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The Grey Cup
Grey Cup
(French: Coupe Grey) is the name of both the championship game of the Canadian Football League
Canadian Football League
(CFL) and the trophy awarded to the victorious team playing Canadian football. It is contested between the winners of the CFL's East and West Divisional playoffs and is one of Canadian television's largest annual sporting events. The Toronto Argonauts have the most Grey Cup
Grey Cup
wins (17) since its introduction in 1909, while the Edmonton Eskimos
Edmonton Eskimos
have the most Grey Cup
Grey Cup
wins (11) since the creation of the professional CFL in 1958. The latest, the 105th Grey Cup, took place in Ottawa, Ontario, on November 26, 2017, when the Toronto Argonauts
Toronto Argonauts
defeated the Calgary Stampeders
Calgary Stampeders
27-24. The trophy was commissioned in 1909 by the Earl Grey, then Canada's governor general, who originally hoped to donate it for the country's senior amateur hockey championship. After the Allan Cup
Allan Cup
was later donated for that purpose, Grey instead made his trophy available as the "Canadian Dominion Football Championship" (national championship) of Canadian football. The trophy has a silver chalice attached to a large base on which the names of all winning teams, players and executives are engraved. The Grey Cup
Grey Cup
has been broken on several occasions, stolen twice and held for ransom. It survived a 1947 fire that destroyed numerous artifacts housed in the same building. The Grey Cup
Grey Cup
was first won by the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. Play was suspended from 1916 to 1918 due to the First World War and in 1919 due to a rules dispute. The game has typically been contested in an east versus west format since the 1920s. The game was always played on Saturdays into the late 1960s, but since 1971 has always been on a Sunday. Held in late November or early December, and mostly in outdoor stadiums, the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
has been played in inclement weather at times, including the 1950 "Mud Bowl", in which a player reportedly came close to drowning in a puddle, then the 1962 "Fog Bowl", when the final minutes of the game had to be postponed to the following day due to a heavy fog, and the 1977 "Ice Bowl", contested on the frozen-over artificial turf at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. Most recently, in the 2017 game snow fell, at times heavily, throughout the game. The Edmonton Eskimos
Edmonton Eskimos
formed the Grey Cup's longest dynasty, winning five consecutive championships from 1978 to 1982. Competition for the trophy has been exclusively between Canadian teams, except for a three-year period from 1993 to 1995, when an expansion of the CFL south into the United States resulted in the Baltimore Stallions winning the 1995 championship and taking the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
south of the border for the only time in its history.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Creation and early years (1909–1921) 1.2 Western participation (1922–1932) 1.3 Progress towards professionalism (1933–1956) 1.4 Canadian Football League
Canadian Football League
kicks off (1957–1969) 1.5 Eskimos' dynasty (1970–1988) 1.6 CFL USA (1989–1995) 1.7 Renaissance (1996–present)

2 Trophy 3 Grey Cup
Grey Cup
festival 4 Champions 5 Host cities 6 Broadcasting 7 See also 8 References 9 Further reading 10 External links

History[edit] Creation and early years (1909–1921)[edit]

The Earl Grey donated the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
in 1909.

