A Northern Combines player tried to tackle a Southern Bombers opponent
in last January’s Garbage Bowl at Royal West Academy
in Montreal West.
THE GAZETTE, MONTREAL, SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31,1995
A ‘Trashy’ tradition
West kicks off the new year with the- 47th annual Garbage
The football game evolved from the long-standing
rivalry between Montreal
West residents who live south of the
CPR tracks and their neighbors to the north.
A local New
Year’s Day football tradition continues
tomorrow when players dressed in green and red long underwear take
to the field at Royal West Academy for the 47th annual Garbage Bowl.
The game is part of a light-hearted yet long-standing rivalry between Montreal
West residents who live south of the CPR tracks, represented by the Southern
Bombers, and their neighbors to the north, whose team is called the Northern
Marnie Dickson Telfer,
an organizer of the event for the past 10 years, said the game has never
been canceled or rescheduled because of bad weather.
“We’ve always played on New Year’s Day,” Telfer
said. “The guys have practically had to wear skates some years.”
A parody of the U.S. college
bowl games, the Garbage Bowl was first played without goal posts. The name
derives from those early years when converts were made by tossing the football
into garbage cans positioned at the ends of the field.
The venture is a fundraiser sponsored by the
Montreal Westward Rotary Club. Between $10,000 and $15,000 is generated
each year, Telfer said.
“We raise money for various charities through advertising, donations and,
for the past five years, we’ve also been selling T-shirts,” Telfer
Proceeds go to the Mackay Centre, the Children’s Wish Foundation, the
Missing Children’s Network, the Lamp- lighters aid the Starlight Foundation.
Players are recruited in September and practice once a week for about
four months. But it’s a whole new set of rules on game day when
many of the players come to the field hung over from New Year’s
Eve festivities the night before.
There’s one tale from 1951 about a player who arrived by taxi from an
all- night bash minutes before the start of the match. He was dressed in party
gear, but was clutching his long johns.
He was able to put on his uniform in time to start the game and score a 102.
In accordance with tradition, Miss Leftovers will perform the ceremonial kickoff
to start the game.
Her title comes from the way the queen of the Garbage Bowl is selected.
The names of all Royal West Academy
students vying for the title are placed in a hat. The one left over
after the others have been picked out gets the honor of being Miss
Geraldine Doucet is scheduled to sing the national
anthem at the event, which begins at 2 p.m. at the Royal West Academy,
near the corner of St. Jacques
St. and Westminster Ave. in Montreal