Ten plays to raise a Cup to
The CFL's wide-open game gives its fans frequent glimpses at great
plays and thrilling comebacks, and its showcase game is no different.
Here's 10 of the best -- and bizarre -- Grey Cup plays.
|The tripper (1957)
fans are content staying close to their seat at a sporting event.
Some, though, view joining the action as a bigger thrill. Remember
overzealous Chicago Cubs supporter Steve Bartman in last month's NL
In Canadian Football League history, few rival Dave Humphrey's
actions at the 1957 Grey Cup in Toronto.
In the first coast-to-coast broadcast of the championship game,
Hamilton Tiger-Cats defensive back Ray Bawel had just intercepted
a pass and was streaking down the sideline for a sure touchdown.
Humphrey, standing in front of the Winnipeg bench, suddenly stretched
out a leg and tripped Bawel.
Fortunately for Humphrey, he didn't face the wrath of Hamilton
fans as the Tiger-Cats won the game 32-7.
While Bartman quickly took cover from the bright lights of the
media, Humphrey remained in the spotlight. He earned a dubious place
in Grey Cup history, but later became a famous Ontario criminal
|Working overtime (1961)
time. How many Grey Cup championship games have needed overtime to
snap a deadlock? Remember, this is a title that's been around since
1909. The answer? Once.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats needed an extra
period to settle the 1961 CFL title. The teams finished the fourth
quarter at Toronto's Exhibition Stadium tied 14-14.
The hero that day turned out to be future CFL Hall of Famer Ken
Ploen — a player not defined by any one position. The skilled
quarterback also took his turns snatching hand-offs as a halfback
and also lined up on the other side of the ball as a safety. In
the '61 Cup final, the native of Lost Nation, Iowa, raced in for
the winning touchdown in overtime to count what remains to this
day the only overtime victory in Grey Cup history.
Ploen, who led the Bombers to Grey Cup titles in 1958, '59 and
'61, was able to produce magic again the following year by guiding
Winnipeg to a 28-27 win over Hamilton in the famous 1962 Fog Bowl.
|Refs suspend the Fog Bowl (1962)
the 91-year history of the Grey Cup, no other game has as much folklore
surrounding it than the 1962 final in Toronto between the Hamilton
Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Dubbed the Fog Bowl, the game
took an unexpected turn when a thick fog rolled off Lake Ontario in
the fourth quarter, reducing visibility to a few feet.
The pea soup-like concoction that enveloped CNE Stadium was so
dense that players and referees couldn't even see the field markers.
Fans were in a haze, as they couldn't see the action on the field.
Players were bumping into each other, turning the game into a Keystone
Midway through the fourth, it was the referees who made the biggest
play of the afternoon, suspending the game and ordering the final
9:29 to be played the following day. The teams re-assembled 24 hours
later and when the mist finally cleared, Winnipeg held on for a
28-27 victory and its fourth Grey Cup win over the Ticats in five
|Vic Washington's fumble (1968)
lucky and then there's Vic Washington.
The running back's one shot at fame nearly ended in disaster for
the Ottawa Rough Riders in the 1968 Grey Cup against Calgary, but
Washington managed to avoid the Hall of Shame.
Worrying more about keeping his balance on a muddy field at Toronto's
Exhibition Stadium, Washington fumbled the ball while streaking
down the sideline, but it quickly bounced back in his hands.
Washington's 80-yard run for a touchdown -- a Grey Cup record --
ended up being the difference as Ottawa edged the Stampeders 24-21.
Washington was later named the game's most valuable player.
|The catch (1976)
known simply as "the catch." The scene: the 1976 Grey Cup.
A frosty Toronto night. Late in the fourth quarter. Ottawa trailing
Saskatchewan 20-16. Cue the comeback.
Ottawa quarterback Tom Clements dropped back for a pass from the
Saskatchewan 24-yard line hoping for a miracle. His prayers were
answered when tight end Tony Gabriel slipped behind the Saskatchewan
secondary and reeled in Clements' throw in the back of the end zone
with 20 seconds left on the clock. Pandemonium ensued, as Gabriel
was mobbed by teammates and fans. Ottawa held on for a 23-20 victory.
Gabriel finished with seven receptions in the game, but none were
any bigger in his 11-year, Hall of Fame career than "the catch."
Tony Gabriel's game-winning touchdown catch
|Gizmo goes wild (1987)
returns as short as 10 yards have never been more exciting than when
Henry "Gizmo" Williams handled a football. Who else could
get a crowd to its feet on a broken play?
