Fan Fest Wrap-up

May 14, 2016

Willy Stepushyn has been there, in both good times and bad, cheering on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers since the mid-1970’s.

He’s retired now from his days as a teacher at Transcona Collegiate, but remains as committed as ever to the Bombers and being there in person for every game.

“I keep coming back for two reasons,” said Stepushyn, not long after picking up his season tickets at the Bombers’ annual Fan Fest. “First, it’s loyalty. And also because it’s become a social event for a lot of us.

“We’re with the same group of people. We visit and we have a grand time… so much so that sometimes we don’t even watch the game because we’re too busy doing other things.

“It’s family.”

Over the years Stepushyn has also developed a reputation as having a few things to say to the opposition during games – very little of it complimentary.

“That’s my job. I’m here to do my job,” he said with a grin. “We’re right behind the opposing bench, Row 1.  B.C. is one of my favourite targets.”Moe & fans

Corrie Proulx has been a Bomber Season Ticket Member for five years. And, like Stepushyn and thousands of other Bomber fans in other sections, game day has not only become a social event, it’s widened her scope of friends.

“It’s the atmosphere, the fans, the players,” said Proulx. “The fans around me, we all met on Twitter originally. We started talking about the Bombers, talking about the games. And then over the years we all merged our seats together. There are nine of us who sit together now in the same row.

“It’s like our own little family. The players have been awesome. They come over and talk to my little niece Reimi Rapinchuk before they run inside. Moe (Leggett) high fives her before the game and now he’s her favourite player.”

Fan Fest offered over six thousand Bomber faithfuls the chance to do more than just pick up their season tickets. The Bomber Store was buzzing as fans gobbled up the new adidas line, there was an interactive photo booth, and CFL official Al Bradbury led educational ‘Let’s Talk Officiating’ for fans.

Rory signing autographAs well, the lines were long for both the alumni autograph signings featuring Stan Mikawos, Trevor Kennerd and Nick Miller, and for the current crew that included Leggett, Andrew Harris and Rory Kohlert.

“There’s an excitement from people, about what is coming this season,” said Kohlert. “It’s good. It gets you more excited now that it’s coming closer. I enjoy this kind of stuff.

“There’s a definite positive vibe because of the guys that they’ve added and the guys that are still here and are more mature. We’ve got a lot of games under our belt now and we’re a lot more experienced as a team. In years past we were a little young and it showed at times.

“I believe this year will be a turning point for us.”

Season Ticket Members can still pick up their packages this weekend at the Pinnacle Club until 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Following this weekend, fans can pick up their tickets at the ticket centre at the Bomber Store during regular store hours.