1961 CFL season

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1961 CFL season
Regular season
Duration June, 1961 – October, 1961
Playoffs
Start date November 11, 1961
East Champions Hamilton Tiger-Cats1961-11-25
West Champions Winnipeg Blue Bombers1961-11-22
49th Grey Cup
Date December 2, 1961
Site Exhibition Stadium, Toronto
Champions Winnipeg Blue Bombers
1960  CFL seasons  1962

The 1961 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the eighth season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the fourth Canadian Football League season.

CFL News in 1961[edit]

The Western Canada Intercollegiate Rugby Union merged with the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union.

The WIFU changed its name to become the Western Football Conference.

The CFL season schedule was partially interlocked to allow teams of the Eastern Football Conference to play the teams of the Western Football Conference.

A third consecutive year of interleague exhibition matches were scheduled with teams in the National Football League. As in 1959 and 1960, in both of the two games played, both CFL teams lost (the Toronto Argonauts lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, 36–7, on August 2, while the Montreal Alouettes fell to the Chicago Bears, 34–16, on August 5). The Hamilton Tiger-Cats had a better idea for success: challenge the nascent American Football League to a duel. The Tiger-Cats faced off against their cross-border "rivals," the Buffalo Bills, on August 8. The Tiger-Cats defeated the Bills, 38–21, giving the Canadian league its first win over an American team since 1941. The AFL, embarrassed over the loss, declined to play another international game, and with the CFL consistently losing to NFL teams, the CFL ended international competition.

The 49th edition of the Grey Cup was played in overtime for the first time at Toronto's CNE Stadium. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers won that game by defeating the Hamilton Tiger-Cats by a score of 21–14, to win the championship.

The CFL made rule changes for the 1962 season, permitting four defensive backs per team to have unlimited blocking during rushing plays, as long as they are lined up outside the ends. Additionally the tackle-eligible play became illegal.

Regular season standings[edit]

Final regular season standings[edit]

Note: GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, Pts = Points

Western Football Conference
Team GP W L T PF PA Pts
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 16 13 3 0 360 251 26
Edmonton Eskimos 16 10 5 1 334 257 21
Calgary Stampeders 16 7 9 0 300 311 14
Saskatchewan Roughriders 16 5 10 1 211 314 11
BC Lions 16 1 13 2 215 393 4
Eastern Football Conference
Team GP W L T PF PA Pts
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 14 10 4 0 340 293 20
Ottawa Rough Riders 14 8 6 0 359 285 16
Toronto Argonauts 14 7 6 1 255 258 15
Montreal Alouettes 14 4 9 1 213 225 9
  • Bold text means that they have clinched the playoffs.
  • Winnipeg and Hamilton have first round byes.

Grey Cup playoffs[edit]

Note: All dates in 1961

Conference Semi-Finals[edit]

Western Semi-Finals – Game 1
Edmonton Eskimos @ Calgary Stampeders
Date Away Home
November 11 Edmonton Eskimos 8 Calgary Stampeders 10
Western Semi-Finals – Game 2
Calgary Stampeders @ Edmonton Eskimos
Date Away Home
November 13 Calgary Stampeders 17 Edmonton Eskimos 18
  • Calgary won the total-point series by 27–26. The Stampeders will play the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Western Finals.
Eastern Semi-Finals
Toronto Argonauts @ Ottawa Rough Riders
Date Away Home
November 11 Toronto Argonauts 43 Ottawa Rough Riders 19
  • The Argonauts will play the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Eastern Finals.

Conference Finals[edit]

Western Finals – Game 1
Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Calgary Stampeders
Date Away Home
November 18 Winnipeg Blue Bombers 14 Calgary Stampeders 1
Western Finals – Game 2
Calgary Stampeders @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Date Away Home
November 22 Calgary Stampeders 14 Winnipeg Blue Bombers 43
  • Winnipeg wins the best of three series 2–0. The Blue Bombers will advance to the Grey Cup Championship game.
Eastern Finals – Game 1
Hamilton Tiger-Cats @ Toronto Argonauts
Date Away Home
November 18 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 7 Toronto Argonauts 25
Eastern Finals – Game 2
Toronto Argonauts @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Date Away Home
November 25 Toronto Argonauts 2 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 48 OT
  • Hamilton won 2 game total-point series by 55–27. The Tiger-Cats will advance to the Grey Cup Championship game.

Playoff bracket[edit]

  Division Semifinals     Division Finals     49th Grey Cup
                           
  East     E3  Toronto Argonauts 25-2  
  E3  Toronto Argonauts 43     E1  Hamilton Tiger Cats 7-48    
  E2  Ottawa Rough Riders 19         E1  Hamilton Tiger Cats 14
      W1  Winnipeg Blue Bombers 24
  West     W3  Calgary Stampeders 1-14    
  W3  Calgary Stampeders 10-17     W1  Winnipeg Blue Bombers 14-43  
  W2  Edmonton Eskimos 8-18  

[1]

Grey Cup Championship[edit]

December 2

49th Annual Grey Cup Game: Exhibition StadiumToronto, Ontario

Western Champion Eastern Champion
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 21 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 14 OT
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are the 1961 Grey Cup Champions

CFL Leaders[edit]

1961 Eastern All-Stars[edit]

Offence[edit]

Defence[edit]

1961 Western All-Stars[edit]

Offence[edit]

Defence[edit]

1961 CFL Awards[edit]

References[edit]

Preceded by
1960 CFL season
CFL seasons Succeeded by
1962 CFL season