While the Stanley Cup
Stanley Cup
was created in 1893 as the Canadian amateur hockey championship, professional teams were openly competing for the trophy by 1907.[1] Albert Grey, 4th Earl Grey, the Governor General of Canada, planned to donate a new trophy to serve as the senior amateur championship; however, Sir Montague Allan donated the Allan Cup
Allan Cup
before he could finalize his plans. Grey instead offered an award to the Dominion amateur rugby football championship beginning in 1909.[2] He initially failed to follow through on his offer; the trophy was not ordered until two weeks prior to the first championship game.[3] The first Grey Cup
Grey Cup
game was held on December 4, 1909, between two Toronto clubs: the University of Toronto Varsity Blues
University of Toronto Varsity Blues
defeated the Parkdale Canoe Club 26–6 before 3,800 fans.[4] The trophy was not ready for presentation following the game, and the Varsity Blues did not receive it until March 1910.[3] They retained the trophy in the following two years, defeating the Hamilton Tigers in 1910 and the Toronto Argonauts
Toronto Argonauts
in 1911.[5] The University of Toronto failed to reach the 1912 Grey Cup, which was won by the Hamilton Alerts over the Argonauts.[6] The Varsity Blues refused to hand over the trophy on the belief they could keep it until they were defeated in a title game. They kept the trophy until 1914 when they were defeated by the Argonauts, who made the trophy available to subsequent champions.[7] Canada's participation in the First World War resulted in the cancellation of the championship from 1916 to 1918, during which time the Cup was forgotten. Montreal
Montreal
Gazette writer Bob Dunn claimed that the trophy was later rediscovered as "one of the family heirlooms" of an employee of the Toronto trust company where it had been sent for storage.[8] The Grey Cup
Grey Cup
game was also cancelled in 1919 due to a lack of interest from the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union (IRFU) and the intercollegiate unions, along with rules conflicts between the Canadian Rugby Union (CRU) and the western union.[9] Competition finally resumed in 1920 with the 8th Grey Cup game, won 16–3 by the Varsity Blues over the Argonauts. It was the University of Toronto's fourth, and final, championship.[10] Western participation (1922–1932)[edit] Competition for the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
was limited to member unions of the CRU, the champions of which petitioned the league body for the right to challenge for the national championship.[11][12] The Western Canada Rugby Football Union (WCRFU) was formed in 1911, but the CRU did not come to a participation agreement with it until 1921, allowing the Edmonton Eskimos
Edmonton Eskimos
(no lineage to the similarly-named team operating since 1949) of the WCRFU to challenge.[13] Facing the Argonauts in the 9th Grey Cup, the Eskimos became the first western team – and the first from outside Toronto or Hamilton – to compete for the trophy.[14] The Argonauts entered the game with an undefeated record, having outscored their opposition 226 to 55 during the season. They dominated Edmonton, recording the first shutout in Grey Cup
Grey Cup
history with a 23–0 victory.[15] Multi-sport star Lionel Conacher
Lionel Conacher
was Toronto's top player, scoring 15 of his team's points before leaving the game after the third quarter to join his hockey team for their game.[14] The same Edmonton
Edmonton
team (renamed as Edmonton
Edmonton
Elks) challenged for the trophy again in 1922, but lost 13–1 to their eastern opposition, the Queen's University Golden Gaels. For Queen's, it was the first of three consecutive titles.[16] Western teams continued to vie for the trophy, but were consistently outclassed for several years. Eastern teams and critics felt the quality of the western game was inferior to theirs, and when Queen's defeated the Regina Rugby Club
Regina Rugby Club
54–0 in the 1923 final, the critics felt they deliberately ran up the score to prove that point.[17] Regina was western Canada's dominant team, appearing in the Grey Cup on six occasions between 1928 and 1934, but lost to their eastern opponents each time.[18] Regina helped revolutionize Canadian football in 1929, however, as they attempted the first forward pass in Grey Cup history.[13] The Winnipeg 'Pegs (now the Blue Bombers) became the first western Grey Cup
Grey Cup
champion in 1935 when they defeated the Hamilton Tigers, 18–12.[19] While the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
was slow to achieve national popularity,[20] the advent of the east versus west format helped make the game the nation's largest sporting event.[21][22] Progress towards professionalism (1933–1956)[edit]

Woman poses with Grey Cup
Grey Cup
in 1955.

As the quality of senior football improved, university teams realized they were no longer able to compete on equal footing and withdrew from competition for the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
in 1933.[23] By 1938, only three unions continued to compete under the banner of the CRU: the IRFU and the Ontario
Ontario
Rugby Football Union (ORFU) in the east, and the Western Interprovincial Football Union (WIFU) in the west.[24] The CRU experimented with a two-game, total points series to determine the champion in 1940. The Ottawa
Ottawa
Rough Riders won both games against Toronto's Balmy Beach, 8–2 and 12–5. The Grey Cup
Grey Cup
returned to its one-game format the following year.[25] Both the IRFU and WIFU suspended operations in 1942 due to the Second World War.[26] Grey Cup
Grey Cup
play was expected to be suspended along with the unions; however, the military felt the game and sport would serve as a morale booster and organized teams at bases across the country.[27] For the following three years, Grey Cup
Grey Cup
competition was limited to military teams, and in the 1942 Grey Cup, the Toronto RCAF Hurricanes defeated the Winnipeg RCAF Bombers 8–5 to become the first non-civilian team to win the national championship.[27] Two years later, the St. Hyacinthe–Donnacona Navy defeated the Hamilton Flying Wildcats, 7–6; no Grey Cup
Grey Cup
championship since then has featured two eastern teams.[28] The conclusion of the war led to the reformation of civilian teams; the IRFU resumed play in 1945, and the WIFU the following year.[26] A push by the sport's organizers to adopt an increasingly professional attitude dominated the post-war period: poor field conditions, previously accepted as part of the game, resulted in numerous complaints against the CRU following the 1949 and 1950 Grey Cups.[29] Field conditions at Toronto's Varsity Stadium
Varsity Stadium
were so poor in 1950 that the game has since gained infamy as the "Mud Bowl".[30] Deep ruts in the field and poor weather in the days leading up to the game resulted in a sloppy field covered in large puddles of water. The game also gained notoriety for the near drowning of Winnipeg's Buddy Tinsley, who was found face down in a large puddle, apparently unconscious. Tinsley later said that he had not lost consciousness, but his leg had gone numb from a hard hit to a preexisting injury.[31] Toronto won the game 13–0, the last time a team has been shut out in a Grey Cup
Grey Cup
game.[30]

Don Getty, future Premier of Alberta, celebrates with the Grey Cup after the Eskimos' 1956 championship.

