GREY CUP HISTORY: 70 YEARS AGO

GREY CUP HISTORY: 70 YEARS AGO

The CFL season is in full swing and before we know it the playoffs, and ultimately the Grey Cup will be upon us.

In the run up to that game in November I thought it might be interesting to do a series on the decade anniversaries of the big game. Staring with 100 years ago, then 90, 80 and so on.

Following on from our previous looks at the 1919 Championship and the 1929 Grey Cup and 1939 edition of the title match it is time to move on to 1949.

The 1949 edition of the game saw 20,087 fans on hand to witness the Montreal Alouettes defeat the Calgary Stampeders by 28 points to 15.

The run up to the game

Just one year earlier Calgary had claimed their first ever Grey Cup win. Thus the Stampeders had an opportunity to defend their Grey Cup title in 1949.

But it was the Montreal Alouettes who returned the trophy to Quebec for just the third time in its history. At this point the Alouettes were still a new team. They had been founded in 1946 as the Montreal Alouettes Football Club.

They were intended to be the successor to the teams of years past such as the M.A.A.A Winged Wheelers, who had won the Grey Cup.

The origin of the name apparently comes from the 425th Squadron – the Royal Canadian Air Force’s first French Canadian squadron.

Grey Cup Playoffs

The playoff bracket for this one saw the Als defeat the Rough Riders of the IRFU & the Hamilton tigers of the ORFU on their way the the championship game.

Meanwhile Calgary had enjoyed a bye before defeating the Saskatchewan Roughriders in an all WIFU tournament to reach the championship game.

The Grey Cup Game

On November 26, 1949 at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium the Alouettes won their first Grey Cup in the 37th edition of the game itself.

The Alouettes turned an 85-yard drive into points early on. On the ensuing kickoff the Stampeders fumbled and three plays later the Alouettes scored again.

After scoring a single the Stampeders quickly got the ball back at midfield and staged a successful scoring drive.

Montreal’s Herb Trawick then forced a fumble which he ran in over for a touchdown. The Alouettes led 17-7 at the half.

The Alouettes struck again for another touchdown in the third quarter, this time on a 61-yard drive. They added a field goal, to take a commanding 26-7 lead after three quarters.

Calgary got some traction in the fourth quarter. A safety was followed by a Sugarfoot Anderson touchdown.

The Alouettes scored the final two points of the game however to take home the trophy.

What Came Next

Following their defeat in this match, Calgary would not have another winning season until 1962.

The Alouettes would go into a brief decline from 1950-1952. After which they would again be dominant in the East from 1953-56. During that period they would appear in 3 consecutive title games (1954-6) and lose on each occasion to the Edmonton Eskimos.

Neither of these teams would win the Grey Cup again until 1970. In fact, ironically enough that year it would be the Als who again defeated the Stamps. This time by a margin of 23-10.

Calgary would win back the old trophy the following year in 1971, defeating the Argos by 14 points to 11.

Banner image: The Grey Cup of the day. Image from nationalpost.com

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