The Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced on Monday that they would be unveiling a 2019 Grey Cup banner at their home opener on August 5 at IG Field.
The visiting Hamilton Tiger-Cats are the same team that Winnipeg upset in the Grey Cup by a score of 33-12, ending a 29-year championship drought.
The unveiling of the banner and its accompanying celebration will stir the crowd in Winnipeg, but that doesn’t phase Ticats’ head coach Orlondo Steinauer.
“I would expect that. When else would you do it? Week two? Week three? That doesn’t make any sense. You do it opening week,” said Steinauer via videoconference.
The Blue Bombers initially said they would not raise the banner until a capacity crowd could be held at IG Field. With a sold-out crowd of fully vaccinated fans expected to attend next week’s home opener, the ceremony will go ahead before the game gets underway.
2019 CFL all-star receiver Bralon Addison recently said it would be “a little sweet to spoil” the banner being raised by avenging Hamilton’s Grey Cup loss. Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ head coach Mike O’Shea joked that the Ticats couldn’t spoil the ceremony unless “they’re planning on climbing to the roof and somehow sabotaging the rope system.”
Steinauer is indifferent to the ceremony taking place, considering how long ago the 2019 title game took place.
“They earned that last year and it’s a celebration for them, it’s no added motivation,” said the second-year head coach. “That’s I don’t know how many years ago now — it seems like a while since the last time we played. That’s expected and if I was in their shoes then when’s a better time than opening night?”
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers open the 2021 CFL season on Thursday, August 5 at 8:30 p.m. ET.