Canadian History for Kids!
Sketches of Canada for November 25th!
Canada’s oldest professional sports trophy, the Grey Cup.
The Toronto Argonauts defeat Calgary Stampeders 35-22 in the 100th Anniversary Grey Cup Game, November 25th 2012. This Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of our Canada, looks at “the grand old mug”.
The intent of the original Grey Cup was to be awarded to the senior amateur hockey champion of Canada. When the Allan Cup took that designation, Lord Earl Grey donated the trophy in his name to be awarded to the amateur rugby football champion of Canada.
The Grey Cup has been awarded since 1909, with the University of Toronto being the first winner. No trophy was awarded from 1916 to 1919 due to the First World War.
This Canadian History for Kids article continues in 1958 when the Canadian Football Council withdrew from the Canadian Rugby Union and the CFC was renamed the Canadian Football League. The first ever game played under the newly formed CFL took place on August 14, 1958 in Winnipeg as 18,206 spectators watched the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defeat the Edmonton Eskimos 29-21.
The Grey Cup has been hoisted by BC, Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton, Montreal, Saskatchewan, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Ottawa and during the league’s US expansion, Baltimore, making the CFL a truly unique and exciting league as every current CFL team has celebrated a Grey Cup win. Toronto and Hamilton sit atop the list of most Grey Cup victories with 16 for Toronto and 15 for Hamilton, followed closely by the Edmonton Eskimos with 13 championships.
The trophy was commissioned in 1909 at a cost of $48 The chalice is made of sterling silver and stands 33 centimetres (13 in) tall. A 1947 fire destroyed the clubhouse of the Toronto Argonaut Rowing Club and damaged the Grey Cup. Many other trophies and artifacts in the clubhouse melted or were damaged beyond repair but the Grey Cup survived by catching onto a nail when the shelf upon which it sat collapsed.
The Grey Cup has been stolen on two occasions: it disappeared for three days in 1967 when it was taken from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as a prank, and in December 1969 it was stolen from the offices of the Ottawa Rough Riders at Lansdowne Park. The thieves attempted to ransom the trophy, but the CFL refused to pay and made plans to replace it with a duplicate. An anonymous phone call led to the trophy’s recovery two months later in a locker at Toronto’s Royal York Hotel. The thieves were never found.
And that’s this weeks Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of our Canada.