mcmanus-cp-1999

Danny McManus and Hamilton easily rolled over Toronto en route to the 1999 Grey Cup, but the Ticats and Argos played several memorable playoff games between the 1960s and 1990s. ((Frank Gunn/Canadian Press))

The Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats could write a new chapter in their collective playoff history on Sunday.

But If it were a book, it would be the kind that flashes forward several years.

Because while the two side have engaged in plenty of memorable battles during the season and during Labour Day games (on the field and in the stands!), it's been at least 20 years since there's been a great post-season battle between the Ontario rivals.

The Argos rolled to a one-sided win over Hamilton in 2004 en route to their last Grey Cup. The Ticats rolled to a one-sided win over Toronto in 1999 en route to their last Grey Cup.

Most of the time in recent years, one of the two teams has found themselves on the outside looking in with respect to the playoffs.

But it wasn't always that way. Here is a look at five memorable playoff games between the Argos and Tiger-Cats over the last half century.

1961: As Faloney goes...

The Eastern Football Conference winners Hamilton were three games better than the Argos at the end of the regular season, but it was Toronto who struck first in the two-game aggregate final.

The Argos began to utilize quarterback Tobin Rote in the shotgun as the playoffs came around, and he racked up nearly 700 yards of passing in wins over Ottawa and in a 25-7 result over the Ticats to put Hamilton under the gun.

On the defensive side of the ball, Toronto frustrated Hamilton quarterback Bernie Faloney in the first game.

"As Faloney goes, so go the Tiger-Cats, and Bernie didn't go well today," Hamilton coach Jim Trimble told reporters.

Hamilton roared back in the return game at their own Civic Stadium, with the scoreboard reading 20-2 after 60 minutes of play. That meant extra time would be needed to decide a winner.

Faloney threw three scoring passes in the extra period, and on the other side of the ball Toronto's shotgun attack grew predictable.

Hamilton would go on to lose in heartbreaking fashion in the 49th Grey Cup, with Winnipeg scoring a touchdown in overtime.

It was one of seven Grey Cup matchups between the clubs from 1953 and 1965, with the Bombers winning four.

1971: 'Supreme confidence'

The two-game CFL East series wasn't the most exciting football, but Argos fans didn't care as it put them into the Grey Cup for the first time in 18 years.

The Argos went 10-4 in the regular season, alternating their two quarterbacks on every offensive series through August. When Greg Barton broke his finger in September, the job was the sole possession of rookie Joe Theismann.

What to make of the Notre Dame alum?

Toronto Star reporter Ken McKee said Theismann's "outward appearance indicates supreme confidence."

Describing his first of three years in the CFL for Sport Magazine in 1972, the future star of the Washington Redskins admitted, "subtlety has never been one of my strong points."

The mobile quarterback and a stifling defence gave the Argos a 25-8 win in the first of two games, and a 17-17 tie saw them through to the championship game.

The mood in Toronto was expectant. The Argos until 1952 had racked up a perfect 10-0 mark in Grey Cup games.

But the agony continued for Toronto fans as the Argos fumbled on Calgary's 11-yard line late in the fourth quarter of a 14-11 victory for the Stampeders.

The drought would continue until …

1983: Back on top again

The CFL East final seemed a formality on paper.

The injury-riddled Ticats went 5-10-1, only getting into the postseason via a tiebreaker over the Montreal Concordes. Hamilton edged Ottawa in the division semifinal but on the weekend of the big game against the Argos, Ticats quarterback Dieter Brock was in the hospital with back spasms.

Brock was on the field when the whistle blew Sunday, and he marched Hamilton down the field twice as they built a 15-1 lead.

Hamilton was up by a point in the final minute when on on third and goal Argo running back Cedric Minter just barely got into the end zone for his second TD in a 41-36 thriller.

Displeased with the officiating in the game, several Ticats later called the Argos "cheap shot artists."

Quarterback Condredge Holloway was at the helm for the Argos in the division final, but it would be Joe Barnes who would soak up most of the Grey Cup glory when Toronto ended 32 years of futility in the Grey Cup against the B.C. Lions.

1984: Felix the Cat

Hamilton fell behind 8-0 early on in the CFL East final, and they wouldn't produce much offence the rest of the way.

But they hung around with a chance to win, thanks largely to Felix Wright. The cornerback picked off both Barnes and Holloway, finishing with four interceptions. All four interceptions came with the Argos positioned in Hamilton territory.

The Ticats were also helped in the final minute of regulation in a tied game when kicker Hank Ilesic and coach Bob O'Billovich were not on the same page. The Argos squandered precious time on the clock, and decided on a punt instead of a 48-yard field goal in damp conditions at Exhibition Stadium.

Brock would go on to throw a touchdown to Ron Johnson in a 14-13 overtime win for Hamilton.

Ticats owner Harold Ballard got in an Argos dig as he boomed to the Globe and Mail, "We should win the Grey Cup, too, especially if our opponents play like these bums did."

Ballard would watch the Ticats get blitzed by quarterback Tom Clements and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 47-17 in the championship.

1986: Kerrigan can

Quarterback J.C. Watts, cast off by last place Ottawa midway through the season, lifts Toronto to a 31-17 road victory in the first of a two-leg series.

"Fourteen points isn't that much but we've got a lot of adjusting to do," Hamilton's Rocky DiPietro told reporters. "It wasn't all our quarterback's fault."

DiPietro was referring to Mike Kerrigan, who threw four interceptions in the game, three to Derrell Moir.

Hamilton's aggregate deficit would grow to 26 points early in the second meeting, but the quarterback wouldn't get any blame this time. Kerrigan completed 35 of 47 passes for 364 yards and three touchdowns, while Paul Osbaldiston contributed a key fourth quarter field goal in a 42-25 victory.

Kerrigan, in his first year in the CFL, would be named Grey Cup outstanding player as the Tiger-Cats ended a 14-year championship drought, defeating Edmonton.