Weird Facts About the Canadian Football League
"The football they play is quirky too. That's what makes it unique. That's what makes it Canadian. And that's what makes it worth protecting."
-Alison Gordon, Toronto Star
Known as the Crazy Football League in the 1990s, the CFL, in its long history as the oldest professional sporting league in North America, has had numerous outrageous and madcap moments on the field and in the boardrooms:
. The Grey Cup was stolen from Lansdowne Park in Ottawa and held for ransom for two months before being returned safely
. During World War II the CFL was about to shutdown when the Canadian military stepped up in an effort to boost morale; for three years non-civilian squads won the Grey Cup
. The 1950 Grey Cup was called the "Mud Bowl" -at one point, fans in Toronto's Varsity Stadium thought a Winnipeg player lying face down in the ankle deep slush was drowning
. Conditions were so bad in the " Fog Bowl" Grey Cup game of 1962 that the contest was played over two days
. During the American expansion years in the 1990s, the short-lived Las Vegas Posse trucked in tons of sand and turf to hold their training camp in the parking lot of a sponsoring casino
. In 1974, the minority liberal federal government introduced legislation to prevent the World Football League from expanding into Canada, and so the Toronto Northmen moved south of the border to become the Memphis Southmen
. The 1957 Grey Cup was immortalized by the famous "Tripper" incident when fan on the sidelines stuck his leg out to take down a Hamilton player as he raced down the field after intercepting a Winnipeg pass (the tripper later went on to become an Ontario judge).