The 1942 Grey Cup
Late November/early December marks the annual Grey Cup game and warrants a look back on the history of the event and its previous winners. In many cases, these trips down memory lane are filled with familiar faces and stories, but few likely remember the 1942 Grey Cup, a game that would pin the Canadian Military against itself when the Toronto RCAF Hurricanes took on the Winnipeg RCAF Bombers.
With the Second World War in full force, there was a rapid increase in military enrollment throughout the country and this influx of personnel gave some military groups the opportunity to create their own football organizations. These teams would compete in their own local city leagues across Canada and would later combine themselves at the end of the season for playoffs. The victorious team would then be awarded the Grey Cup and become National Champions. (Although the Grey Cup had already been established in 1909, the Canadian Football League (CFL) did not yet exist in ‘42.)
Impressively, during the 1942 season, two separate Royal Canadian Air Force teams would punch their ticket to the Grey Cup. The game itself was a nail biter as Quarterback Bill Stukus and the Toronto Hurricanes edged out the Winnipeg Bombers 8-5. Bill would later be awarded the Imperial Oil Trophy which was given out to the Ontario Rugby Football Union’s Most Valuable Player (MVP). The celebrations following the game would be short lived as many of the players would soon set out to perform their duty for Canada. Unfortunately for many of them, this would be the last game of football they would ever play.
For more on this, please see “Documentary looks at 1942 Grey Cup Champs” (Montreal Gazette, 10Nov2012).
Main photo: The Toronto RCAF Hurricanes after winning the 1942 Grey Cup (Credit: Montreal Gazette).