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Top 10 CFL Grey Cup Games Ever Played

Publish Date: 07/28/2023
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

Top 10 CFL Grey Cup Games Ever Played

10) 1954: The Controversy, Edmonton beats Montreal

The Eskimos rose painfully off the scarred turf of Toronto’s sold-out Varsity Stadium to defeat the mighty Als by a score of 26-25.

Jackie Parker, the Mississippi State halfback, was instrumental in the victory, setting a Grey Cup record. His knee wrenched, his broken foot throbbing with pain, Parker scooped up Chuck Hunsinger’s fumble and outdistanced Sam Etcheverry, Canada’s fastest quarterback, 90 yards for the winning touchdown.

The question of whether or not it was an actual fumble will be debated until the end of time.

Video: 1954 Grey Cup Highlights and Interviews

1954 Grey Cup Highlights and Interviews

9) 1962: The Fog Bowl, Blue Bombers beat Ti-Cats

Just how foggy was the 1962 Grey Cup in Toronto? The game was suspended and resumed the next day, two days to play a championship game!

“It was so foggy that I thought we were in London, England,” joked Don Sutherin, whose Hamilton Tiger-Cats lost 28-27 to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in a game that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, thankfully in a stadium where the roof is closed.

“You couldn’t throw anything long,” Winnipeg quarterback Kenny Ploen said. “They wouldn’t see the ball coming.”

“I remember scoring a touchdown on a reverse and I’m pretty sure nobody saw me,” Hamilton running back Garney Henley said.

Don Sutherin missed on a 30-yard field goal at the end of the third quarter, that he has always claimed was good. Both teams were held scoreless during the 4th quarter.

Video: The UNKNOWN HISTORY of the infamous 1962 Grey Cup 'FOG BOWL' | CBC Sports

The UNKNOWN HISTORY of the infamous 1962 Grey Cup ‘FOG BOWL’ | CBC Sports

8) 1958: Winnipeg 35 Hamilton 28

Blue Bombers quarterback, Ken Ploen, was hurt, forcing Jim Van Pelt into action.

Sure enough, Van Pelt brought the Bombers from behind, scoring two touchdowns and kicking two field goals, while Norm Rauhaus recovered a blocked kick for another Winnipeg major.

This game was widely considered the greatest Grey Cup game played until the shootouts of the 80’s.

Video: 1958 Grey Cup highlights Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats

1958 Grey Cup highlights Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats

7) 1976, Ottawa 23 Saskatchewan 20

Tom Clements to Gabriel — anyone who saw it won’t soon forget one of the most exciting plays in CFL history, and the play that lifted the ’76 game to legendary status.

This game makes the list with a truly amazing final 20 seconds.

Video: CFL Game in 40: 1976 Grey Cup - Saskatchewan vs. Ottawa

CFL Game in 40: 1976 Grey Cup – Saskatchewan vs. Ottawa

6) 1981, Edmonton 26 Ottawa 23

Who’d have guessed that an apparent mismatch between a 14-1-1 power like the Eskimos and an also-ran like 5-11 Ottawa would produce a CFL classic?

The Rough Riders had a dreadful regular season. They were supposed to get blown away. And they played  a great game. They led at the half. And the Eskimos came back from a 20-1 deficit to win it. It was a great game, a great crowd at Olympic Stadium.

Video: The Loss (1981) - Grey Cup - Ottawa Rough Riders vs Edmonton Eskimos

The Loss (1981) – Grey Cup – Ottawa Rough Riders vs Edmonton Eskimos

5) 1996, The Snow Bowl, Toronto 43 Edmonton 37

“The Snow Bowl,” became an instant classic, with wind whipping around mountains of the white stuff in the Argos 43-37 win before 38,595 fans at Ivor Wynne.

Most people recall the shoestring catch by Eskimos wide receiver Eddie Brown on a 64-yard touchdown pass from Danny McManus in the first quarter. It’s one of the most memorable plays in Grey Cup history.

Before the game, many people believed that QB Doug Flutie could not play well in cold weather. Flutie, who was the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player that season, was also named the game’s top performer. Teammate Mike Vanderjagt, who booted five field goals, was voted the Grey Cup’s Most Valuable Canadian.

It was the second-highest scoring Grey Cup game, next to Saskatchewan’s 43-40 win over Hamilton in 1989.

It was the Argonauts’ first Cup win since 1991. Ironically, they did it in the stadium that had often been called “Never Win” by the Argo fans due to the team’s consistent failure to beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at that venue.

Toronto’s 27 points in the second quarter came close to tying the Grey Cup record of 28 points in one quarter, set in the 1990 Grey Cup.

 

Video: CFL Game in 40: 84th Grey Cup (1996 Snow Bowl)

CFL Game in 40: 84th Grey Cup (1996 Snow Bowl)

4) 1987, Edmonton 38 Toronto 36

Just another wild nail-biter, with another last-minute, game-winning kick, this time a 49-yarder by Edmonton’s Jerry Kauric.

The fun started much earlier, though, with a 115-yard missed field goal return by CFL great Henry Gizmo Williams to open the scoring.

From there it was non-stop action, the final tally more than 800 yards in total offence.

Gilbert Renfroe teamed with Danny Barrett to lead the Argos attack, hooking up with Gil Fenerty for a 61-yard touchdown in the second quarter, the first of three straight touchdowns for Toronto.

But quarterback Damon Allen, NFL hall of famer Marcus Allen’s brother came off the bench to replace Matt Dunigan, led the Eskimos  to the comeback, and took home the game’s offensive MVP award.

Video: Henry 'Gizmo' Williams sets Grey Cup Record

Henry ‘Gizmo’ Williams sets Grey Cup Record

3) 1994, B.C 26 Baltimore 23

The CFL was full-fledged into their experiment of bringing the CFL to the USA. This was more than a football game to the people of Canada, this was about national pride. A better script could not have been written for this game.

Playing at home in Vancouver and Down 20-10 midway through the third quarter, the Lions outscored the Stallions 16-3 down the stretch, the winning points coming off the toe of hometown favorite Lou Passaglia — with no time on the clock.

Video: 1994 Grey Cup

1994 Grey Cup

2) 2005, Edmonton 38 Montreal 35

In this more recent classic there were six lead changes and a record 96-yard kickoff return by Edmonton’s Tony Tompkins.

Video: CFL in 40: 2005 Grey Cup

CFL in 40: 2005 Grey Cup

1) 1989, Saskatchewan 43 Hamilton 40

This game would take a lot of words to explain it, so sit back and enjoy the highlights from the greatest Grey Cup game ever played!

Video: CFL in 40: 1989 Grey Cup

CFL in 40: 1989 Grey Cup

 

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