50th Grey Cup
|Date||December 1–2, 1962|
|Most Valuable Player||Leo Lewis|
|Network||CBC, CTV, SRC|
The 50th Grey Cup, also known as the Fog Bowl, was the 1962 Grey Cup Canadian Football League championship game played between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on December 1, 1962 at Toronto's Exhibition Stadium. It remains the only Grey Cup game ever suspended during play. The Blue Bombers won the game by a score of 28–27. The 1962 Grey Cup game is considered to be one of the ten best Grey Cup games of all time.
The game started normally on Saturday, December 1, 1962. However, by the second quarter, a thick fog started to roll in over the field, a combination of cold, moist, humid air from Lake Ontario. The fog was thick enough that fans could not see the action on the field, receivers lost sight of the ball after it left the quarterbacks' hand, and punt returners could not find punts until they hit the ground.
The fog became worse as the afternoon wore on, and with 9 minutes and 29 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the game was suspended with Winnipeg leading 28–27. The game continued the following afternoon, but there was no further scoring.
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The 1962 championship will always be remembered for what the fans could not see. Following a year when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats made Canadian football history by playing in the first Grey Cup to go to overtime, the two clubs battled again in another memorable meeting. But not because of the play on the field.
Just prior to halftime, fog rolled into Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, much to the chagrin of the 32,655 in attendance and the millions watching on television across North America. Although not visible to the fans, play was able to continue until the 5:31 mark of the fourth quarter. Visibility became so poor that referee Paul Dojack stopped play with Winnipeg leading 28–27. After a 20-minute delay, CFL commissioner Syd Halter decided that the remainder of the game would be played the following afternoon. The game will be forever known as "The Fog Bowl".
The Tiger-Cats drew first blood in the opening quarter when Garney Henley took advantage of some good blocking and sprinted 74 yards for a major. The convert by Don Sutherin was no good, his first of three key errors in the game. A 41-yard run by Kenny Ploen set up a Leo Lewis touchdown to begin a wild second quarter, giving Winnipeg a 7–6 lead. Lewis struck again when he took a handoff, ran wide and threw a 15-yard pass to Charlie Shepard in the end zone.
Hamilton cut the deficit to 14–12, first on a goal-line leap by Bobby Kuntz, then on an 18-yard touchdown run by Henley following a Winnipeg fumble. Sutherin was only good on one convert however, giving the Ticats a 19–14 advantage. Winnipeg regained the lead before halftime when Lewis caught a lateral pass by Funston and ran 30 yards for another major. The Blue Bombers led 21–19 at intermission.
Hamilton quarterback Joe Zuger came out throwing in the third quarter, completing a 53-yard strike to Henley, then a 36-yard touchdown throw to Dave Viti. But Shepard responded with his second major of the game, giving Winnipeg the lead for good. Gerry James added his fourth convert for good measure. The Ticats had an opportunity to regain the lead before the end of the third quarter, but Sutherin missed on a 30-yard field goal, giving Hamilton just a single point. Both teams were held pointless in the final quarter (spread over two days) as the Bombers held on to a 28–27 lead to win their fourth title in five years.
Afternoon fog in Toronto is a rare occurrence, but the Fog Bowl was just one of several weather disasters to occur at Exhibition Stadium. The stadium's proximity to Lake Ontario made it susceptible to rapid weather changes and extreme conditions. It remains the site of the only major league baseball game to be played with snow on the field (ironically, the Toronto Blue Jays' inaugural game on April 7, 1977), and the only major league baseball game to be suspended due to high wind. The 1982 Grey Cup (the Rain Bowl) was played in a driving rain. The limitations of Exhibition Stadium eventually led to the construction of SkyDome, now known as Rogers Centre. During its life as a professional sports stadium, local press and Torontonians often referred to Exhibition Stadium under the moniker "Excretion Stadium."
The game was the first Canadian Football League game to be broadcast by an American network, when ABC's Wide World of Sports carried the game in the United States. It would be the only CFL game to air in the U.S. until approximately 1980, when ESPN acquired U.S. broadcast rights to the league.
- CANOE – SLAM! Sports – CFL – Grey Cup: Top 10 greatest Grey Cups
- Christie, Alan (October 11, 2008). "The Story of the 1962 Grey Cup". CFL.ca.