The ORFU, the last purely amateur union competing for the Grey Cup, withdrew from Cup competition in 1954. Although the IRFU and WIFU champions had faced each other in the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
final since 1945, the ORFU's withdrawal left the IRFU and WIFU unchallenged as Canada's top football unions.[32] The Eskimos faced the Montreal
Montreal
Alouettes in three consecutive Grey Cups in the mid-1950s, winning all three.[33] Edmonton's first title in 1954 ended in bizarre fashion after Jackie Parker scored a touchdown (converted by Bob Dean) from a fumble recovery late in the game that gave Edmonton
Edmonton
a 26-25 lead. At the time in Canadian football, touchdowns were only worth 5 points. Parker's 90-yard fumble return was the longest in league history until Toronto's Cassius Vaughn returned a Calgary fumble 109 yards in the 2017 Grey Cup
Grey Cup
game which was won by Toronto. The 1954 game also marked the end of the amateur era as the top teams completed their transition to professional organizations.[34] As the 1950s wore on, the IRFU and WIFU distanced themselves from the CRU, forming the Canadian Football Council in 1956 to administer the game at the professional level.[35] Two years later, on January 18, 1958, the CFC withdrew from the CRU and reorganized as the Canadian Football League (CFL). The new league formally assumed control of the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
from the CRU.[36] Canadian Football League
Canadian Football League
kicks off (1957–1969)[edit] In the CFL's initial seasons, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Hamilton Tiger-Cats
were the league's dominant team, appearing in nine Grey Cups and winning four titles between 1957 and 1967.[37] The Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
opposed Hamilton on six of those occasions, winning four titles.[24] The two teams were involved in a series of bizarre incidents, the first occurring during the 1957 Grey Cup.[38] Toronto-based lawyer and fan David Humphrey had talked his way past stadium security and had been allowed to watch the game from the sidelines.[39] Ten minutes into the fourth quarter, Hamilton's Ray Bawel intercepted a pass and it appeared he would return the ball for a touchdown when Humphrey stuck his leg out and tripped Bawel as he ran up the sideline.[38] Unsure how to handle the situation as there was no rule designed to cover it, referee Paul Dojack invented one on the spot. He placed the ball half the distance to the Winnipeg goal line from the point Bawel was tripped.[40] The incident did not affect the final score, as Hamilton won 32–7.[41] The league also created a new rule during the 1961 Grey Cup
Grey Cup
as it was the first in history to end regulation time in a tie: CFL Commissioner Sid Halter determined the teams would play an overtime period that consisted of two five-minute halves. That rule remained the CFL standard into the 2000s.[40] Winnipeg scored the lone touchdown in overtime to defeat Hamilton 21–14.[42] Winnipeg and Hamilton met again in 1962, the 50th Grey Cup, immortalized as the "Fog Bowl".[41] The game was held at Toronto's Exhibition Stadium, and began on Saturday, December 1, 1962. The fog rolled in early in the second quarter and became increasingly dense as the game progressed.[43] By the fourth quarter, the players were unable to see the sideline markers and the fans unable to see the play.[41] The players were unable to see the ball in the air – kick returners listened for the sound of the ball hitting the ground – and the action was largely invisible to the television audience.[20] With nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds remaining in the game and Winnipeg holding onto a 28–27 lead, officials made the unprecedented decision to suspend play until the next day.[43] Though the league feared that continuing fog on the morning of December 2 would force the complete abandonment of the game, it lifted in time for the contest to resume. Around 15,000 of the original 32,655 spectators watched Winnipeg win the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
without further scoring by either team.[44] It was the first title game completed on a Sunday;[45] the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
moved from its traditional Saturday start to Sunday in 1969.[46] Eskimos' dynasty (1970–1988)[edit] The Montreal
Montreal
Alouettes' 1970 Grey Cup
Grey Cup
championship, an upset win over the favoured Calgary Stampeders, served as a morale booster for the city of Montreal, which was reeling in the aftermath of the October Crisis.[24] The 1970s belonged to the Edmonton
Edmonton
Eskimos, however, as they ended the decade as one of the most dominant teams in CFL history,[47] reaching the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
nine times between 1973 and 1982.[48] The team competed in three consecutive finals early in the decade, losing to Ottawa
Ottawa
in 1973 and Montreal
Montreal
in 1974, before winning the franchise's fourth championship in 1975.[49] The 1975 championship was held in Calgary and was the first Grey Cup
Grey Cup
played on the Canadian Prairies.[50] A young woman infamously streaked across the field during the national anthem despite frigid temperatures well below freezing.[51] The only time the Eskimos did not reach the Grey Cup final during this span was in 1976, when the Saskatchewan Roughriders met the Ottawa
Ottawa
Rough Riders. Both teams would fight a see-saw battle, which was decided in the dying seconds of the game when Ottawa quarterback Tom Clements
Tom Clements
threw to Tony Gabriel, which stood out as the winning touchdown, 23-20. The 1977 Grey Cup
