with all the talk about how fantastic the defence played it has got me wondering what year was the greatest defence in Hamiltons history?

now I pretty much missed/ignored the CFL from say 95 to 08-09? and before 95 I was a Eskis fan so really only 1 year stands out to me and that was 86 grrr

what year would you say was the best?

Guys like Barrow and Mosca were before my time, so I'll defer to those who watched them first-hand to make the case for those golden age teams. :wink:

'86 was very good, as was '89 of course. Honestly there were lots of years in the 90s with excellent defence. Guys like Calvin Tiggle, Joe Montford, Tim Cofield. '98 and '99 teams are surely candidates.

The 1967 defence has to be one of the top-runners. What was it? Five straight games to end the season and win the Grey Cup that year with no touchdowns allowed?

It seemed their strategy was a field position game. Zuger would punt it as deep as possible, sometimes a quick kick on second down, and the defence would pin the other team in, forcing them to punt from deep in their own end. Repeat until within field goal range, or even just rouge range.

I'm too young to directly compare to 86 or the 50s/60s, but certainly the best defence I've ever seen was from 97-99.

Yes 1997, when we went 2-16.
Honestly, if we hadn't had an offensive line that year that was about as effective as laying a wet towel across the line of scrimmage, then I think we could have gone to the cup. Our defence was just that good. The offence though was so incredibly awful that the defence had to play most of the game. We actually lost a lot of close games in the end.

In 98 we added Danny Mac, who didn't need an offensive line anyway. We added Darren Flutie. We brought in Lancaster. We even brought back Don Sutherin, the 97 Head Coach, as Defensive Coordinator. We came first in the East and lost the Cup on a last play field goal. Big name moves but really, it only took a few key ones to turn that team from 2-16 into a major contender. The holes were big, but they were few, and that's why we were able to make such a big turnaround so quickly.

In a way this year has reminded me a lot of 97. Despite our record, the team is quite competitive and IMO we're just a couple missing pieces from being among the elite, IMO. I think we have our best defence since that era (though that's not saying much at all). We can rely on the defence to keep us in it but we just keep losing all the close ones. With our O-line healing though and Collaros looking pretty good, I'm getting really excited though.

BTW, Steinauer was a big part of that defence from 97-99. I don't think this is a cooincidence.

I can't see how any other Defence could even be considered other than this team. I don't think any other CFL Defence was ever more dominant than not allowing a TD in their last 5 games of the regular season, plus the 2 game EDF and the Grey Cup (going against the George and Ronnie show from the Prairies). I could be wrong though, so if anyone has better stats for a different D I will be happy to listen.


Let me add that the 86 Grey Cup Defence was the most awesome I ever saw for a one game championship. I still remember Dunigan trying to put in his knocked out contact lens back in on the sidelines but couldn't due to his shaking hands. That was a treat. :rockin:

Oh, do I remember those days. Coffey on offense catching the passes and then kicking the field goals. Zuger's quick kicks that rolled for 70 yards. Not a great offense but building on the defence? Greatest in my memory. Then the late 80's gangs. Montford was a great pass rusher but I'll still give the nod to Grover Covington by a whisker.

Our TV had broken a year or so earlier, and my parents didn't see the point in getting a new one. But my dad, Hamilton born and raised, suddenly found a reason that fall.

And in case anyone wants to relive the experience, or see it for the first time, the entire broadcast is up on YouTube (in 20+ parts). Pre-game show analysis (including the Xs and Os on a chalkboard), half-time show (marching band, chorus, first half analysis), ceremonial kickoff (G-G Roland Michener), advertisements.

thanks for the great responses. just did a quick stats check using some of the dates given

1967 lowest points allowed in the league with 195 ( 16 game schedule )
1986 2nd lowest in the league (by 1 point) with 366 (18 game Schedule)
1997 highest in league with 549.. as a poster stated previously. they were likely better than what the stats show.
1998 lowest in the league with 351
1999 3rd lowest in league with 378.

i'll look at some other dates but i imagine itll be tough to find one better than 67. just wow.

tried to edit. but may have to disqualify the 1967 team. they only played 14 games rather than the posted 16 i originally typed.

off topic slightly. why did the west always play 16 games and the east 14 and sometimes 12 during 50-60's?

