Bombers gift long-time CJOB play-by-play voice Bob Irving with Grey Cup ring
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers unveiled their 2019 Grey Cup rings on Thursday, a much anticipated event for any player winning a championship. Amidst all the other glitz and glamour, head coach Mike O’Shea had a special gift for CJOB play-by-play announcer Bob Irving.
“Bob is long-suffering, 29 years of calling games and not having it come to fruition the way he wanted it to. To hear him talk about how excited he was about the run we went on those last four games and how memorable that was for him,” O’Shea told the small group in attendance. “We need to recognize, and I’m sure everyone here would, what not only Hall of Fame broadcaster but a professional we have in Bob and I’ve been blessed to call him my friend. I want to make sure, Bob, that you get yours too.”
The head coach then presented a visibly touched Irving with his own custom Grey Cup ring. O’Shea made clear the qualities required to receive a ring earlier in his speech.
“It takes an army to win a championship and not just any army, a group of extremely dedicated all-in people, who are truly leaders in all their areas. One of the things we try to do in our organization is make sure everybody involved is the head coach in their own area and they recognize opportunities to lead and they take them,” he said. “Everybody who is getting a ring has shown that ability to lead and be head coaches in their own right.”
Irving has been the head coach in the Bombers broadcasting booth since 1974 and a iconic voice in Manitoba sports. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame Media Wing in 1997.
The Bombers caused some controversy Grey Cup week when they were accused of throwing a “behind-the-scenes hissy-fit” over the fact Bob Irving was unable to call the game on CJOB because TSN holds exclusive national broadcast rights to the Grey Cup. Its clear those complaints were generated by legitimate appreciation for their own iconic voice and now the club has backed it up with a priceless gift reserved for those that make championship teams great.