Grey Cup
was the first held at Olympic Stadium
Olympic Stadium
in Montreal, contested by the home town Alouettes and the Eskimos in front of a record crowd of 68,318.[48] The game became known as the "Ice Bowl", as low temperatures froze snow on the field that had been melted by groundskeepers with salt, making the artificial turf extremely slippery. The Alouettes adapted to the field conditions by affixing staples to the soles of their shoes, improving their traction, and won the game by a 41–6 score.[24] Upset at losing the 1977 game under poor weather conditions, the Eskimos hoped for a rematch with Montreal
Montreal
in 1978.[52] Both teams reached the final game, which Edmonton
Edmonton
won 20–13. It was the first of five consecutive championships, a streak that remains unmatched in the history of the Grey Cup.[53] The Eskimos' dynasty dominated the league, losing a total of only six games during the three seasons from 1979 to 1981.[54] The 1981 Grey Cup
Grey Cup
was expected to be yet another easy win for Edmonton, who posted a 14–1–1 record during the season and were considered overwhelming favourites against the 5–11 Ottawa
Ottawa
Rough Riders.[55] The first half did not go as Edmonton
Edmonton
hoped, though, as Ottawa
Ottawa
emerged with a 20–1 lead. Quarterback Warren Moon led the Eskimos back in the second half, and with the game tied at 23, Dave Cutler kicked the game-winning field goal with just three seconds remaining.[56] Edmonton's championship run came to an end in 1983 when they failed to reach the final; the Argonauts defeated the BC Lions
BC Lions
to win the championship.[48] Despite Toronto's win, the CFL felt that the overall quality of play in the East Division had deteriorated compared to that of the West. In 1986, it altered the playoff format to allow the first non-playoff team in one division to take the last playoff spot, but stay in their division if they had a better record. The consequences of the new rules were felt immediately, as the league gave a playoff spot to the Stampeders having a better record than the Alouettes, and decided the East Division Final would be a 2-game-total-point Final between the Toronto Argonauts
Toronto Argonauts
and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who finished first and second, respectively. The crossover, if necessary, would begin in 1987. In financial difficulty, the loss of the playoff spot was disastrous for Montreal, which ceased operations one year later.[57] Reduced to eight teams, the CFL shifted Winnipeg to the East Division, making the 1988 Grey Cup
Grey Cup
between the Blue Bombers and Lions the first championship game between two western Canadian teams.[58] CFL USA (1989–1995)[edit] The 1989 Grey Cup
Grey Cup
is considered one of the finest games in Canadian football history:[59][60] The Saskatchewan Roughriders
Saskatchewan Roughriders
defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Hamilton Tiger-Cats
43–40 in the highest scoring Grey Cup
Grey Cup
game of all-time.[48] Saskatchewan kicker Dave Ridgway's last-second field goal won the game and made him a legend in the prairie province.[61] Declining interest in the CFL during the 1990s left the league in financial difficulty. Hoping to restore the league's credibility with fans, a new ownership group featuring Bruce McNall, hockey player Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky
and actor John Candy
John Candy
purchased the Toronto Argonauts
Toronto Argonauts
in 1991 and lured American college standout Rocket Ismail to Canada
Canada
with a four-year, $26.2 million contract which made him the highest paid player in football history at that time.[62] The Argonauts reached the 1991 Grey Cup
Grey Cup
and defeated the Calgary Stampeders
Calgary Stampeders
36–21. With 261 all-purpose yards on the game, including a then- Grey Cup
Grey Cup
record 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, Ismail was named Grey Cup
Grey Cup
Most Valuable Player.[63] The potential for the league to enter the American market was discussed in 1987 when operators of the defunct United States Football League approached the CFL about merging the two leagues.[64] The league showed little interest at the time, but as it continued its decline, the CFL reevaluated its position. In 1992, the CFL announced that it would expand into the United States. The Sacramento Gold Miners joined the league and became the first American team eligible to win the Grey Cup.[65] The league added three additional American teams in 1994 and two in 1995 (with one team folding), but the initiative failed in most markets, and by 1996, the CFL again operated exclusively within Canada.[66] The lone successful American market was in Baltimore, home to the Stallions. The team averaged over 35,000 fans per game in its inaugural season, nearly double that of Toronto or Hamilton. They matched that success on the field by becoming the first American team to play in the Grey Cup.[67] The BC Lions
BC Lions
kept the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
in Canada with a 26–23 victory in the 1994 final.[68] Baltimore returned to the title game one year later and became the only American team to win the trophy by defeating the Calgary Stampeders, 37–20.[69] The relocation of the National Football League's Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns
to Baltimore in 1996 caused the Stallions to seek a new city to avoid direct competition with an NFL team. The team moved to Montreal, forming the current incarnation of the Alouettes franchise and ending the CFL's excursion into the United States.[70] Renaissance (1996–present)[edit]

