Gridiron fertile ground where legends grow

ADAM WAZNY -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:32 PM ET

Everyone kind of knows the story, but in case you don't, here goes:

Picture this. The year is 1950. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers find themselves in the Grey Cup game against the hometown Toronto Argonauts at Varsity Stadium.

One problem. The field is mud.

The Mud Bowl was just the setting for one of the most unusual events in Canadian Football League history, where a Bomber player drowned in a puddle of water.

Seriously.

History, tradition, and strange moments like that make the Bombers beloved in this town for 75 years now.

Think about it. The reason why the Big Blue is the biggest ticket in town -- they have the history, the legends.

People like Jody Remple.

'JUST HAVING FUN'

Remple is the fine upstanding man who for some strange reason decided to run onto the field and try to tackle Lions corner Eric Carter during the 2002 West semifinal against B.C. at Canad Inns Stadium. He was eventually beat down by Carter and Lions linebacker Carl Kidd.

"I had way too much to drink," Remple told The Sun after the episode. "When I look at that (video of the incident), I just shake my head. I can't believe it's me."

Said Carter: "The young guy was just having fun."

Back when it happened, there was outrage. Players didn't feel safe. Fans didn't feel safe. Security at the stadium needed to be beefed up. People were scared to leave their homes, or something like that.

Now, many remember the moment as a piece of Bomber history that will be laughed at, joked about, and counted among the stupidest things to ever happen on the gridiron.

The stunt made national (even international) news and cemented Remple and Carter in the pages of Bombers lore -- ahead of the stolen centre-field 'C' ('member when the stadium got rid of the grass and put in the ashphalt-like artificial turf, only to have someone steal the mid-field centre-line letter), but well behind the two-year Jeff Reinebold experiment.

Ugh, Reinbold and his 6-26 record.

Ask most fans to single out one memory they'd like to erase from the Bomber memory banks and it would be that Harley-Davidson, leather jacket-wearing coach who replaced the legendary Cal Murphy.

The disdain most have for JR is unmatched (maybe Dieter Brook is hated more) but all fans can agree. He was a character -- just like Tyrone Jones, Milt Stegall, or Cactus Jack.

There are several other classics:

Like when Kerwin Bell scored a touchdown against the Bombers and spiked the ball, only to have it come back up and nail him between his legs. It might have been the first time a quarterback sacked himself in a CFL game.

Bell would later sign with Winnipeg.

Or the 1962 Fog Bowl, played over two days because a dense Lake Ontario fog meant players couldn't field punts and fans couldn't see the action on the first day, in which the Blue and Gold beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 50th Grey Cup game.

Oh, and let's not forget Section 'S'.

The good times in the student section at canad Inns Stadium could be summed up by the actions of one guy.

That guy who stands the entire game with beverage in hand and faces the crowd, not the action on the field.

Turn around buddy. You're funny, no question, but you're missing a lot of action.

As for the player who drowned in the puddle of mud ... it turns out he didn't.

Lineman Bud Tinsley was infamous Bomber player in the Mud Bowl. Despite the concerns of fans and officials, it turns out he was just resting with his face down in the muddy turf after receiving a hit.

He got up and scored six touchdowns later that game. O.K. maybe that part didn't happen (The Bombers lost 13-0).

See how easy it is to get caught up in the nostalgia of the Blue and Gold?

KEY DATES IN BOMBER HISTORY:

1990 -- Winnipeg whipped Edmonton 50-11 in the last Grey Cup they have won to date. Fullback Warren Hudson scored two touchdowns, with wide receiver Lee Hull, slotbacks Perry Tuttle and Rick House and linebacker Greg Battle scoring the others.

1991 -- Winnipeg played host to its first Grey Cup, with the Toronto Argonauts defeating the Calgary Stampeders 36-21 before 51,985 fans.

1992 -- Calgary Stampeders defeated Winnipeg 24-10. David Sapunjis and Allen Pitts scored TDs for Calgary while slotback Gerald Alphin had the lone Winnipeg major.


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