They say you can’t go home again, and after this past weekend, depending on what happens, I might never be welcome in my great hometown of Winnipeg again.
You see, I can be a bit of a betting man. Not so much actual betting — I’m the guy who puts $5 in a VLT. If I lose the $5, I walk away. If I get up to $13, I cash out and walk away. The thrill of the gamble is lost on me.
However, throw in the more creative, imaginative stakes and I’m hooked. And, that is what happened last week.
You see, one of my cohorts, Darlene, at our sister office in Moose Jaw made me an offer I just couldn’t refuse last week, even though a smart betting man would have said no. She suggested a little wager on the big game on Sunday.
So of course, how could I refuse?! But, the stakes are mammoth. If I lost, I have to wear a Saskatchewan Roughriders jersey all of next week. As a dyed-in-the-wool Blue Bomber fan since I was a little boy, just the thought of such a thing makes me melancholy.
Of course, there has to be consequences both ways, so she will have to march around Moose Jaw in a Bomber jersey this week if the Blue and Gold finally won a game on Labour Day in the Saskatchewan capital.
And, there’s the worst part of my wager. With their current success rate of once a decade, betting on the Bombers to win is akin to picking the Washington Generals over the Harlem Globetrotters.
Although, now that I think about it, the last time I had to put on an enemy jersey, it was a lot of fun. About a decade ago, I attended a Blue Bomber game in Calgary against the Stampeders with a friend. She knew the guy who handled the Stamps promotions and on-field games and contests.
Well wouldn’t you know it, he invited her (and I) to take part in a third quarter contest where we had to run halfway across the field and back again, carrying three huge three ring binders stacked on top of the other in each arm like we were servers at a restaurant.
The only catch, the disgusting catch, was we had to wear Stamps jerseys over top of our Bomber jerseys. I begrudgingly did so. Why not, it was a chance to win an iPod shuffle. Well, no surprise with my long stride, and much more fit body back then, I won pretty handily, and as I approached the finish, THAT was when inspiration struck!
As I crossed the finish line, I tossed down the binders, reached down and grabbed the bottom of the Stampeders jersey and pulled it off and threw it on the ground, and struck a pose in the Bomber jersey underneath.
It was such an epic moment! There was an audible gasp from the crowd, followed by the rather passionate booing of 35,000 people! It was so much fun. Ironically, it was the very next season that I took on the role as a CFL ballboy at Stamps games.
I was a little perturbed by the Stamps organization though. They invited all their in-game contest winners back for the final game for one last set of contests, with the winner earning a brand new iPod Touch. For some reason I just can’t quite figure out, I never got that invite.
So, maybe if I am forced to wear Rider green all this week, I can take lemons and make lemonade (or watermelons and make…slices of watermelon?) and make the best of a bad situation. But, of course, in this betting with my heart instead of my head, I am hoping that my Bombers finally pulled this monkey off their back and got a win in Regina on Labour Day.
Then again, I’m also hoping I just made it out of Mosaic Stadium alive!
Darryl Mills is the Daily Herald’s managing editor. You can reach him at 765-1302 or by email at Darryl.firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @darryl_mills