Montreal
Montreal
Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo
Anthony Calvillo
looks down field with the ball during the 2005 Grey Cup
2005 Grey Cup
against the Edmonton Eskimos
Edmonton Eskimos
at BC Place Stadium.

The league approached the 1996 Grey Cup
Grey Cup
in dire financial straits: the American expansion had been a failure, the 120-year-old Ottawa
Ottawa
Rough Riders franchise ceased operations at the conclusion of the regular season,[71] and out of the eight remaining teams, seven had lost money and two required direct assistance from the league to stay afloat. The Edmonton Eskimos
Edmonton Eskimos
could not afford to bring their players' families to the championship game.[72] The Toronto Star
Toronto Star
echoed fears spoken by fans and media across the country when it asked if the 1996 championship, won by Toronto over Edmonton, would be the final Grey Cup.[71] While the league struggled, the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
game itself retained its popularity and remained a national institution.[73] The strength of the contest allowed the league to endure its challenges.[74] The CFL survived into 1997 and was buoyed by an interest-free loan from the NFL,[75] a new television deal with The Sports Network
The Sports Network
which, along with the launch of its popular Friday Night Football program, has been credited with saving the league.[76] That year's Grey Cup, held in Edmonton
Edmonton
and won by Toronto, drew nearly 22,000 more fans than the previous year.[48] The CFL restored its reputation over time, enjoying new popularity into the 2000s such that it no longer had to rely on an exciting Grey Cup
Grey Cup
final to achieve stability for the next season.[74] In 2000, the 8–10 BC Lions
BC Lions
made history when they defeated the Montreal
Montreal
Alouettes, 28–26, becoming the first team in history to win the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
with a losing record in the regular season. In the game, 25-year veteran Lui Passaglia
Lui Passaglia
ended the longest career in CFL history by kicking what was ultimately the game-winning field goal.[77] The Calgary Stampeders
Calgary Stampeders
matched the Lions' feat the next year by becoming the second 8–10 team to win the Grey Cup, defeating the Winnipeg Blue Bombers by a 27–19 score in front of 65,255 fans, the second largest crowd in the game's history.[78] The 2005 Grey Cup
2005 Grey Cup
was the second overtime game in Grey Cup
Grey Cup
history, and the first one using the league's shootout overtime format (introduced in 2000). Both the Eskimos and Alouettes scored touchdowns on their first possessions, while Edmonton
Edmonton
scored a field goal in its second and held Montreal
Montreal
scoreless to win the game by a 38–35 score.[60] The game was played in the middle of a stretch of eight Grey Cup
Grey Cup
appearances by the Alouettes between 2000 and 2010.[48] In 2009, they defeated the Roughriders in dramatic fashion: placekicker Damon Duval
Damon Duval
missed a last-second field goal attempt that appeared to give Saskatchewan the victory. However, the Riders were penalized for having too many men on the field, allowing Duval a second opportunity. His second attempt was successful, giving Montreal
Montreal
a 28–27 victory.[79] The 100th Grey Cup
100th Grey Cup
game was played on November 25, 2012 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto between the Toronto Argonauts
Toronto Argonauts
and the Calgary Stampeders. The Toronto Argonauts
Toronto Argonauts
won the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
with a score of 35–22.[80] As per a new title sponsorship deal with Shaw Communications
Shaw Communications
announced in May 2015, the event will henceforth be known as the Grey Cup presented by Shaw.[81] The 10 4th Grey Cup game was played at BMO Field
BMO Field
in Toronto, which became the new home of the Argonauts beginning in the 2016 season.[82] After being promised the 10 2nd Grey Cup game as an incentive to rejoin the league, the 105th Grey Cup
105th Grey Cup
game was played at TD Place Stadium
TD Place Stadium
in Ottawa
Ottawa
in 2017, as part of celebrations to mark 150 years of Confederation.[83] The 55th Grey Cup, played at the end of 1967, was also held in Ottawa
Ottawa
as part of celebrations to mark 100 years of Confederation. Trophy[edit]

The 1909 Varsity Blues, inaugural champions. The Grey Cup
Grey Cup
is pictured at the front right.

The trophy was commissioned in 1909 at a cost of $48.[3] The chalice is made of sterling silver and stands 33 centimetres (13 in) tall.[84] Its original base was made of wood, with silver shields listing each championship year and winning team's name, beginning with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.[8] The players of the 1915 championship Hamilton team, apparently as revenge for Toronto's refusal to relinquish the trophy in 1912 and 1913, added a shield for the 1908 Tigers team to give the appearance that their organization had won the first Grey Cup.[85] A 1947 fire destroyed the clubhouse of the Toronto Argonaut Rowing Club and damaged the Grey Cup.[86] Many other trophies and artifacts in the clubhouse melted or were damaged beyond repair but the Grey Cup survived by catching onto a nail when the shelf upon which it sat collapsed.[8] The trophy has been broken on six other occasions: in 1978, when it was dropped by celebrating Edmonton Eskimos
Edmonton Eskimos
players; in 1987, when an Eskimos' player sat on it; in 1993, when Edmonton's Blake Dermott head-butted it; in 2006, when the trophy broke away from its base as the BC Lions
BC Lions
celebrated their victory; in 2012 when one of the handles broke off as the Toronto Argonauts
Toronto Argonauts
celebrated; and finally in 2014 when trophy broke from its base again by the Calgary Stampeders after their win.[87][88] The CFL commissioned a replica of the trophy in 2008.[89] The Grey Cup
Grey Cup
has been stolen on two occasions: it disappeared for three days in 1967 when it was taken from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Hamilton Tiger-Cats
as a prank, and in December 1969 it was stolen from the offices of the Ottawa
Ottawa
Rough Riders at Lansdowne Park.[90] The thieves attempted to ransom the trophy, but the CFL refused to pay and made plans to replace it with a duplicate.[91] An anonymous phone call led to the trophy's recovery two months later in a locker at Toronto's Royal York Hotel.[92] The thieves were never found.[93]

Calgary's JoJuan Armour
JoJuan Armour
celebrates his team's 2008 championship.

