Fur goodness sake, Streveler's back with the Blue Bombers

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced on Wednesday that fan-favourite quarterback Chris Streveler has signed a one-year deal with the club.

QB with the beard, broad smile and fur coat returns after 4 seasons in the NFL

A man in fur coat and cowboy hat, with a bare chest under the open coat, holds a large silver trophy.
Chris Streveler created an iconic image during the 2019 Grey Cup parade that has been replicated by many Bomber fans ever since. (CBC)

Get out the fur coats, Streveler's back.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers announced on Wednesday that fan-favourite quarterback Chris Streveler has signed a one-year deal with the club.

Streveler, 29, returns after spending the last four seasons in the National Football League, suiting up for nine regular season games and starting one during his days with the Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets.

He has had brief stints with the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins.

Two football players in white and blue uniforms stand beside one another in conversation, without helmets.
Chris Streveler, right, is back with Zach Collaros, reuniting the combo that ended Winnipeg's 29-year Grey Cup drought in 2019. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Streveler first joined the Bombers on May 4, 2018, and became the club's starting QB a few weeks later following the sudden retirement of Darian Durant and an injury to Matt Nichols near the end of training camp.

That made him the first straight-from-college quarterback to open the season for a CFL team since Anthony Calvillo with the Las Vegas Posse in 1994 and the first for the Blue Bombers since John Schneider in 1968.

He threw for 11 touchdowns and five interceptions in his first season in Winnipeg while rushing for 10 more TDs, making him the first Winnipeg QB since Matt Dunigan to hit double-digit touchdown totals through the air and on the ground.

During the 2019 Grey Cup championship run, he again stepped in for an injured Nichols and guided the club to a 3-5 record. His 726 yards rushing that year established a club record by a quarterback, eclipsing Ken Ploen's mark of 541, set in 1960.

Streveler started 12 games in 2018 and 2019 with the Blue Bombers, going 4-8 in those games.

He threw for 2,698 yards with 19 touchdowns and 19 interceptions during his days with the club, and rushed for 1,167 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Bombers current QB Zach Collaros joined the team in 2019 and made an immediate dynamic duo with Streveler — Collaros with the accuracy through the air and Streveler plowing his way through opposition defenders on the ground.

"This guy's a warrior, toughest guy in the league," Collaros said about Streveler after the pair upset the Calgary Stampeders 35-14 in the West Division semifinal that year.

Two football players celebrate on a cold day, their breath seen outside their facemasks.
Chris Streveler, right, celebrates a touchdown with Zach Collaros during Winnipeg's 35-14 victory over Calgary in the 2019 West Division semifinal. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press )

Despite an ankle injury, Streveler led the Bombers in rushing that game with 82 yards, including a 24-yard TD romp in the fourth quarter.

The pair then brought home Winnipeg's first Grey Cup in 29 years with a 33-12 victory over a heavily favoured Hamilton Tiger-Cats squad.

His toughness may have defined him, but Streveler became best known for his furry side.

During the 2019 Grey Cup parade in Winnipeg, a cigar-chomping and shirtless Streveler donned a fur coat and cowboy hat.

The attire has since become synonymous with the bearded and broadly smiling QB. In fact, it's been a staple for some fans at Bombers games ever since that day — despite Streveler being gone four years.

The Bombers released him to chase NFL opportunities three months after the 2019 Grey Cup victory.


Darren Bernhardt spent the first dozen years of his journalism career in newspapers, at the Regina Leader-Post then the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. He has been with CBC Manitoba since 2009 and specializes in offbeat and local history stories. He is the author of award-nominated and bestselling The Lesser Known: A History of Oddities from the Heart of the Continent.