A Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian
'Grey Cup Overtime' by Guest Historian Chris Oakley Guest Historian Chris Oakley says, If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit the Changing the Times web site.
In 1969, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were knocked out of the CFL postseason in the opening round for the second straight year as they lost to the British Columbia Lions 25-22 in the first round of the CFL Western Division playoffs..
In 1957, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats beat the Edmonton Eskimos 32-14 in the 45 annual Grey Cup championship game. For Hamiltion fans the win was sweet redemption after their heartbreaking 1953 Cup loss against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers; their remaining ghosts would be exorcised in 1984 when the Ti-Cats beat the Bombers in Winnipeg's first Cup finals appearance since 1956.
In 1970, one full year after their embarrassing 1969 Western Division playoff loss to the British Columbia Lions, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were eliminated from the CFL postseason in the first round for the third consecutive year. This time their executioners were the Calgary Stampeders, who walloped the Bombers 51-12.
Winnipeg head coach Jim Spavital resigned the next day.
In 1953, the Canadian Football League's Winnipeg Blue Bombers beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 15-12 in the first Grey Cup overtime game in CFL history. The Blue Bombers had been trailing the Tiger-Cats 12-6 late in regulation when they scored a game-tying touchdown; they then shut down Hamilton's offense in the final seconds to set up the OT period. In overtime, the Bombers hit a 46-yard field goal to win their first Grey Cup since 1941 and fourth in franchise history.
The Bombers' 1953 Grey Cup overtime victor started a streak of three consecutive CFL league titles for Winnipeg; it also sparked a pro football boom in Canada that would lead to the formation of three CFL expansion teams prior to the 1957 season and the establishment of the National Football League's first overseas franchise in 1964. The Blue Bombers would be dethroned as Grey Cup champions by the Montreal Alouettes in 1956, after which they would have to wait twenty-eight years before getting another shot at the CFL championship.
In 1954, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers beat the Montreal Alouettes to win their second straight Grey Cup title; Bombers quarterback "Indian" Jack Jacobs, who set five CFL playoff passing records in this game, would receive the Cup MVP award for his performance.
Two years later, the Alouettes would avenge this defeat with a comeback victory against the Bombers in the 1956 Grey Cup championship. Several players from both teams later took their talents to the NFL, playing critical roles in the epic 1958 Colts-Giants championship game and the first Super Bowl in 1967.
In 1955, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers won their third straight Grey Cup championship, beating the Toronto Argonauts 31-22; this win was the crowning achievement of a year which had seen the Bombers flirt with a perfect regular season record and defeat their divisional playoff opponents by an average margin of 35 points.
Ten players who took part in this game would later be voted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame; six of those ten would be named to the CFL's Grey Cup 90th anniversary all-time greatest players lineup.
The game marked the peak of the Blue Bombers' reign as the CFL's best team in the mid-'50s. Just one year later, that reign would come to a heartbreaking end when the Montreal Alouettes beat the Bombers in the 1956 Grey Cup title game; by the early 1960s the once-proud franchise had sunk to the status of league doormat as many of its stars had either retired, gone over to rival teams, or moved south to continue their football careers in America. Winnipeg would not make another CFL playoff appearance until 1968.
In 1956, the Montreal Alouettes dashed the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' hopes for a fourth consecutive Grey Cup championship, beating the Bombers 51-42 in the 44th annual Grey Cup title game. Ironically kicker Bud Korchak, whose overtime field goal in the '53 Grey Cup had launched the Bomber dynasty, was the man who would win the day for Montreal, hitting back-to-back field goals later in the third quarter to spark an offensive surge that buried Winnipeg; he would later be named the game's MVP.
The Montreal victory marked the end of the Blue Bombers' reign as the CFL's top franchse; the following season they would lose four of their first five games and miss the playoffs completely. Bud Korchak would subsequent take his talents to America, where he would play a major role in the Balitmore Colts' historic OT win against the New York Giants in the 1958 NFL championship game.
In 1957, on this day the Canadian Football League announced its regular season schedule would be expanded to 18 games for the 1957 season; the new longer schedule would be tough on all CFL franchises, but it would be particularly hard on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who with many of their Grey Cup championship-era players gone from the roster stumbled out of the gate and would finish the year with a disappointing 7-10-1 record.
The 1957 CFL season would also see the league grow to twelve teams with the formation of the Moncton Whalers, the Halifax Whitecaps, and the Medicine Hat Red Dragons.
In 1958, former CFL kicker Ray Korchak hit a field goal in overtime to give the Baltimore Colts a 20-17 win over the New York Giants in the 1958 NFL championship game; Korchak shared game MVP honors with receiver Alan "The Horse" Ameche, whose game-tying touchdown in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter set up the OT period.
In 1964, the NFL signed a deal with an Ontario business conglomerate to add a Toronto expansion club to the league for the 1965 season; this marked the first time in NFL history that the league had established a franchise outside the United States.
In 1968, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers made their first CFL postseason appearance in twelve years, taking on the Calgary Stampeders in the first round of the 1968 CFL Western Division playoffs. The Blue Bombers took a 13-0 lead in the first half only to collapse early in the second half and lose to Calgary 34-20.
The Stampeders subsequently beat Saskatchewan in the Western Division finals and were in turn defeated by the Eastern Division champion Ottawa Rough Riders in the 1968 Grey Cup title game in a 13-12 nailbiter. As for Winnipeg, its inglorious first round exit at Calgary's hands would mark the first of four straight early eliminations for the Bombers in the late '60s and early '70s.
In 1971, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were eliminated in the first round of the CFL playoffs for the fourth straight year as they lost 23-20 in overtime to the Medicine Hat Red Dragons, who were making only their third CFL Western Division postseason appearance in franchise history.
In 1965, on this day the NFL's first Canadian franchise, the Toronto Cannoneers, made an inauspicious debut with a 27-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the first NFL game ever played on Canadian soil.
In 1967, on this day the Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 41-14 in Super Bowl I; much of the Packers' success was credited to the third down plays devised by their new quarterbacks coach, former Winnipeg Blue Bombers star "Indian" Jack Jacobs.
In 1984, on this day the Winnipeg Blue Bombers made their first Grey Cup finals appearance since 1956, taking on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in a rematch of the 1953 championship game.
Taking the opportunity to purge the last remaining ghosts of their defeat in the '53 game, Hamilton rang up 21 unanswered first quarter points and never looked back; they would go on to win the 84 title matchup by a final score of 51-16.