The current design of the Grey Cup's base was introduced in 1987.[94] The base stands 84 centimetres (33 in) high and is made of black-lacquered aluminum with silver plates engraved with the names of each winning team's players and executives since 1909.[84][94] The trophy, one of Canada's best known symbols, ran out of room for new additions following the 2012 Grey Cup. The league announced that the base will be redesigned but will remain similar in shape to its current design.[95] Similar to the more famous Stanley Cup, members of the winning teams are allowed time to celebrate with the trophy in their own fashion, often taking it to their home towns or tours in locations across Canada.[96] The board of directors for the Canadian Football Hall of Fame act as the Grey Cup's trustees and control its rental for events. The trophy is accompanied by a designated representative of the Hall of Fame at all times.[97] Like the Stanley Cup, but unlike the Vince Lombardi Trophy, a new trophy is not made every year. Grey Cup
Grey Cup
festival[edit] Each year, the host city organizes numerous events as part of the annual Grey Cup
Grey Cup
festival. Gala concerts, parties, and fan festivals are held in the days leading up to the championship game.[98] The CFL hands out its annual awards during the festival, and an annual Grey Cup parade is held. Historically, the festival also featured the "Miss Grey Cup" beauty pageant.[99] The game itself includes a halftime show, often featuring performances by well-known Canadian musical acts such as Nickelback, who performed at the 2011 game.[100] Nicknamed Canada's "Grand National Drunk",[101] the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
party originated in the 1948 championship when hundreds of Calgary Stampeders fans descended on Toronto for their team's first appearance in the game.[102] Bringing chuckwagons and horses, the fans organized a pancake breakfast – a staple of the Calgary Stampede
Calgary Stampede
– for bewildered Torontonians. According to historian Hugh Dempsey, "The Grey Cup
Grey Cup
was just another game until Calgary went down to Toronto with chuckwagons and everything and turned it into an event."[103] The Stampeders won the game on the strength of the "sleeper play", a touchdown scored by Norm Hill after he hid himself from the Ottawa defence by lying down on the sidelines, as if asleep. He received the pass from quarterback Keith Spaith while still on his back.[104] The victory completed the only undefeated season in the history of Canadian professional football.[105] The boisterous celebrations that followed the win gave rise to the legend of Calgary alderman and future mayor Don Mackay riding his horse into the lobby of the Royal York Hotel.[106] This event was repeated in the 2012 Grey Cup
Grey Cup
game in Toronto to much of the delight of the fans of both teams. The Calgary Grey Cup
Grey Cup
Committee maintains the tradition of organizing a pancake breakfast at each year's championship.[107] A 2012 survey found that Canadians consider the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
to be the most important annual event to attend.[108] Fans of all teams converge at the game venue,[101] including some who have attended 60 or more Grey Cups.[109] The influx of people from across the country is estimated to have an economic impact of over $120 million for the region hosting the championship game.[108] Champions[edit]

Grey Cup
Grey Cup
appearances, active teams[48]

