As Bombers advance, long-suffering fan hopes to end 18-year-long no pants pledge
Chris Matthew says he's not getting ready to put on pants just yet, but remains hopeful
With the Winnipeg Blue Bombers advancing to the West Division final against Saskatchewan, could this be the end of Bomber fan Chris Matthew's 18-year-long pledge to not wear pants until his beloved team clinches the cup?
Despite seeing the team advance in the CFL playoffs, he says he's not getting ready to switch out of his shorts just yet.
The Bombers head to Regina for next Sunday's West final against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, after beating the Calgary Stampeders 35-14 in Sunday's West Division semifinal.
The victor there will represent the West in the Grey Cup in Calgary on Nov. 24.
In November 2001, Winnipeg Blue Bomber fan Chris Matthew made a casual bet when he thought his beloved team was sure to win the Grey Cup.
Still wearing shorts in November, he said he'd switch to pants after the Bombers clinched the cup.
"So ever since, I've been in shorts," he said.
The only time Matthew will put pants on is if he has to go to a funeral — where the family doesn't know about the bet.
"If they know about the shorts, I'll still wear shorts to a funeral," he said.
'They could beat anybody'
The Bombers haven't taken home the Grey Cup since 1990 — the same year Nelson Mandela was released from prison. The World Wide Web wasn't even a thing yet.
Despite his team being one step closer to the cup, he said they've let him down too many times for him to get too excited just yet.
"If they play as well as they did yesterday, they could beat anybody," he said.
"If they don't win, I'm fine. I've lived with this now for almost 20 years, I can continue, it's not that big a deal. For their sake and for the sake of every other Bomber fan, I'd like to see them win."
His wife, Darla, says she's past the point of caring.
"I don't care. He likes it, and I know that win or lose, he likes the shorts. And he complains, but I think he loves the attention," she said.
"We have been walking down the street when it's cold out. and I have a fur coat, and he's in shorts, and people stare. And I just assure them, yes, he's an idiot."
If you're looking to charter a bus to Regina for the big game, that might be tough on short notice, says Allan Mellon with All Road Tours.
If you do, Mellon's advice is to get insurance, and make sure it's registered properly.
"Since the Humboldt incident, people are wary of who they travel with. There are reputable companies in Winnipeg, just do your homework," he said.
"My suggestion if you want to go to Regina ... jump in your car. Finding a bus would be very difficult."
As for Matthew, he says he's staying put.
"First of all, it's Regina, and I'd have to sit outside, in the cold, in my shorts, and I'm not gonna do that."
With files from Eleanor Coopsammy