La Coupe Grey was conceived as a Hockey Trophy and, like Lord Stanley’s Cup, has the name of each winning team enscribed on it. It’s been broken several times and stolen twice. The difference between the date of it’s anniversary (1909) and this year is because the Cup was not awarded during The Great War or the year after. It’s been won by a US based team, the Baltimore Stallions, exactly once.
Canadian Football is a little different in the details from NFL and Collegiate rules but not as much as Rugby. It’s recognizably North American Throwball and shouldn’t confuse the casual viewer. There are 12 Players per side (Offense/Defense) and only 3 downs.
But it is a very different style of play which, like International Ice Hockey, is a function of being played in a much larger area- 110 yards (101m) long by 65 yards (59m) wide. This extra space as well as the missing down favor wide open passing attacks (just as International Arenas favor a passing game over NHL-style checking). Notable players who have been successful in both Leagues include Doug Flutie and Warren Moon.
This Centennial contest is being held at the home field of the Toronto Argonauts who are also the Yankees of Canadian Football with 15 Cup victories in 21 appearances (as opposed to the Stampeders who are only 6 of 12). Still, true fans may have mixed feelings about an Argonaut win since the Cup almost melted to slag while in their care in 1947.
The year after that marked the first official Grey Cup party (also known as Canada’s “Grand National Drunk”).
It is said the two events are unrelated but you couldn’t prove it by me.
Grey Cup: Trophy survives parade from Varsity Stadium to Rogers Centre
Daniel Girard, Toronto Star
Sunday November 25, 2012
For the first time in its century of existence, hundreds of fans were able to carry the Grey Cup through the streets of Toronto.
“It was a feeling that can’t ever be replicated,” Kyle Dunn of Surrey, B.C., said moments after being one of the first fans to carry the CFL’s prized trophy as it made its way from Varsity Stadium, site of many early title games, to the Rogers Centre, site of the 100th.
“It’s like holding the most expensive thing you could,” said Dunn, 30, bedecked in Lions paraphernalia, his face painted orange. “It’s like holding the Canadian crown jewels.”
CFL commissioner Mark Cohon told hundreds of fans at Varsity Stadium he was hoping to make this inaugural parade of the trophy to the stadium on game day a regular event. But he implored those who got hold of the goblet to make that possible.
“It will only become a new tradition if you guys don’t drop it,” Cohon told the crowd. “Treat it with the respect it deserves.”