When the 110th Grey Cup comes to its conclusion Sunday night in Hamilton, football fans in Canada will have witnessed the solidification of the Canadian Football League‘s latest dynasty or the end of a lengthy championship drought.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers (15-4, including playoffs) have the opportunity to win their third title in four years, a feat that has not been accomplished since Edmonton rattled off an unprecedented five consecutive championship victories from 1978 to 1982.
After wins against Hamilton and Toronto in the East Division playoffs, the Montreal Alouettes (13-7) are hoping to claim their first Grey Cup since they last climbed to the top of the CFL’s summit in 2010.
Anthony Calvillo – Alouettes heading to Grey Cup
In the previous 109 championship matchups for Canadian football supremacy, never has there been a Montreal versus Winnipeg final — until Sunday at Tim Hortons Field.
The two teams have met in the playoffs before, however, when both clubs resided in the East Division. Montreal beat Winnipeg 35-24 in the East Final in 2000 and the Bombers topped the Alouettes 24-22 in the 2007 Eastern Semi-Final.
“I’m a proud Canadian and I’m living out a dream, a childhood dream, playing for my hometown with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers,” Brady Oliveira said after the Winnipeg native accepted the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian Award on Wednesday night. “I’ve been a CFL fan ever since I was a kid watching legends like Milt Stegall, Charles Roberts and Canadians like Jon Cornish and Andrew Harris.”
Sunday’s game will mark the 105th meeting between Montreal and Winnipeg since 1961 and the all-time record is deadlocked at 51-51, with two games ending in a tie. The Bombers won both of their games against the Als this season by scores of 17-3 and 47-17 and did not allow Montreal to score an offensive touchdown.
The Blue Bombers are looking to claim their 13th Grey Cup title, which would trail only Toronto’s 18 and the 14 won by Edmonton. Montreal is aiming to win for the eighth time. That would pull the Alouettes even with Hamilton and Calgary for the fifth most championships.
“I feel like we are in a really good place,” Alouettes head coach Jason Maas said. “Coming off an East Final win and doing what we’ve been doing down the stretch. Guys understand what we’re about, how to work, how to meet and how to get the most out of the week. So, we’re excited.”
The 110th Grey Cup game will kick off at 6:30 p.m. and will feature Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Green Day as the halftime show performer.
- Winnipeg is the fourth team to have reached four consecutive Grey Cup finals. (Edmonton five, 1977-82; Regina five, 1928-32; Hamilton five, 1961-65)
- Blue Bombers running back Brady Oliveira, this year’s Most Outstanding Canadian, rushed for 239 yards (6.3 yards per carry) and one touchdown in two games against Montreal this season.
- Montreal is riding a seven-game winning streak heading into the Grey Cup. That is the longest active streak by any team in 2023 and the longest by any team heading into the Grey Cup since Edmonton won nine straight entering the final in 2015.
- Since 1990, 66 per cent of teams that scored first in the Grey Cup went on to win the game. Over the last nine seasons, five of the nine teams that scored first have won.
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