Over the past century there have been several classic Grey Cup rivalries, some span generations while others have been fought in back-to-back seasons. It’s one of the things that make the Grey Cup so exciting. The first great rivalry to develop was between Hamilton and Toronto, back in the amateur era when there were teams like Hamilton’s Alerts and the Tigers, and Toronto’s Parkdale Canoe Club and the Rowing & Athletic Association. In the late 20’s and early ‘30’s it was the Regina Roughriders versus every team in the Eastern Division: the West had something to prove but their ‘Riders ended up suffering five consecutive Grey Cup losses. The West would not get to claim the cup until 1935 when the Winnipeg ‘Pegs beat the Hamilton Tigers. Winnipeg went on to become a powerhouse in the post-war period, meeting the Toronto Argonauts in three consecutive trips to the Grey Cup in ’45-’47, and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in ’57-’59. One of the great East-West rivalries still being played out has to be between Edmonton and Montreal who first met in a trio of matches from ’54-’56, and is played out in the regular season as one of CFL’s Labour Day Classics. The 100th Grey Cup will be unique in that it will be only the third time that the Calgary Stampeders and the Toronto Argonauts have met in the championship, the previous turns being in ’71 and ’91—and they split those wins. Perhaps a new rivalry is in the making.
Michael Januska was born in Windsor, Ontario. He has worked with books his whole life, both as a bookseller and for several book publishing companies. Januska is also an award-winning crime fiction writer. His stories focus mainly on the history of his hometown. He lives in Toronto.
The Markerting Coordinator at Dundurn, lover of books, tea and dancing in the rain.