All gold, all the time. This week’s #CFLBeauty of the week goes to the man made of solid gold. Image: Johany Jutras.
With no lack of dedication, this week we are awarding #CFLBeauty status to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Golden Boy. Our very own Justin Rowan was able to catch up with the Golden Boy and learn all about the transformation process and where the idea came from!
Interview By: Justin Rowan.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers may be in the middle of a nearly three decade title drought, but one thing that never changes is the support that the team receives from its diehard fans. You can’t go to a home game at Investors Group Field without encountering a colourful collections of characters full of passion.
— Johany Jutras (@johanyjutras) August 15, 2015
Among the Bomber fans, there’s one who’s dedication to the blue and gold (particularly gold) is painted across his chest for all the world to see. That person is Jason Bond, whom Bomber fans may know as the man that paints himself up as the Golden Boy for every Bomber game. The Golden Boy is a proud symbol on top of the legislature building that looks over the city in the same way Jason sits up near the top of the north endzone, watching over the team he holds dear to his heart. I caught up with Jason to find out what exactly inspired this tradition and to find out a little bit more about the man behind the persona.
So I guess my first question would be, how long have you been dressing up as the golden boy for bomber games and what inspired it?
I attended my 1st Labour Day in 2004. We saw so many crazy costumes mostly Rider fans. My friends found some blue coloured garbage bags and wore them to support the Blue Bombers. I passed at the time on the idea and on the trip home I asked my friends “What if we did a Labour Day Classic and I dressed up as the Golden Boy?” They didn’t think it would fly.
I moved that year from Portage la Prairie to Winnipeg and found a job across the street at the MB Legislature. Everyday on my walk to work I would pass by the statue and say to myself “I have to do that in Regina for Labour Day”.
In 2007 we all made the trip back to Regina and I brought out the paint and we made me shine. It continued again in 2010 and by 2011 Blue Bomber fans were asking me to do Banjo Bowl. So I did and the fandamonium begun.
When Investors Group Field opened up I decided it was time to be another Dancing Gabe and made it a fix to be there for all Blue Bomber home games.
— Golden Boy (@WPGGoldenBoy) July 30, 2015
That’s absolutely incredible. As someone that’s had season tickets in the north end zone every year at IGF I can attest to you becoming a beloved fixture at every home game. You’ve clearly been a fan for a long time and not only bleed blue and gold, but literally shine gold. How long does the process to get ready for games usually take and how much help do you receive? Because you really don’t miss a spot.
Most of the time I paint myself. I usually get home from work around 4:15. Start it with a pre game beer and start making the paint. A home game consists of around five bowls of paint. The paint is a theatre make up paint mixed with a waterproof liquid mix. It takes a very small amount but whipping it up is like making scrambled eggs. I apply it on with a makeup sponge and do my best and not missing a spot or prevent streaks from showing. My brother Chris comes to the games from Portage La Prairie and when he arrives he does a final spot check and helps with the areas I missed or not strong at getting at. So about 1.5 to 2 hours.
Labour Day Classic and Banjo Bowl are different; It involves early wake up calls and we go ‘All Out’ and do the whole body. This also cause my brother Chris is close by. Also I can’t do my back so Chris paints it up. Last year he missed LDC and a Rider fan came to the hotel and put it on. These days involve 3 hours of painting. It’s all worth it by the support of both football clubs.
The CFL family is a strong one. So in all of your years as a dedicated bomber fan, what would you say your favorite bomber memory was and were you suited up for it?
Favorite Bomber memory… first would be the 2011 CFL East Division final. Next would be the last game at Canad Inns Stadium. I was painted gold but dressed for the cold weather conditions. Other than that, one of my favorite plays was against the Roughriders at the Old stadium when Mike Sellers carried five Rider players on his back and ran 15 yards meanwhile his helmet coming off all the way to the 1 yard line. Still searching for that first Labour Day Classic victory. When it does happen it will be a special memory and a night of partying and cheering.
Image: Johany Jutras
You certainly aren’t alone in craving a win at the Labour Day Classic. With the Riders struggling this season I’m considering making the journey this year just to see that win myself. What are your thoughts on the Bombers this season so far and what do you expect out of them?
Be careful… in 2011 we all went there thinking we already won. Palardy hits the post on his 1st field goal try and we never came back against a 1-7 team. No matter what even 52-0 we go cause we know we have to be there for our Bombers. Part two to your question, the Bombers this season are still a growing team. This shown by the .500 record and how they have played each week. Personally I feel if we play a very great defence with no penalties than we can play with the best of the league. If the D goes than we just a regular team on a level playing field. They have surprised me so far this year and at times I have to remember not to get too up or down cause it’s better than our past few seasons and to enjoy what we currently have going for us. It’s still a growing process here not like our beer snakes 😉
I think we both agree that the team draws it’s power from the mighty beer snake. Your warning was also spoken like a true Bomber fan, even if it did bring back some repressed memories that I thought I had done away with. Before we end this, is there anything you’d like other Bomber fans to know about yourself? Any fun bits of information or things you do outside of being the Golden Boy?
I’m single and always interested in a date. I find it hard to cheer for Canada at hockey. I’m a Portage LA Prairie boy and I love the Terriers #WeAreTerrierTown. I’m down to earth and a good person and try to do the right thing. My mom’s proud of me and that’s all that matters.
There you have it! A proud example of the passion Winnipeg’s football club can bring out of it’s fans. Win or lose the hope never dies and the passion only intensifies. They keep on cheering and Jason stays Golden… Boy.
You can follow the Golden Boy on Twitter @WPGGoldenBoy.
Justin Rowan is a Canadian writer that currently writes for the SB Nation Cleveland Cavaliers blog Fear The Sword, as well as Hoops Lounge. You can follow him on Twitter @Cavsanada.