champion-tony091126

Tiger-Cats receiver Tony Champion reaches for the ball in the 1989 Grey Cup as Saskatchewan's Harry Skipper gives chase. Champion also made a diving catch in the end zone while battling broken ribs. ((Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press))

For CFL fans, it's Canada's Greatest Week, seven days akin to Christmas, a time to cook up a batch of chili and celebrate one of the country's greatest sporting traditions.

It doesn't matter if "your" team is part of the big game on Sunday.

Grey Cup week is about reliving CFL history, creating new memories and one BIG party.

Who could forget fans of the Calgary Stampeders dressing in western gear in 1948, partying in the streets of Toronto and storming the posh lobby of the Royal York Hotel on horse?

About 25,000 out-of-towners are expected for this year's Grand National Drunk in Calgary, where as much as $60 million will be pumped into the economy.

On the field, it's the first-ever Grey Cup matchup between Montreal and Saskatchewan, who finished the regular season atop the East and West divisions respectively.

Will Roughriders slotback Andy Fantuz make like Hamilton's Tony Champion a la 1989 and extend his six-foot-four frame to its limit for a critical touchdown catch? Will Montreal's Larry Taylor conjure up memories of Rocket Ismail, who returned a kickoff 87 yards in Toronto's 1991 Cup win over Calgary?

To discuss the greatest games and moments in Grey Cup history, CBCSports.ca enlisted Mark Lee, Steve Armitage and Scott Oake, who spent many years bringing the action to you for the CFL on CBC.

Here are their picks:

1989: Saskatchewan 43, Hamilton 40 at SkyDome in Toronto

Lee: Tony Champion will forever be remembered for his diving touchdown catch for Hamilton, laying out for the ball, then crashing to the hard artificial turf on broken ribs to tie the score 40-40 with 40 seconds left in the fourth quarter. But Dave Ridgway's last-play field goal with two seconds left on the clock gave the Roughriders their first Grey Cup win in 23 years.

Fifteen Grey Cup records were tied or set, with quarterbacks Kent Austin (Saskatchewan) and Mike Kerrigan (Hamilton) combining for 907 yards passing.

I'll never forget the image of Hamilton head coach Al Bruno chasing the officials off the field after the game, still outraged by a couple of controversial calls that went against the Ticats.

Armitage: The first Grey Cup in the SkyDome, there was no "Grey Cup fever" leading up to the game and a sellout wasn't expected. But the place was jammed and incredibly noisy. It was a great game, a true classic that had everything.

Oake: Dave Ridgway's 35-yard field goal has to be remembered as one of the most significant plays in Roughriders history.

1991: Toronto 36, Calgary 21 at Winnipeg Stadium

Lee: "The Rocket delivers," the words of Don Wittman's broadcast to millions nationwide as Raghib (Rocket) Ismail, the highest-paid player in CFL history, raced a kick return 87 yards for a touchdown.

It was cold, –17 C at kickoff and the wind chill made it –35 by halftime. I remember going outside once an hour to file live reports on my cellphone to CBC Radio. My skin was tingling in the five minutes it took to make each report and I wondered how the Argos and Stampeders could possibly play in this cold.

But Toronto quarterback Matt Dunigan not only braved the freezing temperatures, he wrote his name into CFL folklore, playing with a broken collarbone.

Oake: Matt Dunigan played with a [broken collarbone], Rocket Ismail had an 87-yard kickoff return and dodged a beer can tossed by a fan.

2005: Edmonton 38, Montreal 35 (OT) at BC Place Stadium

Lee: The game featured a David and Goliath matching of minds between Alouettes head coach Don Matthews, seeking a record sixth Grey Cup title and Edmonton's Danny Maciocia in his rookie year.

I'll never forget the overtime and frantic pressure that produced a rare illegal pass. Needing at least a field goal to stay alive in the second overtime, Anthony Calvillo's pass on first down was batted down by Joe Montford and it bounced right back into Calvillo's hands. He then illegally threw the ball again, into the end zone to a wide-open Kerry Watkins, who dropped the ball and what seemed like the potential game-winning points.

Calvillo was sacked on second down. And on third-and-33, he was flushed from the pocket, ran for his life and then punted the ball in desperation. The Eskies recovered, providing a typically wild Canadian football finish to another Grey Cup classic.

Armitage: Ricky Ray vs Anthony Calvillo — the battle of the QBs. Not a great first half but the second half was explosive. With Edmonton down, the question was, would Eskimos saviour Jason Maas come into relieve Ray as he had done in getting them to the Grey Cup. But the Eskimos stuck with Ray and won.

1994: B.C. 26, Baltimore 23 at BC Place Stadium

Armitage: The Stallions were a loaded U.S. team coached by Don Matthews and the Lions were playing for Canada. The feeling was we couldn't let "the Americans" take the Grey Cup.

Lui Passaglia missed a potential game-tying field goal but got a second chance and made the most of it to preserve Canada's honour.

Oake: Lions win on Lui Passaglia's second crack at a field goal (37 yards) with no time left to keep the Grey Cup in Canada.

1976: Ottawa 23, Saskatchewan 20 at Exhibition Stadium, Toronto

Lee: Tony Gabriel's thrilling catch of Tom Clements's touchdown pass with 28 seconds to play gave the underdog Rough Riders the win. It remains one of the Grey Cup's most iconic moments. Clements actually waived off a play sent in from the sideline to call the pass to Gabriel. It was a risky move for a second-year pro but ended up being a fortuitous decision.

1985: B.C. 37, Hamilton 24 at Olympic Stadium, Montreal

Armitage: The Lions ended a long drought, having last won the Cup in 1964. It was also the first Grey Cup victory for head coach Don Matthews

1996: Toronto 43, Edmonton 37 at Ivor Wynne Stadium, Hamilton

Oake: The Snow Bowl. A real slice of Canadiana as it was –10 C at the start of the game and you could barely see the field markings because of the snow. Quarterback Doug Flutie led the Argos to the win.

1981: Edmonton 26, Ottawa 23 at Olympic Stadium

Lee: As a young man growing up in Ottawa and playing university football, the Rough Riders held a special place in my sporting sphere. Behind rookie quarterback and future U.S. Congressman, J.C. Watts, the Rough Riders were the worst Grey Cup finalists in history with only five wins that season.

Facing Warren Moon and the Edmonton Eskimos, who were looking for their fourth straight Grey Cup win, the Riders held a stunning 20-1 lead at halftime.

If it wasn't for one of the most controversial calls in Grey Cup history, Dave Cutler might never have got the opportunity for a game-saving, last-second 27-yard field goal. A double pass interference penalty called against both Tony Gabriel and an Eskimos defensive back wiped out a Gabriel catch that would have prevented Edmonton from getting the ball back for their game-winning drive. That was the first and last time I've seen a call like that.

1988: Winnipeg 22, B.C. 21 at Lansdowne Park, Ottawa

Oake: Blue Bombers got to the Grey Cup despite a .500 record in the regular season, and beat the Lions by a single point.