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Time For A Grey Cup Showdown!

November 18, 2013

It’s less than one week away, and while many of my friends may be thinking I am writing about American Thanksgiving, or Black Friday super sales, most who know me know I am talking about Grey Cup.
The 101st Grey Cup will feature, from the East, the Hamilton Tiger Cats and from the West, the Saskatchewan Roughriders. It will be taking place in Regina, Saskatchewan on Sunday, November 24th, 2013. I will be watching, how about you?

Now for some interesting trivia!

The first time the Riders battled Hamilton for the Grey Cup was on Hamilton’s home turf in 1928. They were known then as the Hamilton Tigers and the Regina Roughriders, and it was the first time you could listen to a play-by-play broadcast on the Radio. Not that you would really want to listen as a Riders’ fan, they were blanked 30 to nothing. They met again on the Hamilton AAA Cricket grounds in the next Grey Cup in 1929, only to have a slightly closer score of 14-3 for Hamilton, and again in 1932 with the score of 25-6 for Hamilton again.
Fast forward to 1967, this time in Landsdowne Park in Ottawa, the Grey Cup is once again being contested by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Riders were looking for a repeat of their first Grey Cup championship the previous year against Ottawa. In the end it was a rout, Hamilton 24 to Saskatchewan 1. One player, after a fumble that led to a Hamilton touchdown, became so frustrated that he punched a couple of Hamilton players and was ejected from the game.
1972’s match-up, held in Ivor Wynne stadium in Hamilton, was a lot closer and came down to a final field goal from 34 yards with a score of Hamilton 13 to Saskatchewan 10.
And then it was 1989. A glorious day in the history books for Saskatchewan Roughrider Rider Nation. The game was once again with the Riders and the Tiger-Cats and became known as one of the greatest games in CFL history. The location this time was indoors, at the new SkyDome in Toronto. Late in the third quarter the teams exchanged field goals, and again in the fourth quarter and the Riders were ahead. With 44 seconds Tony Champion from Hamilton made a spectacular backward diving catch to tie the game. Then with 2 seconds remaining Dave Ridgeway lofted a 35 yard field goal to win the game finally for the Roughriders. I got a t-shirt to commemorate the win. I wore it out before they were able to win again and then I donated it to a friend to add to a quilt.

Welcome to the 21st century and a new Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs Saskatchewan Roughriders. This time it is going to be played outside of Ontario. This time it will be on Saskatchewan’s home turf. This time the place will be filled with Rider Nation, the ones that have a sign, “Sky of Blue/Sea of Green.” This time the temperature will be below zero. Hamilton hasn’t been in the Grey Cup since their win against Calgary in ’99. Saskatchewan won their 3rd Grey Cup Championship out of 16 appearances in 2007, this time will be their 19th appearance. For the third year in a row, the host city will be appearing in the big game, it can give the home team a big boost. The parties are beginning, the hotels are full even out as far as Moose Jaw. I am eager to see what will happen at the big game.

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