Hamilton and Winnipeg: A storied Grey Cup history

Hamilton and Winnipeg: A storied Grey Cup history
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Hamilton and Winnipeg have a storied history in the Grey Cup. The fact that they are facing off again this year in the big game will just add to that history. But it is fair to say that many UK based fans don’t necessarily have an in depth history of the CFL and its’ title game to hand.

So the question is what has happened when Hamilton and Winnipeg have met in the Grey Cup before now? When you are excited for the coming game it’s nice to get a little historical perspective too.

With that in mind then, let’s take a look back at previous match-ups contesting the grand old trophy when they’ve met and see how they got on. Teams from Hamilton and Winnipeg have met in the championship game eleven times in all. That includes the Hamilton Tigers and Winnipeg ‘Pegs in 1935.

A game we looked at in our series looking back at CFL franchises’ first Grey Cup victories. This one went to Winnipeg as the ‘Pegs won 18-12.

In 1943 Hamilton and Winnipeg clashed again, this time as military service teams. This time the spoils went to Hamilton as the Flying Wildcats defeated the Winnipeg RCAF Bombers 23-14.

  • 1935 (Winnipeg won 18-12)
  • 1943 (Hamilton won 23-14)
  • The Modern Era

    The Winnipeg bench during the 1962 Grey Cup – the closest game between these two in a final. Image from bluebombers.com

    The recognizable ‘modern’ versions of the two teams, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, have met in the Championship game nine times.

    As can be see from the results below, Winnipeg lead the series 6-3, and have won the last two contests between the two teams handsomely in the Grey Cup:

    • 1953 (Hamilton won 12-6)
    • 1957 (Hamilton won 32-7)
    • 1958 (Winnipeg won 35-28)
    • 1959 (Winnipeg won 21-7)
    • 1961 (Winnipeg won 21-14)
    • 1962 (Winnipeg won 28-27)
    • 1965 (Hamilton won 22-16)
    • 1984 (Winnipeg won 47-17)
    • 2019 (Winnipeg won 33-12)

    Reigniting a Rivalry from History

    These two teams are meeting in the Grey Cup for the second time in a row. The absent matchup in 2020 being due to a cancelled season. The successive meetings for some could make this feel like the re-igniting of the times their rivalry peaked.

    At one point they were unquestionably the most dominant teams in their respective Divisions. Between 1957 and 1962 they faced off in the Grey Cup game 5 times in 6 years.

    This was arguably the most successful era of Tiger-Cats football. Between 1957 and 1967 they had 9 first place finishes in the East. They appeared in 9 Grey Cup games and won 4 of them.

    Most of those defeats came to Winnipeg. The Bud Grant era saw the Bombers set a 64 percent win rate.

    Winnipeg appeared in the playoffs eight times and advanced to the Grey Cup six times over that period. Not mention winning the Grey Cup on the four occasions – always against Hamilton!

    If you are interested in the history of these games then the CFL Grey Cup portal is a great place to start.

    Does it matter?

    Does any of this really matter? Will it make a difference when it comes to Sunday’s game. Of course not.

    One set of fans is going to be very happy and one set is going to go away disappointed. One team has the chance to repeat as champions (whilst holding the trophy for 3 years due to a cancelled season). Whilst the other is looking to end the CFL’s a longest streak of title frustration.

    Whatever the history however, surely fans of both teams are ecstatic to see them rekindle a rivalry that saw them dominate the championship appearances in this way. After all if they were to repeat the late 1950s early 1960s run both teams could be here a lot more too.

    This article has been updated from a 2019 article.

    Banner Image: The 1961 Grey Cup game. Fog Bowl – Image from Pinterest.

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