Saturday, November 23, 2013

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, November 23, 2013

In the Grey Cup, the going gets rough for Saskatchewan

If this were the Banjo Bowl, you’d have to like the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ chances.

But, traditionally, this team comes up small in Grey Cup games.
There, somebody had to say it.

Nothing against the fans, they’re among the best in any sport, and they’ll have Mosaic Stadium rocking on Sunday in the 101st Grey Cup game in Regina against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

As for the previous 100 Grey Cup games, the Roughies were there 18 times.

They won three. That’s it.

The Roughriders did win the Cup as recently as 2007, but the competition was only  the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, their rivals from the Banjo Bowl, so named since 2004 when Bombers kicker Troy Westwood said people from Regina were “a bunch of banjo-pickin’ inbreds.”

Roughriders fans have taken the insult in good humour — besides, they know Tiger-Cats fans have been called far worse.

For the record:

The Roughriders organization, formed in 1910, originally was known as the Regina Rugby Club. The RRC lost its only Grey Cup appearance, 54-0 to Queen’s University in 1923.

In 1924, they were renamed the Regina Roughriders, losers of six Grey Cups including five in a row from 1928 through 1932, among them three losses to the Hamilton Tigers.

In 1946, they became the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who are 3-8 in Grey Cup games, including losing two of three to the Tiger-Cats.
The Roughriders have won the Cup in 1966, 1989 and 2007.

The Tiger-Cats were founded in 1950 with the merger of the Hamilton Tigers and Hamilton Wildcats.

The Ticats are 8-10 since in Grey Cup appearances. Some fans also claim the seven earlier Cup wins by the Tigers (5-2), Flying Wildcats (1-1) and Hamilton Alerts (1-0), but purists say no way, claiming those were different organizations.

The Tiger-Cats have won the Cup in 1953, 1957, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1972, 1986 and 1999.

 Head to head:

In the 1967 Grey Cup, Hamilton defeated Saskatchewan 24-1 in Ottawa. The Roughriders’ lone point came on an 87-yard punt on a quick kick by Alan Ford.

In 1972,  Ian Sunter kicked a 34-yard field goal as time ran out, giving Hamilton a 13-10 home-field win over Saskatchewan.

In 1989, Saskatchewan returned the favour as Dave Ridgway’s field goal was the difference in a 43-40 win over Hamilton, capping a thrilling game.

Three heartbreakers:

In 1962, kicker Don Sutherin missed two converts and a 30-yard field goal in the Fog Bowl as Hamilton lost 28-27 to Winnipeg. It was the Ticats’ fourth Grey Cup loss in five years to the Blue Bombers.

In 1976, Ottawa’s Tony Gabriel caught a 24-yard touchdown pass with 20 seconds left for a 23-20 win over Saskatchewan.

In 2009, Montreal’s Damon Duval missed a last-second field-goal attempt that appeared to give Saskatchewan the win, but a too-many-men penalty led to a re-kick and Duval made it this time, giving Montreal a 28-27 win. (Source: Postmedia News)