Sunday, December 01, 2002

The best game I never saw

James Marsh of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman (sorry, no direct link to his piece) devoted part of a recent column to the 1962 "Fog Bowl" Grey Cup. Thanks to him!

(He begins)

"Likely the weirdest Grey Cup game took place in Toronto on Saturday December 1 and Sunday Dec. 2, 1962 -- the infamous Fog Bowl. As the game progressed into the second quarter, the fog rolled in from the cool waters of Lake Ontario like mustard gas over a battlefield. The Toronto Star reported the 'Metro air was fouler than ever recorded . . . sulphur and muck, trapped in a layer of stagnant air show levels 10-times higher than normal.'"

"The fog caused several deaths, chaotic traffic and a crime wave."

...."The players also lost sight of the ball when it was airborne. In the second half, Hamilton's Joe Zuger threw a touchdown pass to Dave Viti."

"'I threw it up in the air into the fog,' he said later, 'and I don't know how he saw it coming down.' Punt returners could hear the ball being kicked, but could not locate it until they heard it hit the ground.'

"'You'd run over to pick it up,' said Henley, 'and you could see bodies coming at you, but you could only see them from the knees down.'"

"For CFL commissioner Sydney Halter the game was a nightmare. He visited the field several times, peered into the mist and declared that visibility was not that bad. Finally, with nine minutes and 29 seconds left, he stopped the game and announced it would have to be completed the next day."

"....The game resumed the following day as the fog lifted. Hamilton moved the ball well but failed to score and Winnipeg won its fourth championship in five years. Former Eskimo great Jackie Parker, who drove 17 hours from his home in Tennessee to watch the game, summed it up: 'That was the best ball game I never saw.'"