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Cold Western CFL Final: Strange Preparations By BC & Pro-Tips For Fans To Stay Warm!

As Sunday November 13th approaches both the BC Lions’ players and the Winnipeg Blue Bomber fans are preparing for the cold. However, they are going about it completely different way.

BC Lions

The BC Lions took a big step forward in winning the Western Semi-Final but also drew some criticism for their revelry.

Do I have an issue with BC celebrating after a win that advances them forward? Absolutely not. What I want to do is contrast them with their opponent. Their opponent that is very, very good. Their opponent are the back-to-back Grey Cup Champions. Their opponent has this years Most Outstanding Player as well as the Rookie of the year on their team – no the awards have not been presented yet, but book it! And finally, their opponent is all business.

They say in sports “Act like you have been there before.” I can recall in 2019 the Toronto Raptors. I remember saying after their wins, “They are all business.” That is exactly what I saw with the 2019 Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the regular season as well as the playoffs – and that Bomber team had not been there before. That is the same type of “all business” the Bombers approached 2021 with, as well as 2022.

While Winnipeg has built its culture on being all business, it looks like BC is building its culture on fun. Today the BC Lions spent the day getting ready for the cold in Winnipeg by…riding around on jet skis! Yes the high was only 7 degrees today, and in BC they call that chilly. Even the jet ski rental company is out in shorts and a t-shirt.

James Butler, who I suggested is not a bad weather back  – and the reason I wanted Winnipeg to play BC – thought that sitting on the beach sipping and iced coffee was good preparation for Winnipeg weather.

Now if James Butler were the only one on the beach, maybe there would have been some method to his madness. However, you can clearly see others enjoying the beach – so it cannot be that bad out there.

On Sunday November 13th the high is going to be -5 degrees and the low will be -13 with a real feel of -20 degrees! I would project that the temperature is going to be around -10 by half time with a reel feel of -13 degrees.

Riding jet skis, going to the beach and sipping iced coffee is not going to help the BC Lions prepare for the cold. On the other hand, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are out practicing in the elements regularly.

Winnipeg Blue Bomber Fans

The Winnipeg Blue Bomber fans are a resilient groups. They live, work, and play in the cold for many months of the year. They prepare for the cold by taking their kids to school, going to the grocery store, going to appointments and running errands in November. Life in Winnipeg and Manitoba – as many fans travel from outside Winnipeg – is all about cold weather preparation.

Personally, I have been taking my morning coffee outside and I sit in the cold to get ready for the Western Final. When I start to get cold I tell myself, “I love the cold!” (Which is an absolute lie, I hate it.) However, the reality is that enduring the cold is both a physical and mental task – a task that the BC Lions have yet to take on.

Tips For Staying Warm At The Western Final

I have been to a number of cold games in Winnipeg. Here are my pro-tips for staying warm at a cold game (feel free to add yours in the comments).

*Bring an extra pair of socks

No I am not talking about an extra pair of socks to put on top of the socks you already have, although a good pair of winter socks over regular socks is a great idea. Rather, bring an extra pair of socks to change into after you park. There is nothing like socks that are a little damp from sweat that will make your feet cold in a hurry. So park, and change your socks.

*Do not drive in your winter boots

Winter boots that get wet from sweaty socks will make your new pair of socks wet right away, and then you are no better off. Why am I talking about sweaty socks? Guaranteed you are going to have your car heater on as you drive to the stadium, and your feet will sweat.

*Bring some construction grade styrofoam

Once you have your sock situation worked out, you are going to want to bring some construction grade styrofoam. Why? It acts as a great insulation barrier between the concrete and your boots. I like to cut a hole in the styrofoam and but an old belt through it so I can carry it over my shoulder to the game as opposed to trying to awkwardly carry it.

*Hand and foot warmers

Bring multiple pairs of hand and foot warmers. In fact make sure to have multiple pairs open at the same time. They take time to activate and if you have multiple pairs open it makes rotating through easier. Simply put the ones you currently are not using in your pockets.

*Layer up

It is better to have and not need than to need and not have.

*Find the coffee and hot chocolate lines early.

You are going to want to figure out what vendors sell the coffee and hot chocolate before the concourse gets packed. That way when you need to warm up from the inside you know right where to go.

Maybe you think I completely missed the mark on all of this.

What did I get right? What did you disagree with? Let me know in the comments.

Find all my articles here.

Written by a Bomber fan, for the Bomber fans.

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author avatar
Don Cruickshank Reporter


  1. Ben

    November 9, 2022 at 9:35 pm

    If you do get really cold at the game. Go to the heated washrooms to warm up.

  2. DOUG

    November 9, 2022 at 10:55 pm

    Stay close to the rum hut. Nothing else needed

  3. Geoff Ritchie

    November 9, 2022 at 11:08 pm

    I think you nailed it Don. The importance of not over-heating for the start of the game is vitally important in avoiding getting the chills (and possible illness) later on. Enjoy the game

  4. Vickie Short

    November 12, 2022 at 11:24 am

    100% Popped in hand & foot warmers at halftime worked great last year. Wind chill will be minimal compared to last yr. It’ll be a balmy day for football!

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