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?...