Milt Stegall (L) and Matt Dunigan smashed watermelons against a wall during a CFL on TSN panel. Milt Stegall (L) and Matt Dunigan smashed watermelons against a wall during a CFL on TSN panel. (Awful Announcing on Twitter.)

Theme nights have been a big part of sports for a long time, and the Canadian Football League’s B.C. Lions came up with a great one Saturday. With that team hosting the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who have a decades-long tradition of fans wearing carved-out watermelons on their heads, the Lions opted to host a “Watermelon Smash Game.” That included all sorts of things, from players entering with watermelons and overalls to a fan tailgate zone (with beer, watermelon White Claws, and watermelon-themed contests refereed by CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie).

And the CFL on TSN broadcasting panel (also seen on the international broadcasts on CBS Sports Network and CFL+) got in on the action themselves. That started with host Kate Beirness tossing a watermelon around on set with panelists Milt Stegall and Matt Dunigan (panelist Davis Sanchez never got his hands on it) in a pre-halftime segment. And that segment concluded with play-by-play voice Dustin Nielson getting back to the game with “Fun with watermelon, coming up at the half.”

And there was indeed fun with watermelon coming up at the half. After showing footage of some of the fan festivities, TSN cut to one of the wildest (and messiest) halftime panel stunts in a while. That saw Dunigan and Stegall each throwing a watermelon at a wall outside the studio, with Dunigan using his quarterbacking experience (713 yards in a game!) and former receiver Stegall doing a bit of a FIFA Women’s World Cup promo, heading the watermelon down to his hand before a throw.

Those are some good watermelon smashes, even if they’re not the cocktail. And they were judged, with Beirness and Sanchez both giving Stegall a 10 and Sanchez also giving Dunigan a 10, but Beirness giving him an eight. The segment also ends with Beirness saying “I have been told we have to clean this up as a team.”

This was only part of the watermelon shenanigans going on Saturday. Here are photos and images from the Lions of some of their player entrances:

For those curious how watermelon helmets came to be a thing in Saskatchewan, and just how you construct one, we present this 2009 feature:

The Lions did wind up smashing metaphorical watermelons on the field as well, winning 19-9 (despite the early loss of quarterback Vernon Adams Jr.) to improve to 5-1 on the season. The Riders fell to 3-3 with the loss. There’s no word on how the watermelon cleanup went for the panel.

[Awful Announcing on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.