(Ottawa, ON) – Fog, mud, ice, enthusiastic fans, amazing plays and long-standing records help define just some of the moments captured on a new set of commemorative stamps celebrating the upcoming 100th Grey Cup Game. The set includes nine stamps, eight featuring an iconic moment or game chosen by each CFL team plus one depicting the storied Cup itself. Each stamp booklet includes ten stamps and will be available in post offices across the country starting August 16.
The Grey Cup was donated by Earl Grey, Governor-General of Canada, in 1909, to the Rugby Football Champions of Canada. Since 1954, only teams in the Canadian Football League have played for the Grey Cup. The trophy has been awarded every year since 1909, with the exception of a three-year span during the First World War.
“The Grey Cup always offers exciting moments for football fans across the country,” said the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport). “And reliving some of these moments with stamps will bring back some great memories for Canadians.”
“The Grey Cup glorifies true Canadian spirit and preserving this legacy through stamps is one way to salute the players who have contributed to this great sport,” said Deepak Chopra, President and CEO at Canada Post.
"Nothing brings Canadians together quite like the Grey Cup, and having that recognized and celebrated on our country's stamps is a tremendous tribute," said Mark Cohon, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League. "This honour, like the Cup itself, belongs to every Canadian who loves and supports our game and our league."
In 1994, Canadian Football League fans swarmed to the 82nd Grey Cup game in Vancouver with one question: Would the Grey Cup leave Canadian soil for the first time? Hometown BC faced the upstart team from Baltimore, who were enjoying a spectacular inaugural season. With time running out, the game was tied at 23-23. Lui Passaglia became the hometown hero with a 39-yard field goal keeping the Grey Cup in Canada and claiming a place among the CFL’s greatest kickers.
The Edmonton Eskimos continue to hold the CFL’s longest consecutive string of Grey Cup victories with five from 1978 to 1982. The dynasty was anchored by the likes of the legendary Tom Wilkinson and Warren Moon at quarterback and the stellar play of Dan Kepley and Dave Fennell on defence. The green and gold’s record may never be broken.
The Calgary Stampeders prevailed 12-7 over the Ottawa Rough Riders in the 36th Grey Cup in 1948, to crown an amazing undefeated season. But this Grey Cup game is just as often remembered for what happened off the field. Calgary fans descended upon Toronto by the trainload and celebrated as never before: flipping flapjacks on the City Hall steps, riding a horse through the Royal York Hotel lobby and throwing impromptu parties all over downtown. From that weekend on, the Grey Cup would be a Canadian cultural event thanks to the jubilant fans of Calgary.
In 1989, Toronto’s brand new SkyDome welcomed the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to the 77th Grey Cup. The high-scoring battle set or tied 15 Grey Cup records, and the score was tied at 40 in the dying seconds. Roughrider kicker Dave Ridgway rose to the occasion by making a 35-yard field goal to bring the Cup home to Saskatchewan. Many CFL fans consider this to be one of the greatest Grey Cup games ever played.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
In 1962, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats faced each other in the 50th Grey Cup in Toronto. In the second quarter, fog began to roll into Exhibition Stadium and settle on the field. Visibility worsened for both players and fans, and with just over nine minutes left, the game was suspended with Winnipeg leading 28-27. Play resumed the next afternoon with no further scoring so the Grey Cup was awarded to Winnipeg. The game became known as the Fog Bowl.
In 1972, Ivor Wynne stadium was home to the 60th Grey Cup pitting the Saskatchewan Roughriders against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Tied late in the fourth quarter, Hamilton’s 19-year-old kicker Ian Sunter hit a 34-yard field goal as time expired, driving the Hamilton crowd into a frenzy. The 1972 Grey Cup also featured performances by two future Canadian Football Hall of Famers: Angelo Mosca in the final game of his career and Garney Henley, winner of the 1972 Schenley Award for the CFL’s most valuable player.
The 38th Grey Cup in 1950 took place at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Toronto Argonauts. It was immediately dubbed the Mud Bowl due to the sloppy rain-soaked conditions the players faced on the field. Field conditions continued to worsen under the cold heavy rain throughout the game. As both teams struggled, only Toronto managed to score, winning the game 13-0 and claiming their ninth Grey Cup.
The 65th Grey Cup played in 1977 between the Alouettes and Eskimos will forever be remembered as the Ice Bowl. Played outdoors at Montreal’s Olympic stadium before a Grey Cup record crowd of 68,318 fans, the game followed a major blizzard. Attempts to melt snow on the field backfired as the temperature dipped, turning the field into a sheet of ice, which made traction impossible. That is, until Alouettes defensive back Tony Proudfoot came up with the idea of putting staples on the soles of his and his teammates’ shoes. The result: a lopsided 41-6 triumph by the Alouettes thanks in part to their secret weapon – a staple gun.
About the stamps
The 100th Grey Cup commemorative stamps were designed by Bensimon Byrne of Toronto, Ontario. Each team and the CFL organization worked in collaboration with Canada Post to determine the defining moment in the teams’ history at the Grey Cup.
The eight (8) Permanent™ CFL Teams stamps and the Grey Cup stamp were also designed by Bensimon Byrne, the official advertising agency for the CFL. The self-adhesive stamps measure 32 mm x 40 mm with simulated perforation and are printed by Lowe-Martin on Tullis Russell paper using lithography in five colours. They are general tagged on four sides. 31.5 million self-adhesive stamps are available in booklets of 10.
The special pane is printed on gummed paper using lithography in five colours plus embossing and spot varnish. The 3.6 million stamps are available in a pane of nine. The nine Official First Day Covers, bearing the individual CFL team stamp, will be cancelled in their respective home town. The 100th Grey Cup Game stamp will be cancelled in Toronto, Ontario.
The 100th Grey Cup products include 9 booklets of 10 stamps, special pane of nine stamps, Official First Day covers, postage-paid postcards, Stamp and Coin Sets, framed art prints and the CFL Ultimate Fan Set.
Additional information about Canadian stamps and photos of these new stamps are available on Canada Post’s website under About Us/News. You can purchase stamps and other products at participating post offices, or order them online by following the links at canadapost.ca/collecting and by mail from the National Philatelic Centre. From Canada and the USA, call toll-free 1-800-565-4362; from other countries, call 902-863-6550.