The different number of games were due to the different number of teams in the two divisions. The west, with five teams, played each other team four times - 16 games. The east, with four teams, also played each other team four times - 12 games. I'm guessing that they just added an extra couple of games to the season some years - 12 games really doesn't seem enough, does it? Why they didn't just go with playing the other teams five times for a 15 game season, I have no idea.

Please allow an older fan to step in with his memories.

The East played 14 games, of which 3 were against the other 3 East teams for 9 and once each against the 5 West teams. The West played 16 games, of which 3 were against the other 4 West teams for 12 and once each for the 4 East teams. Quite often the western swing (in the years when an East team played 3 on the road and 2 at home) the East team would play two games within 4 days. This was done as it was cheaper than paying for 3 separate flights out west.

Probably when they played 12 games there was no interlocking schedule for the two conferences (this is before even my memory) so they played the other 3 East teams 4 times. I would imagine something similar happened out west. Some trivia for you: Why did Hamilton trade future hall of famer Tony Gabriel to the Ottawa Rough Riders? It was because he wanted a pay raise when the East went to a 16 game schedule from 14 and Sazio was too cheap to pay. (Leo Cahill used to say that Sazio threw nickels around like they were manhole covers. Yes but who had the better teams Leo?).

And @ Grover nice picture of the 67 team, however Jon Hohman's name was misspelled. Not your fault of course. :wink:

I'm not quite old enough to remember this either, but there were no interdivisional games until 1961. 12 or 15 games makes sense for the east at that point. But 14? No idea why they wouldn't have just added one more game to make it a balanced schedule.

From what I do remember from the mid to late 60s, plus what I've read about the introduction of "limited interlocking schedule" in 1961, I think you're right that teams played teams from the other division only once - three games against each eastern team for nine, plus one game against each western team, for 14 games.

And I remember very, very well the Gabriel trade. Probably the angriest I have ever been over any transaction by the team, especially after finding out the reason.

I'll nominate the Casey Creehan Defense of 2011 for the very important reason of establishing a bottom line.

Assign whatever value you wish to that bottom line ... But it's the bottom line.

The 1967 Ti-Cat team was one of the best if not the the best Defense in CFL history,bar none.The team only allowed 17
points against in the last 3 regular season games and 2 play-off games as well as the Grey Cup that year. That's 6 games
in a row without allowing a TD,that is an amazing feat that will probably never be equaled again in CFL history.The team
played a total of 17 games that year all told(14 reg/2 play-off/Grey Cup)and only gave up 199 pts for the season for an unbelievable avg of only 11 pts against a game.

The 6 gm non-TD streak

game #12.....@ Wnp.......Ti-Cats-31.....Bombers-4
game #13........Mtl.........Ti-Cats-26....Alouettes-4
game #14......@Tor.........Ti-Cats-9.....Argonauts-5
game #1........@Ott.........Ti-Cats-11...R.Riders-3
game #2.........Ott..........Ti-Cats-26...R.Riders-0
GREY CUP "67"................Ti-Cats-24...Saskatchewan-1

6 game total for/against....Ti-Cats-127....Opponents-17
6 game average score.......Ti-Cats-21......Opponents-3

8) Only us old timers that have followed the TiCats for years, know full well that that 1967 TiCat Defence was by far
  the most dominate, and intimidating defence in CFL history,  bar none !!!

  I have been attending TiCat games for 52 years, and no other defence even comes close to that 67 team !!    <!-- s:thup: -->:thup:<!-- s:thup: -->

  Thanks for that 67 defence picture,  "Grover".  I have that same picture framed, and still have it after all these years.

So if they had played 15 games would they have played an Eastern team 4 times or a Western team twice? Not sure how that would balance the schedule?

No, I'm talking about before 1961, when there were no inter divisional games. Five games against each other eastern them would have meant 15 games in a season. With 14 games, they would have played two teams five times, and the other team only four times. Just one more game each would have allowed every team to play every other team five times.