Over 11 seasons with Edmonton, the seven-time all-star ran for
a combined 23,927 yards, setting the standard for punt and kick
One of the signature moments in the classic 1987 Grey Cup between
the Eskimos and Toronto Argonauts involved the colourful and explosive
Giz (what a surprise).
He broke open the game, returning a missed field goal by Argos
kicker Lance Chomyc for a 115-yard touchdown. Powered by Gizmo's
big play, the Esks went on to a 38-36 victory.
Gizmo went on to rewrite the CFL record book before retiring on
Oct. 25, 2000, leaving his mark as one of the greatest kick-returners
in league history.
|Ridgway restores Rider Pride (1989)
years after being burned by Tony Gabriel, Saskatchewan found itself
in the 1989 Grey Cup final at Toronto's SkyDome against the Hamilton
Tiger-Cats. Nobody gave the Riders (9-9) much chance against the heavily-favoured
Ticats (12-6). With seven CFL all-stars in Hamilton's lineup, most
critics thought it would be a blowout.
Instead, it turned out to be one of the greatest Grey Cup finals
in CFL history. Late in the fourth quarter, Saskatchewan was sitting
on a slim 40-33 lead but let it slip away. Hamilton marched the
ball downfield and tied the score with under a minute left when
wide receiver Tony Champion made a circus catch in the end zone.
Overtime loomed, but Saskatchewan would not be denied. With 44
seconds left on the clock, Rider quarterback Kent Austin put together
a nifty drive, completing key passes to Ray Elgaard and Mark Guy.
With nine seconds on the clock, kicker Dave Ridgway split the uprights
with a clutch field goal, giving Saskatchewan a 43-40 victory and
its first Grey Cup championship in 33 years. Rider Pride was restored.
|Brown goes downtown (1996)
not often the losing team is able to put together the most memorable
play of the day in a Grey Cup championship game. In the first quarter.
But that's what happened in the 1996 Classic between the Edmonton
Eskimos and Toronto Argonauts.
Edmonton receiver Eddie Brown electrified the Hamilton crowd at
Ivor Wynne Stadium with a spectacular shoestring catch. Brown raced
down the freezing pitch and put his hands out to receive the pass
from quarterback Danny McManus. The ball almost slipped through
Brown's hands, but he managed to bend down and grasp it with his
fingers just centimetres from the field. His work wasn't done there.
Brown proceeded to juke and jive his way to the end zone, dodging
defenders on his way to a 64-yard touchdown strike. The pass put
his Eskimos up 9-0, but the Doug Flutie-led Argos managed to fight
back later in the game to win the Grey Cup, 43-37.
|Passaglia goes out on top (2000)
setting. Work ethic. Positive attitude. Teamwork. All are components
for success. All of them define CFL legend Lui Passaglia.
The kicker's 25-year career was filled with achievements -- 3,142
career regular-season points, 875 field goals, 1,045 converts and
309 singles, all league records.
After re-writing the CFL's record book, what do you do for an encore?
If you're Passaglia, you script a storybook ending and live it.
After missing three previous field goals in the 2000 Grey Cup,
Passaglia was summoned from the bench with 85 seconds left in the
game and his B.C. Lions trailing Montreal 26-25.
With a packed house at Calgary's McMahon Stadium chanting "Lu
... Lu," Mr. B.C. Lion split the uprights from 29 yards with
85 seconds left in the game to propel the Lions to a 28-26 win.
Passaglia rode into retirement a three-time champion and the Lions
become only the fourth third-place team to win a Grey Cup.
|Woodcock sets reception record (2002)
Alouettes receiver Pat Woodcock left the 2002 Grey Cup championship
with a CFL title and the Outstanding Canadian award to his credit.
He also left his stamp on the league record books by hauling in the
longest reception in Grey Cup history, a 99-yard catch. Oh yeah, and
the Ottawa native managed to cap off the spectacular play by scampering
in for a touchdown.
Als quarterback Anthony Calvillo snapped the ball from his team's
own 11 yard line early in the second quarter. The Montreal pivot
found a streaking Woodcock, who managed to shake off Edmonton Eskimos
defender Malcolm Frank and run the length of the field.
The major gave the Als an 8-0 advantage in the game en route to
a 25-16 victory. It was Montreal's first Grey Cup championship since
returning to the league in 1996.
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