Team Wins Losses Total Last Won

Toronto Argonauts 17 6 23 2017

Edmonton
Edmonton
Eskimos 14 9 23 2015

Winnipeg Blue Bombers 10 14 24 1990

Hamilton Tiger-Cats 8 12 20 1999

Calgary Stampeders 7 9 16 2014

Montreal
Montreal
Alouettes 7 11 18 2010

BC Lions 6 4 10 2011

Saskatchewan Roughriders 4 15 19 2013

Ottawa
Ottawa
Redblacks 1 1 2 2016

Main article: List of Grey Cup
Grey Cup
champions The Toronto Argonauts
Toronto Argonauts
have won the most Grey Cup
Grey Cup
championships (17), followed by the Edmonton Eskimos
Edmonton Eskimos
(14) and Winnipeg Blue Bombers (10).[87] The Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
have made the most Grey Cup appearances (24).[48] Since the Canadian Football League
Canadian Football League
began in 1958, the Eskimos have won the most Grey Cup
Grey Cup
Championships (11) and have made the most Grey Cup
Grey Cup
appearances (19). The Saskatchewan Roughriders have the most losses in Grey Cup
Grey Cup
play (15), including five consecutive losses between 1928 and 1932.[87] The defending champions are the Toronto Argonaunts who won the 105th Grey Cup
105th Grey Cup
in 2017. Six teams in CFL history have won the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
at home, the 2013 Saskatchewan Roughriders, the 2012 Toronto Argonauts, the 2011 BC Lions, the 1994 BC Lions, the 1977 Montreal
Montreal
Alouettes, and 1972 Hamilton Tiger-Cats.[110] The Blue Bombers were the losing team in 2011, extending Winnipeg's championship drought at the time to 21 seasons, and at 27 seasons (1991-2017) is the longest active streak in the CFL.[111] Individually, three players have won seven Grey Cups: Jack Wedley (Toronto, Montreal
Montreal
Navy), Bill Stevenson (Edmonton) and Hank Ilesic (Edmonton, Toronto). Ilesic is one of seven players to appear in nine Grey Cup
Grey Cup
games. Among quarterbacks, Anthony Calvillo
Anthony Calvillo
appeared in a record eight games, winning three.[48] Five coaches share the record for Grey Cup
Grey Cup
championships at five: Wally Buono
Wally Buono
(the CFL's all-time leader in wins), Don Matthews, Frank Clair, Hugh Campbell and Lew Hayman.[112][113] Two individual awards are handed out following each game. The Most Valuable Player award is given to the top performer in the Grey Cup. Between 1974 and 1990, the league named both offensive and defensive most valuable players. Three people have been named MVP on three occasions: Doug Flutie, Damon Allen
Damon Allen
and Sonny Wade.[48] The Dick Suderman Trophy is given to the most valuable Canadian. It is named in honour of Dick Suderman, who died of a brain hemorrhage in 1972 while an active player for the Edmonton
Edmonton
Eskimos.[114] Dave Sapunjis and Don Sweet have each won the award three times (however, Sapunjis is the only player to win the award in back-to-back years).[48] Host cities[edit] The city of Toronto has hosted the most Grey Cup
Grey Cup
games with 47, including 30 of the first 45 games played.[48] The first game was held on December 4, 1909, at Rosedale Field.[4] Hamilton and Ottawa
Ottawa
hosted several early games while Sarnia and Kingston each hosted one as the game's early years were dominated by teams in southern Ontario.[48] The Grey Cup
Grey Cup
game and champion first left the province in 1931, when Montreal
Montreal
hosted the event and the Montreal
Montreal
AAA Winged Wheelers won the 19th Grey Cup.[115] The game did not leave central Canada
Canada
until 1955 when the 4 3rd Grey Cup was played in Vancouver.[116] That contest achieved what was at the time an all-time Canadian football
Canadian football
attendance record of 39,491.[117] It was the first of 16 games hosted by the British Columbia city, second among all host cities.[48] The four highest attended Grey Cup
Grey Cup
games have been held at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal,[48] with an all-time record of 68,318 set in 1977.[24]

Grey Cup
Grey Cup
host cities[48]

City Games First Last Next

Toronto 48 1909 2016

Vancouver 16 1955 2014

Hamilton 10 1910 1996

Ottawa 9 1925 2017

Montreal 8 1931 2008

Calgary 4 1975 2009

Edmonton 4 1984 2010 2018[118]

Winnipeg 4 1991 2015

Regina 3 1995 2013

Kingston 1 1922 1922

Sarnia 1 1933 1933

The 1940 Grey Cup
Grey Cup
was a two-game series. Toronto and Ottawa
Ottawa
each hosted a game.

Broadcasting[edit] Main article: List of Grey Cup
Grey Cup
broadcasters

The Saskatchewan Roughriders
Saskatchewan Roughriders
celebrate their 2007 Grey Cup
2007 Grey Cup
victory in Toronto.

The Grey Cup
Grey Cup
game was first broadcast on radio in 1928.[119] The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
(CBC) carried radio coverage of the game for 51 years until 1986, when a network of private broadcasters took over.[120] Canadian television
Canadian television
was in its infancy in 1952 when Toronto's CBLT paid $7,500 for the rights to carry the first televised broadcast of a Grey Cup
Grey Cup
game.[121] Within two years, it was estimated that 80 percent of the nation's 900,000 television sets were tuned into the game,[122] even though the first national telecast did not occur until 1957.[123] The Grey Cup
Grey Cup
continues to be one of Canada's most-viewed sporting events.[124] The 1962 "Fog Bowl" game was the first Grey Cup
Grey Cup
to be broadcast on American television.[24] The CBC carried the first national telecasts exclusively, but the CTV Television Network purchased rights to the 1962 game. The move sparked concern across Canada
Canada
as the newly formed network was not yet available in many parts of the country.[121] The debate over whether an "event of national interest" should be broadcast by the publicly funded CBC or private broadcasters reached the floor of Parliament as members of the federal government weighed in.[125] It was decided that both networks would carry the game.[121] The two networks continued with the simulcast arrangement until 1986 when CTV ceased its coverage.[126] The CFL operated the Canadian Football Network, a coalition of private broadcasters that shared league games and the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
with the CBC, from 1987 to 1990.[127] CBC then broadcast the championship game alone until 2007, when the CFL sold exclusive rights to all games, including the Grey Cup, to specialty channel The Sports Network
The Sports Network
(TSN) and its French-language sister station Réseau des sports
Réseau des sports
(RDS), a deal that was criticized by Canadians without cable access.[128] Nonetheless, TSN and RDS achieved a record audience for the 2009 Grey Cup, with 6.1 million Canadians watching the game in its entirety, and over 14 million viewing at least part of the contest.[129] Viewership has declined in recent years, and in 2014, about 33%, of Canadians watched at least some of the game, peaking at 5.1 million viewers in the fourth quarter.[130] See also[edit]

Canadian football
Canadian football
portal Sport in Canada
Canada
portal

Canadian Dominion Football Championship List of awards named after Governors General of Canada

References[edit]

