Sunday, 27 November 2011

Winnipeg's Grey Cup history (1925-2011)

Winnipeg Rail Museum

I have two football related posts today !

Earlier was part 7 of my Great Winnipeg Stadium Moments series: Grey Cups (1991, 1998 and 2006). Now, a bonus post of interesting Winnipeg Grey Cup moments from assorted stadiums from the past 99 years !

December 6, 1925, MB Free Press:

December 5, 1925 - In Winnipeg's first appearance at the big game, the Ottawa Senators beat the Tammany Tigers 24 – 1 on home turf to win the 13th Grey Cup.

Winnipeg's Tammany Tigers Athletic Association, (which also fielded baseball and hockey teams), were western rugby champions but no match for their eastern counterparts. This was nothing new. The cumulative score of the 1922 - 1925 Grey Cup games was east 114, west 2.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers 1935
December 7, 1935 - The 'Winnipegs' defeat the Hamilton Tigers 18-12 to become the first Western Canadian team to win the championship! It was Grey Cup number 23.

The late, great Fritz Hanson scored a 78 yard touchdown seal the game. He led the Blue to two more Cups.

December 10, 1937 - The Bombers and Toronto Argonauts play for the 25th Grey Cup in a violent wind storm in Toronto. The result was a paltry seven total points, a record low for a Grey Cup game. Sadly, Toronto scored four of them.

December 10, 1938 - The Bombers are defeated 30 - 7 by the Toronto Argonauts in the 26th Grey Cup. It's the second loss in a row to the Argos.

It is, however, the first game recorded by the CBC. Check out the play by play !

Well Done Bombers
December 9, 1939 - The Bombers beat the Ottawa Roughriders at Lansdowne Park for the 27th Grey Cup.

CBC Archives has a radio clip of the game and post-game interviews. The team is also in the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.

Coach Threlfall:

November 29, 1941 - Threlfall's Blue Bombers beat the Ottawa Rough Riders to win the 29th Grey Cup. The team is in the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.

At the final whistle, over 700 Manitoba troops invited to watch the game stormed Varsity Stadium's field and stole both goal posts. They surfaced the following day outside the Bombers' downtown Toronto hotel.

December 5, 1942, Wpg Tribune

December 5, 1942 - The two Rugby Unions that fought for the Grey Cup suspended play from 1942 to 1944. That didn't stop the game, though.

30th Grey Cup saw the Winnipeg R.C.A.F. Bombers (with jerseys very similar jersey to those of the modern day Winnipeg Jets !) play the Toronto R.C.A.F. Hurricanes. Winnipeg lost. The Winnipeg R.C.A.F. Bombers were back the following year but lost to the Hamilton Flying Wildcats.

November 25, 1950 - The Argos record the sixth and last shutout in Grey Cup history. Unfortunately, it was a 13-0 defeat of the Bombers in the so-called mud bowl, the 38th Grey Cup. Also see CBC TV archives footage !

On January 22, 1956 in the Royal Alexandra Hotel at Higgins and Main the Canadian Football League was created ! Winnipeg sports administrator Syd Halter is named its first commissioner.

Van Pelt:

November 29, 1958 - According to Vince Leah, the 46th Grey Cup final was the most thrilling the Bombers have ever played. They found themselves down 14 - 0 before Bud Grant's boys began clawing their way back. The Bombers won the game 35 - 28 and ended an 18 year Grey Cup drought.

Bomber QB Jim Van Pelt set a Grey Cup record with 22 points. The team is in the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.

Nov. 29, 1959, Wpg Free Press

November 28, 1959 - The Bombers rallied for 18 points in the fourth quarter to beat the Hamilton Tiger Cats 21 - 7 for the 47th Grey Cup.

This was the first Grey Cup game for Bomber Mascot Teddy the Chimp who made the trip to Toronto with the rest of the team. They won it twice more with Teddy as a member of the team.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers 1961
December 2, 1961 - The 49th Grey Cup game is the first and only one that required overtime. The Bombers' Ken Ploen scored the winning touchdown in the 73rd minute to beat the Hamilton Tiger Cats 21 - 14.

The team is in the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.

December 1 - 2 , 1962 - The 50th Grey Cup was a two-day affair thanks to a zero visibility fog that enveloped Toronto's Exhibition Stadium.

The Bombers were leading Hamilton 28 to 27 on the strength of
Leo Lewis who ran for two touchdowns and threw for a third when the game was suspended with 9:31 left in the fourth quarter. When it resumed the next day, no further points were scored.

November 18, 1984 - The Bombers defeat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 47-17 to win the 72nd Grey Cup in Edmonton.

Winnipeg's defense smothered Hamilton who set a Grey Cup record for the fewest rushing yards in a final: 24.

November 27, 2011 ... We will know soon !

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