With apologies to Paul Garner (MFTM)


This was an excellent memory by Paul. Did you want to see what actually happened though?


[i]Game One was played on a crisp sunny day in CNE Stadium, and the Argos were "flawless", according to Ti-Cat coach Jim Trimble. They held the Tabbies to a single and an unconverted touchdown, while scoring three majors themselves, and adding a field goal and a single for good measure, to take the first game 25-7. They didn't even need to win Game Two - just not lose by more than 18 points.

But the much-vaunted shotgun formation which had gotten them this far would prove to be their undoing. Rather than utilise a solid running game, which would ultimately provide better ball control, they came out of the gate passing. From the opening kickoff, there was no one in the backfield to run the ball. The Ti-Cats didn't take long to figure out that the Argos were a one-trick pony, and easily broke down the Argo backfield. Amazingly, they were only ahead 3-0 at halftime; the Argos still led by 15 points with 30 minutes to go. By the end of the third quarter, however, that lead had evaporated to one point, as the Tabbies scored two touchdowns to lead 17-0.

Early in the fourth quarter, Don Sutherin kicked a field goal, and the collapse was complete; Hamilton 27, Toronto 25, with the Argos having been outscored 20-0 on the day. But they would collect themselves long enough to kick a 47-yard single with 7_ minutes to play, and another to tie the aggregate score at 27-27.

With just under two minutes remaining, and the Tiger-Cats scrimmaging on their own 25, Ti-Cat QB Bernie Faloney inexplicably decided to throw, rather than run the ball. It was intercepted by Argo DB Stan Wallace. The Argos had the ballon the Hamilton 27-yard line with 91 seconds on the clock. Despite being outscored 20-2, they merely had to kick the ball through the end zone to win the Eastern title.

However, they decided to run the clock down first. Rote ran a quarterback sneak on first down, but it was called back on an offside penalty. On first and fifteen from the 32, Rote called his own number again, gaining three yards. On second and seven, they tried a draw play, losing two yards. Annis Stukus would later write, "The only way a draw could possibly work is if the opposition suspected a pass, and not even Tobin Rote could take a chance on a pass then." With twenty-eight seconds on the clock, they were third and fourteen on the Hamilton 31-yard line. Dave Mann came into the game to kick the winning point. What happened next would forever change the Canadian game.

Normally that would be well within Mann's range - he had almost kicked the ball to the dead-ball line from the 35 earlier. Back then, CFL end zones were 25 yards, and there was no blocking allowed on punt returns. This meant the Tiger-Cats had virtually no chance of running it out of the end zone if the punt fell short, so Trimble sent Sutherin and Faloney - both kickers - deep into the end zone to try to punt the ball back out, given the chance. No one had punted a ball out of an end zone in fifty years!

The snap came back to Mann, and he promptly booted his worst punt of the day, shanking a wobbly 40-yarder. It still came down eight yards inside the end zone, where Sutherin, gathering it up, kicked it back out. It came down just past the 30-yard line, where - incredibly - Mann caught it again, hesitated, then stepped forward and punted it back toward the end zone. This time it landed on the goal line and bounced into the hands of Faloney, who immediately took off with it.

Weaving in and out of would-be Argo tacklers, he gained the first thirty yards, according to Jay Teitel, "...at a leisurely, hypnotic speed, so that as he moved up the field he seemed to be passing the same players twice and even three times. Even when he passed mid-field and there were no Argos left to weave around, he wove. It was one of the strangest runs ever made on a football field."

Faloney ran it back 111 yards to score the winning TD. Or so it seemed. It was called back as the Ti-Cats were flagged for illegal blocking on the return.

But the damage was done. The Argos lost whatever momentum they'd managed to build up, and in the ensuing 30-minute overtime, Hamilton scored four unanswered touchdowns, winning the game 48-2, and the series 55-27. [/i]

It was 1962 not 1961. The play happened in regulation time not O/T. O/T was not sudden death either so a single, unless it was the last play of O/T (to break a tie), would be meaningless. It was Faloney and Sutherin in the end zone for the Tabbies (not Faloney and Fraser). No blocking of any kind was allowed on punt returns so it might have been any type of block. (The rule to allow blocking on punts was made (going by my sometimes faulty memory) for the 1973 season, Johnny Rogers' rookie year.)

i thought it was 1961

Doing more research I've found that the story on the CFL's web site http://www.cfl.ca/page/his_legends_rote was incorrect in saying that it was 1962. In 1962 the Tabbies played the Als in the Eastern final.

My apologies to everyone concerned.

Ah yes, I remember that day. I was watching the game with my grandfather, a recent immigrant from England. Although he understood very little about this type of football, he almost had a heart attack.

Thanks for the research,I'm going to print this page for my Father.
He is in his mid Eighties and has talked of this game many times ......!

Thanks to Paul Garner for the MFTTM

That was the most exciting play I ever saw in football.

[My apologies to Ozzie and his 54 yard field goal.]

The media built up the tension all the previous week.

Everyone in the city was breathless in anticipation
of the 2nd game of the two game Eastern final.

A bunch of guys I knew from high school, and myself
gathered to watch the game on T.V. at a friend's house.

I had a 'never say die' belief in the Ticats,
because they seldom let their fans down.

Tension mounted all game.

We jumped up and screamed our heads off
so many times as that play was going on,

and as we pummelled them by scoring 4 TDs
in the glorious 15 minutes of overtime.

What a game!


Our teenaged joyfulness was not beer-enhanced, folks,

For some reason I picture similar gatherings
would be much different today. I could be wrong.

I am not making a moral judgement,

I am just reflecting on how the times have changed.

It was my most exciting football experience also!! Unfortunately at least one fan in the stadium died of a heart attack and possibly one watching it on tv...at least that is the way I remember it.

I wish you had added the facts that Bernie Faloney was apparently so tired that he did not return for the overtime. Frank Cosentino, our Canadian quarterback, threw three touchdown passes.
Bob Jackson

Thanks for adding that little extra about Frank Cosentino, Bob. It's one of those facts that one only recalls after being reminded of them. (My source for the above story failed to mention this as well). Frank Cosentino was likely the best Canadian QB who ever played for the Black and Gold.