For Todd Henrickson, it all started when Regina hosted the Grey Cup in 2013.
Henrickson is a part of the Legion of Boom, a group of four high school friends from Moose Jaw who come together every Grey Cup to celebrate the Riders and to reconnect.
“We all went to school together at one point and over the years we’ve all just moved away,” He said. “One of the guys lives in Langley, B.C., one in Airdrie, Alta., I’m in Okotoks, Alta. and the other gentleman is now in Saskatoon.”
He said the group bought the 2013 Grey Cup tickets without knowing the Riders would make it that far. After the ticket purchase, Henrickson said that’s when the creative juices started to flow.
“We were sitting around yackin’ back and forth and somebody had the idea of, ‘Hey why don’t we dress up and make this a little bit more fun and do a weekend out of it?’ he said. “From there, it snowballed.”
Now, the Legion of Boom is hard to miss at the Grey Cup.
All four men don face paint and get decked out in Rider jerseys, kilts, spiked shoulder pads, hard hats and forearm guards.
“The outfits we wear are the brainchild of one of our members, my buddy Norm,” he said. “He’s a big wrestling fan and a big Raiders fan.”
For this year’s fifth anniversary, the group’s gear has a fresh paint job – with new hard hats, new spikes with skulls and, of course, more Rider gear.
Henrickson joked that most friends and family don’t believe how dressed up they get as most would say “‘that definitely can’t be you guys, because you’re all way too conservative.”
As for why the four friends have made it a tradition, Henrickson said it comes down to the love of the game and being from a small Saskatchewan city.
“The nice thing about doing this in Rider gear is no matter where you go, there’s always Rider fans — people are very supportive,” he said. “The nice thing is you’re always meeting new people and coming up with new friends.”
A friend they made at the very first Grey Cup game for the Legion of Boom happened to be a popular celebrity. So far, it’s the highlight of Henrickson’s time with the group.
“We were walking through Taylor Field before the game and this gentleman popped his head out of a booth and said, ‘hey do you mind if I take a selfie with you?'” Henrickson recalled.
“My one buddy turns to me and says, ‘you know that’s Tom — that movie star — Tom Hanks’ and I’m like there is no way that Tom Hanks is sitting in Regina, I think you need another drink.”
As fate would have it, Tom Hanks was indeed in Regina.
“Then to top that all off, the Riders win the Grey Cup at home — you couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.”
The Legion of Boom fly out to this year’s Grey Cup next Wednesday with the hope to cheer on the green and white.