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Grey Cup
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Montreal
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Grey Cup
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Grey Cup
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Grey Cup
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Grey Cup
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Grey Cup
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Grey Cup
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to host 105th Grey Cup
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Grey Cup
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Grey Cup
keep breaking? Calgary Stampeders
Calgary Stampeders
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Grey Cup
found", Montreal
Montreal
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Grey Cup
to tour Canada
Canada
on specialized 12-car train for 74-day whistle-stop tour", National Post, archived from the original on 2013-01-29, retrieved 2012-07-10  ^ a b Boswell, Randy (2011-06-07), " Grey Cup
Grey Cup
tradition at peril for players", Ottawa
Ottawa
Citizen, archived from the original on 2013-12-03, retrieved 2012-07-10  ^ Masters, Mark (2011-05-31), " Grey Cup
Grey Cup
to be redesigned after 2012 season", National Post, archived from the original on 2013-01-29, retrieved 2012-07-10  ^ Beamish, Mike (2012-06-27), "Mr. Grey goes where no Cup has gone before", Vancouver Sun  ^ Policy for rental of the Grey Cup
Grey Cup
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Grey Cup
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Nickelback
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Grey Cup
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Grey Cup
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Sun, retrieved 2012-07-07  ^ Bly, David (2001-11-24), "When Stamps changed the game forever", Calgary Herald, p. A3  ^ Christie, Alan (2008-10-26), The Story of the 1948 Grey Cup, Canadian Football League, archived from the original on 2011-10-05, retrieved 2012-07-07  ^ Rhoden, William C. (2009-12-20), "Saints Won't Go 16-0, but That Was Never the Goal", New York Times, retrieved 2012-07-07  ^ Perkins, Dave (2007-11-22), "Mud slides, horse rides and frolic", Toronto Star, retrieved 2012-07-07  ^ Wood, Damien (2011-11-20), "Calgary Grey Cup
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Bibliography

Diamond, Dan; Zweig, Eric; Duplacey, James (2003), The Ultimate Prize: The Stanley Cup, Kansas City, Missouri: Andrews McMeel Publishing, ISBN 0-7407-3830-5  Kelly, Graham (1999), The Grey Cup: A History, Red Deer, Alberta: Johnson Gorman Publishers, ISBN 0-921835-53-1  Theile, Stephen (1997), Heroes of the Game: A History of the Grey Cup, Norval, Ontario: Moulin Publishing Limited, ISBN 1-896867-04-9 

Further reading[edit]

Brunt, Stephen (2012), 100 Grey Cups: This Is Our Game, McClelland & Stewart, ISBN 978-0-7710-1744-5  Graham Kelly (2005), Greatest Grey Cup: The Best of Canadian Football, Heritage House Publishing Co, ISBN 978-1-55439-056-4  Maher, Tod; Gill, Bob (2012), The Canadian Pro Football Encyclopedia: Every Player, Game and Coach 1946–2011, Maher Sports Media, ISBN 978-0-9835136-3-6 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Grey Cup.

Grey Cup
Grey Cup
Web Site CBC Digital Archives – Grey Cup: The Fans and the Fanfare

v t e

Grey Cup

Editions

1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

Venues

Autostade BC Place BMO Field Commonwealth Stadium Civic Stadium / Ivor Wynne Stadium Empire Stadium Exhibition Stadium Hamilton AAA Grounds Investors Group Field McMahon Stadium Molson Stadium Olympic Stadium Richardson Memorial Stadium Skydome / Rogers Centre Rosedale Field Taylor Field TD Place Stadium
TD Place Stadium
/ Frank Clair
Frank Clair
Stadium / Lansdowne Park Varsity Stadium Winnipeg Stadium / Canad Inns Stadium

Statistics

Champions Most Valuable Players Most Valuable Canadians Winning head coaches Broadcasters Halftime performers

v t e

Canadian Football League

Teams

West division

BC Lions Calgary Stampeders Edmonton
Edmonton
Eskimos Saskatchewan Roughriders Winnipeg Blue Bombers

East division

Hamilton Tiger-Cats Montreal
Montreal
Alouettes Ottawa
Ottawa
Redblacks Toronto Argonauts

Defunct

Canada Ottawa
Ottawa
Rough Riders Ottawa
Ottawa
Renegades Atlantic Schooners
Atlantic Schooners
(never played)

CFL USA Baltimore Stallions Birmingham Barracudas Las Vegas Posse Memphis Mad Dogs Sacramento Gold Miners San Antonio Texans Shreveport Pirates Miami Manatees (never played)

Awards

West division

Nicklin Martin Fieldgate Parker DeMarco-Becket Dryburgh James

East division

Evanshen Hayman McCaffrey Gibson Dandurand

League-wide

Grey Cup
Grey Cup
champions Grey Cup
Grey Cup
MVP Suderman Outstanding Player Canadian Defensive Player Offensive Lineman Rookie Stukus Pate Gaudaur Agro Campbell

Defunct

Lineman Jeff Russel Gruen Rogers Ross Taylor Dixon

Broadcasting

Canada

CBC CFN CTV TSN

United States

NBCSN ESPN2 ESPN

Lists

Current announcers Grey Cup TV markets

Other

Individual records Team records Coaching leaders Retired numbers Seasons Stadiums Mascots Video game Attendance Draft Combine CFLPA Hall of Fame All-Star Game Touchdown Atlantic Canada
Canada
Day Games Labour Day Classic Thanksgiving Day Classic Top 50 Players Neutral site games

Canadi

.