***Eskies-Als CFL Saviours????

this is a snippit of an article found in todays Hamilton Spectator, basicly saying the CFLs best years always coincide with Als-Eskies GreyCups:


The star-power of the '54, '55,' 56 Als-Esks Grey Cups ( there are more than 2 dozen members of the 2 teams in the hall of fame ) helped create a fascination for the league finale, helped solidify the league's place in Canadian-culture and attracted bigger broadcast money in the nascent TV era.

the league continued its rising arc of popularity into the mid-70's when it peaked with the fat part of the baby boomers' bell curve. Stadia were jammed with young, loud, drinking, mostly male generation, the perfect target market for national beer and liquor sponsors.

money was flowing, TV numbers soared, times were great and to prove it, along came the Alouettes and Eskimos again. ( '74, '75, '77, '78, '79 )

The Alouettes nearly folded, for lack of an owner, but octogenarian Sam Berger bought the club in the early 70's. By 1977, the Als were regularly drawing 60,000 to Olympic Stadium.

it could be argued that the 80's were a bigger era for Canadian football than the '70s, especially with the Grey Cup's TV audience of 7 million in 1982, but it was all an illusion.

the enemy was already inside the gates: blackouts pushed younger fans toward TV-savvy NFL: the Blue Jays and Expos were eating away at the family fan base in the east, and different, less permanent ownerships were threatening franchise stability.

by 1987, the Alouettes had folded, the CFL was caught in a vortex of serial crises and the league was perveived as minor league in the eastern press.

But, the long climb back began in 1996, when the american experiment ended and the Als re-joined the league. When Bob Wetenhall took over as a white kight, just as Berger had 30 years earlier, the Als restored themselves to stability. And that was the league's great litmus test: how would it go over in the second biggest market in the country.

Very well, it turned out, and that set a template for the other struggling markets, notably Toronto and Hamliton.

This year, league attendance surpassed 3.2 million for the first time. Labour-day, Thanksgiving, the playoffs have become HUGE TV draws.

and amid all this prosperity, guess who's back in the Grey Cup for the Third time in Four years?...

NIce article

i thought so...i had to type it all myself, cuz i dont have a scanner, and the article can't be found online.

Now that is dedication

He's entitled to his opinion, and he supports it well, but I say ... coincidence
(but I'll admit I'm wearing rose-coloured glasses on this one)

earlier in the article he mentions when the BC Lions joined the league in the western division, in 1954, the following season " the league shed the formal vestiges of amateurisim by taking exclusive rights to the Grey Cup"....so i guess we can thank the Lions aswell...???

I remember those games in the late 70's between Montreal and Edmonton...........is was great........still have have a Don Sweet t-shirt

sweet was mentioned in the article

...as well as tony proudfoot...lol

Wow DG thank goodness you did not take lessons from RNR. Good post!

Saviours?? far from it.. It would be better to have teams like Sask Ottawa Calgary Winnipeg or Hamilton Vying for the Cup.

I for one am tired of seeing EDM Montreal & TO in the Cup..Hence the reason for the Cap.
...hey so far its working in the NHL..

Why not give every team equal opportunity....regardless of deep pockets...IF Edm Montreal & TO still come out on top....so be it :slight_smile:

winnipeg was dominant for many years....so was calgary.
Hamilton won the Cup not too many years ago.

so the real race is..who wins first?...ottawa or sask?

great stuff , but the CFL figures would have been the same , regardless of who was playing in the CUP THIS YEAR.

hes sayin its odd that the CFL's best years always end with a montreal-edmonton grey cup.

i guess it is odd

great article! Thanks!

lets wait for the GREY CUP T.V. ratings , before we say total best. :wink:


I think we are all going to be surprised with an awesome typically exciting Grey Cup going down to the wire and wait, possibly OT. Wouldn't that be a wonderful finish. Just like the TV ratings which have gone threw the roof, I predict another record combination CBC/RDS of over 5M.

I hope you are right!