Sunday, September 9, 2007

Banjo Bowl, murder and policing

Today is the infamous Banjo Bowl in Winnipeg where the Winnipeg Blue Bombers play the Saskatchewan Roughriders. It will be the fifth consecutive sell-out for the team as they watch records being broken by Steagall and Roberts.

The Banjo Bowl name came from the flamboyant kicker Troy Westwood (my brother;s former roommate) who once said that it was wrong to think that everyone in Saskatchewan was a banjo picking inbred. He said that not everyone in Saskatchewan could play the banjo.

This stinging rebuke of Saskatchewan was embraced by both teams as a way of filling seats on both the Labour Day Classic and the follow-up game a week later. And thus, the Banjo Bowl was born.

Numerous Saskatchewan fans travel to Winnipeg to support their team in the game. It is a time of good cheer between blue and gold and Saskatchewan green.

The one snag: tailgating won't be allowed. The police have said they will crack down on any alcohol they see in non-unlicensed areas such as parking lots.

Can you imagine if American police tried to crack down on American fans? There would be a revolution.

I have no problem with the police trying to stop drinking and driving as well as belligerent behaviour but this crack down is an over aggressive stance that seems geared to protecting booze sales at licensed establishments.


The Winnipeg Police Service has consistently poo-poohed the idea of a serial killer stalking prostitutes. That was the standard response by the police in Vancouver and again by the police in Edmonton until...they arrested a serial killer.

I don't know that the police in Winnipeg are simply dismissing the idea as an investigation strategy or because they really believe there is no serial killer. Certainly, one expert in geographic profiling seems to think so.

The province has allocated more resources to finding the killer or killers of prostitutes in Winnipeg. The bodies keep piling up though and the dumping ground for some seems to be concentrated in one area.

A little more openness about the problem could help but the cops keep everything close to the vest.

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