrin Bauming. Bauming has worked as the station’s beat reporter for the past six seasons and did not vote for Andrew Harris for team awards due to his two-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs.
Every season, I have always been open and shared my awards ballot. My 2019 #Bombers team ballot:
MOP: Willie Jefferson
MOC: Mike Miller
MOOL: Stanley Bryant
MODP: Willie Jefferson
MOSP: Mike Miller
MOR: Kenny Lawler
I hold one of five votes determining Winnipeg’s nominees.
— 𝗗𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗻 𝗕𝗮𝘂𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 (@DarrinBauming) October 30, 2019
Evidently, the Blue Bombers don’t want Bauming covering their sideline during Sunday’s Grey Cup game.
“And to think on the biggest game of most of their lives — on the day they finally might bring Lord Grey’s mug back to Winnipeg — we’re supposed to believe that Bombers’ coaches, players, and executives care who’s reporting from the sidelines,” says Sekeres.
“It’s at best petty, it’s at worst vindictive. It’s small time and small town. And, should the Bombers lose to Hamilton in the 107th Grey Cup game Sunday, I sure hope that some lessons will be learned.”
Price, a native of Winnipeg, echoed Sekeres’ sentiments.
“The Bombers are being awfully short-sighted in this and it’s very disappointing.”