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Nicknamed the 'Mud Bowl' this classic Grey Cup game was a messy one

Wednesday, November 24th 2021, 11:38 pm - The 38th Grey Cup was played at Toronto's Varsity Stadium on Nov. 25, 1950 in front of 27,101 fans. But due to the weather conditions, it came to be remembered as the Mud Bowl.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.

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The 38th Grey Cup was played at Toronto's Varsity Stadium on Nov. 25, 1950 in front of 27,101 fans. But due to the weather conditions, it came to be remembered as the Mud Bowl. The oppressively wet and muddy conditions created a quagmire.

Mud Bowl/Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum Action from the 1950 Grey Cup game (known as the Mud Bowl) between the Toronto Argonauts and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Photo: Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum.

The day before the game, a rare, heavy, late-November snowfall blanketed the field. So officials brought in what was referred to as heavy equipment to clear the snowfall before the game. But, just how heavy was it? The ground was covered in snow, so the turf is wet underneath. You use machinery that is too heavy and it will just chew up the surface...which is exactly what happened. The equipment damaged the turf, which already endured wear and tear from the poor conditions during the regular season.

Then, on the morning of the championship game, temperatures climbed. This caused the snowfall to switch to a steady rain, which continued throughout the game. This led to sloppy play with lots of fumbles as both teams had great difficulty even moving the ball.

Canada Post/Mud Bowl stamp On Aug. 13, 2012, Canada Post unveiled the 100th Grey Cup Game commemorative stamp collection, illustrated by Canadian artist Ron Dollekamp. Photo: Canada Post.

On today's podcast, Chris Mei discusses the poor conditions before and during the 38th Grey Cup, which became known as the Mud Bowl, how they ended up being the deciding factor in the championship game, and most importantly, what team won.

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