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November 27, 1977 - Grey Cup: The Ice Bowl

Friday, November 27th 2020, 5:00 am - The 1977 Grey Cup in Montreal was dubbed the "Ice Bowl," as winter weather took its toll on the city just days before the game, and during.

CFL The 1977 Grey Cup in Montreal was dubbed the "Ice Bowl," as winter weather took its toll on the city just days before the game, and during. Photo: CFL.

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The 1977 Grey Cup in Montreal was dubbed the "Ice Bowl," as winter weather took its toll on the city just days before the game, and during. This game set the Grey Cup attendance record of 68,318.

A blizzard hit Montreal two days prior to the game and stadium crews were called in to try and melt the snow off the field. When it did the next day, it turned the wet, melted snow on the field into a solid sheet of ice.

On top of the weather disaster, there was the transit strike in place that had shut down the city’s subway and buses, forcing fans to walk to the Olympic Stadium, which was far from the downtown core.

The game was the third time in four years the Montreal Alouettes were facing the Edmonton Eskimos for the right to hoist the Grey Cup. Both teams were out on the field hours before game time trying out different types of footwear, as they were desperately trying to figure something out that would give them grip or traction on the slippery surface.

Montreal/Pixabay A blizzard hit Montreal two days prior to the game and stadium crews were called in to try and melt the snow off the field. When it did the next day, it turned the wet, melted snow on the field into a solid sheet of ice. Photo: Pixabay

They tried broomball shoes, which players sometimes used on similarly icy turf, but didn’t work. Others tried the old metal cleats, which are used on grass but rarely used on the artificial turf. But that just made matters worse. What did work, however, at least for the Alouettes' players, was putting staples on the bottom of their shoes.

On today's podcast, Chris Mei breaks down the blizzard that paralyzed Montreal just days before the Grey Cup, how terrible the field conditions were during the game, why the players had such a difficult time maintaining stability on the field, and ultimately, who won.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.

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