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The 100th Year of the Grey Cup: Canadian Football League

Updated on January 21, 2017
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Laura is a quiet, polite, and proud Canadian. She enjoys Canadian history, culture, and Canadiana in general.


November 25th this year (2012) will be the 100th year anniversary of the Grey Cup and the Canadian Football League (CFL).

Congratulations Canada across the land, football fan or not.

The 100th Grey Cup Championship will take place at Rogers Centre at 6:00 P.M. on Sunday, November 25, 2012.

If you can't be there you can still watch on TV, listen on the radio or live vicariously through Twitter.

The first Grey Cup game with the early Grey Cup to the side.
The first Grey Cup game with the early Grey Cup to the side. | Source

The Grey Cup (2012)


If it all began in 1909 how is 2012 the 100th Grey Cup game?

Yes, 1909 wasn't 100 years ago but, for the Grey Cup, it was 100 games ago.

In 1916, 1917 and 1918 there were no Grey Cup games due to World War I. Also, due to a rules dispute there were no play off games or Grey Cup in 1919.

So the CFL is calling the game this year (2012) the 100th Grey Cup game.

How did the Grey Cup Festival itself begin?

In 1948, fans of the western champion Calgary Stampeders partied in the streets of Toronto dressed in western gear, square dancing, flipping flapjacks, and even riding a horse through the lobby of the posh Royal York Hotel.

The 100th Grey Cup Coin from the Canadian Mint

Available at Canada Post locations or just watch for it to turn up in your change.
Available at Canada Post locations or just watch for it to turn up in your change. | Source

Lord Earl Grey’s trophy will be presented for the 100th time

In 1909, Albert Grey, 4th Earl Grey, (the Governor-General of Canada at the time) was an ardent sports fan. He commissioned a trophy and planned to donate it to Canada's senior amateur hockey championship. However, the Allan Cup had already been donated there. So, Grey gave his trophy to the Rugby Football Championship of Canada. The trophy became known as the Grey Cup. The first Grey Cup was played in 1909 on Rosedale Field in Toronto and won by the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.

Originally, winning the trophy was only for teams registered with the Canada Rugby Union. Eventually, the Rugby Union evolved into the Canadian Football League and the Grey Cup became the property of the DFL. Since the 1920's, the Grey Cup is given to the winning football team in a final contest between the east and west. Since 1954, only the teams of the CFL have played for the Grey Cup.

The trophy has a silver chalice attached to a large base on which the names of all winning teams, players and executives are engraved.

The Grey Cup has been broken (and repaired) several times, stolen twice and held for ransom. The Grey Cup survived a fire in 1947. Other artefacts in the same building were destroyed.

In 1950, a player came close to drowning in a mud puddle at the "Mud Bowl".

In 1962 the game was halted during the final 9 minutes due to fog. The "Fog Bowl" was finished the next day.

In 1977 they played the "Ice Bowl" on the frozen turf at Montreal's Olympic Stadium.

The CFL (officially founded on January 19, 1958) is the second oldest, continuously-operating Gridiron football league in North America.


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