Grover

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Chuck Ealey was a beast.  He was Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson before we realized QBs like that could play in the NFL. I was in high school when he played for Toledo and he inspired me. Too bad he was a generation to early.


Thanks to @Doc_Dave for sig

ExPat


Does anyone feel like explaining why Ealey didn't remain as Hamilton's QB throughout the 1970s, after such a promising start to his CFL career?  

Seems like he bounced around the league a bit and never came close to recapturing the success of his rookie season.  This was before my time, so it was never clear to me if his play declined (like Ken Hobart in 1986) or if there was some other nefarious reason why he fell out of favour.

Palmer

I've wondered that myself.  When you read articles about him, the focus seems to be the failure of the NFL to draft him, with racism implied but not openly stated, and then the notable rookie year, that 1972 year in Hamilton.  I don't recall him doing much after that in Hamilton, or out west with Winnipeg, nor back east with Toronto, but those were sort of dark years in the CFL, with limited TV and print coverage.  Article don't seem to deal much with that part of his career.  I seem to recall a career ending type injury late 70s?

I think I saw a TV short about Chuck one time not all that long ago, and he stayed in Canada, in the Hamilton-Toronto area, with a fairly high profile, job?

Black and Gold

The last I heard, Chuck Ealey was a district manager for Investors Group.
There was a documentary made about 10 years ago, "The Chuck Ealey Storey"

schmenger

Back in the early seventies I was studying karate at a club near the delta. One night Chuck came him and I had the pleasure to spare with him. The match didn't last long, I went down after a series of kicks. I thought I was fairly tough back then until I realized there are some truley gifted athletes that can make a person look rather foolish very quick. I often wondered why he didn't continue  his success he had in Hamilton. One of my all time favourite players.

mightypope

Chuck Ealey had one of those miraculous rookie seasons which ended in a Grey Cup championship. The one thing that I remember most was his scrambling and escapability from defenders while in the pocket. In many instances it would seem like he was down for the sack but in the last second he would be out of the pile and heading downfield for a long run or breaking away to throw a pass.
The next season the 'Cats finished with a .500 record (7-7) and Ealey just never seemed the same. His Td to Int. ratio wasn't really good after that magical rookie year. In 1974, he was hampered by a nagging hamstring injury which limited his effectiveness all season and after leading the 'Cats to victory in the Labour Day game he was traded the next day to Winnipeg for quarterback Don Jonas. In 1976 his CFL career ended when he suffered a collapsed lung while playing for the Argos.

pw13

In 1976 his CFL career ended when he suffered a collapsed lung while playing for the Argos.
Ealey was still with the Argos in 1977 -- he played the Eastern Semifinal in Ottawa that year and almost led the Argos to a late TD that would have won the game. Unfortunately a fumble deep in Ottawa's end ruined that scenario.

stevehvh

I remember Chuck Ealey's time in Hamilton very well. I was there for that Grey Cup win in 1972... an amazing moment.  Like mightypope, I was most struck by his knack for popping out of a pile of players when it looked for sure like he was about to be sacked, then running for good yards. I've never seen anything like it. Check out the Vernon Adams video here for something similar... but Chuck did it regularly.

When he was traded from Hamilton to Winnipeg in 1974, he'd had a slow start to the season here, and for whatever reason didn't seem to have the same magic he'd had earlier. Once he got there, I recall he did OK. But after a year or so, he was overtaken by an new young QB by the name of Ralph (Dieter) Brock. Next stop was Toronto. 

Chuck actually played in 1978 as well. That was the year he was injured, if I recall correctly.

He didn't have tremendous career numbers for completions or yards, but had quite a solid career, and an absolutely magical rookie season. I'm glad he got to hoist the Grey Cup, and do it as a Ticat.
"The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously."
- Hubert H. Humphrey

bobo82

Chuck actually played in 1978 as well. That was the year he was injured, if I recall correctly.

He didn't have tremendous career numbers for completions or yards, but had quite a solid career, and an absolutely magical rookie season. I'm glad he got to hoist the Grey Cup, and do it as a Ticat.
Absolutely correct Steve . Ealey indeed played until 1978 . He had a magical rookie season that he unfortunately never duplicated and he didn't really have outstanding career stats BUT he did do what only 2 other quarterbacks have been able to accomplish in the last 45 years with this team and that's win us a Grey Cup .

Here are by the way Chuck Ealey's career stats : 

http://www.justsportsstats.com/footballstatsindex.php?player_id=ealeychu001

Here's an old press clipping from the Spec about that "72" Grey Cup .


Here is Ealey with his Rookie Award along with the great Garney Henley who took home the MOP award that year . The Awards back then were known as the Schenley's and the cry from the Hamilton faithful was Henley for the Schenley !!! Ahh "72" what a magical year that was to be a Ti-Cat fan . 8)
15 GREY CUPS for HAMILTON BASED TEAMS
12,13,15,28,29,32,43,53,57,63,65,67,72,86,99

Onemoredork

1972 season was the kind of improbable one in that the team was a mix of promising youth mixed with veterans who were peaking or already had that paid off. Not a fluke but not a recipe for a championship either

Add to that a rookie QB whose style defenses were unfamiliar with.

Whats generally overlooked is SSK was only a .500 team that year that got hot in the playoffs

mightypope



Chuck actually played in 1978 as well. That was the year he was injured, if I recall correctly.


Ooops, a typo on my behalf. I know that Ealey played a couple of seasons in Toronto. His last game against the 'Cats was on Labour Day in 1978. Alvin White took over the Argos quarterbacking duties when Ealey was injured sometime after Labour Day.

Hank01

1972 season was the kind of improbable one in that the team was a mix of promising youth mixed with veterans who were peaking or already had that paid off. Not a fluke but not a recipe for a championship either

Add to that a rookie QB whose style defenses were unfamiliar with.

Whats generally overlooked is SSK was only a .500 team that year that got hot in the playoffs
Sask also played a 16 game season in the west while the east played 14 . East played one more play off game than the west that year .             

  Just a common thread for the  CFL as late as 1972 where the league was in name only .

 It continues to this day with the weird  play off format from days long gone .

 Chuck Ealey and 72 will always remind me of popcorn from Hot Butter .
 
 Nice to see it was played on December 3rd . 
 


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