They say you always remember your first time. In Grey Cup terms that is. This coming Sunday the champions of the CFL East and West Divisions, the Toronto Argonauts and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will contest the CFL championship in the 109th Grey Cup match.
We have done an article or two like this before. The premise being that as the two teams face off in the CFL showpiece Grey Cup game, we look back to the first time they faced each other with the old trophy at stake.
The first time these two storied franchises met for the venerable trophy was as far back as 1937. A full 85 years ago they faced off in a very different football landscape playing a very different game.
It was a close one, but looks odd to the modern eye as Toronto claimed their 4th Grey Cup title with a 4-3 win.
The 25th Grey Cup game
The silver anniversary Cup game saw the 5-1 Argonauts make it via a win over the Sarnia Impreials in the East. Meanwhile, the 4-4 Blue Bombers had upended the Calgary Bronks to settle their berth in the contest.
A bitterly cold wind hit Varsity Stadium in Toronto as 11,522 hardy fans looked on. An icy field was cleared and the two teams enganged in a close fought contest.
The Blue Bombers opened the scoring with a single point. They also came close to scoring a touchdown. However Toronto’s Bob Isbister made a diving tackle on Winnipeg’s Bob Fritz, tripping him up inside the Argonauts 10 yard line. Following two failed plunges, Steve Olander dropped back and kicked a rouge.
The Argos booted a 3 pointer to lead 3-1 after one. Both teams added a rouge, including one on a 70 yard boot from Isbister for Toronto. Greg Kabat’s missed Field Goal for Winnipeg gave them another point and the game finished 4-3 to the Double Blue.
The two teams would contest the Grey Cup the following year too. But this time Toronto ran out 30-7 winners after posting 24 unanswered points in the the final quarter.
The Grey Cup on Sunday will see Toronto and Winnipeg square off for the trophy for the first time since 1950. Between the 1937 game and the 1950 contest they had fought for the Cup on no less than 6 occasions with the Argos winning every time.
The Argos are making their first appearance in the title match since 2017. They will take comfort from the fact that they went into that one as heavy uderdogs and came away with the win in one of the best title games of the last decade.
Whatever happens history wil be made. Either Winnipeg set up a true Dynasty with a threepeat. Or Toronto pick up a record 18th title. However it goes it will be fun watching it all unfold. Let’s hope for a great game!
Banner Image: The 109th Grey Cup will be in Saskatchewan this year. Image from ckom.com