Personally, I would have liked to see the '64 Grey Cup up there somewhere. The Ticats did a number on the Lions in '63 but in '64 when they had the rematch against BC it was sweet revenge for the Joe Kapp [QB] and the Lions.
I also think the 2011 Grey Cup game should have been ranked #1 because it was in that year that the Lions crawled up out of the ashes and were resurrected. The team won only one game in their first 7 starts and appeared destined for an early grave. Instead they came in 1st place, won the western Final and then the Grey Cup!
I 100% agree! The best game I ever watched was the come from behind victory in the '94 Western Final between the Lions and Stampeders. It was in terrible snow conditions. Doug Flutie was the QB for Calgary. Wally was the Calgary coach. Calgary was about to finish off the Lions with a FG but it was blocked. Doug Flutie’s brother caught the last second, last play, game winning TD in the end zone after McManus [Lions QB] engineered a phenomenal drive. Flutie’s hands must have been freezing, it was so cold and snowy but he managed to still hold onto the ball. Find it on Youtube sometime. I’ve posted it a few times here on the forums. I’ll never grow tired of watching that ending!
I was working in Edmonton that fall and so I never thought to ask my wife to record the first two games although I did watch them. I did ask her to record the Cup and it is a good quality recording. However, I had phoned the CFL head office to see if I could get copies of the other two games and he said I could buy from them at either 60 a piece, or 60 for both. The copies they sent me were of poorer quality. Still watchable but… Anyhow, I phoned back and the guy told me that if I had wanted good quality, I should have contacted CBC. Apparently, at the CFL, they just recorded the games themselves off a tv, then sent me copies of that. Wouldn’t surprise me if the guy did it on his own and pocketed the cash.
That is just one of the many reasons over the years that I have not had much respect for CFL head office management and personnel.
The league, the broadcaster and the National Archives all likely have copies of the games, but as you say the quality will depend on many things. I’d think the broadcaster would have the best copies, but I’m not sure the CBC will make copies for people any more.
I collect Esks games on DVD (have over 450 of them right now), but I’d sure be willing to pay if the CBC made some older games available… I wonder who I could contact…?
I doubt very much that the league, the broadcaster and the National Archives have copies, Mike. It’s pretty well known that CTV (and very likely CBC as well) regularly reused then-expensive videotape by recording new programming over previously recorded programs. There seem to be very few games from the pre-VHS era on the collectors market. The 1971 Grey Cup exists – except the second half of the fourth quarter (including Thornton’s INT, McQuay’s fumble and Abofs’ kick out of bounds) is from the brewery-sponsored, commercially released film of the game, complete with grainy film quality, musical accompaniment and John Badham’s narration rather than TV play by play and colour.
I’ve spent some time rooting around in CBC’s online description of its own archive, only to come up almost empty for games from the early 1980s. There was one game I really wanted for my book on the 1983 Argos (1982 Tor at Wpg) that was listed as available, but I got nowhere trying to confirm that and obtain a copy.
The league has never had the resources needed to archive stuff properly; the Cdn Football Hall of Fame, meanwhile, had to burn a pile of old game film because it wasn’t stored properly and had rotted. I can’t see how the National Archive would ever feel it worthwhile to record and preserve CFL games apart from (maybe) the Grey Cup. I actually doubt the NA even has recording capability, much less staff resources to devote to such a thing.
Bottom line is that I expect a very small handful of individual collectors have far more in their collections than any network or the league has. I’m confident there is no individual or organization with as many as 450 digitized Eskimo games, nor as many as the 600 or so Argo games I have (vast majority of which I taped myself, a few obtained from other collectors).