Ferguson Jenkins Heritage Award:
University of Toronto Varsity Blues Football team winning the first Grey Cup in 1909
The first Grey Cup to ever be played. That is a title no field can hold but the Rosedale field, in Toronto. It was a gloomy day on December 4th, 1909. The Varsity Blues from the University of Toronto were matched up against the Toronto Parkdale Canoe Club, a team no one thought would challenge for the championship. The field, which sat around 3,400 fans, took in 3,807 that day.
The championship was born from the idea that Canada’s Governor General, Albert Henry George Grey at the time, wanted to offer a trophy to Canada’s best senior hockey team. While that was not possible, he then pursued the sport of rugby. Thus, the Grey Cup was born. Since then, the sport has evolved into Canadian football.
The first touchdown, which they called a try in 1909, was in the second half of the game. Hugh Gall, the star of the Varsity Blues created the play, which will go down in history as the first ever in CFL history. The final score did indeed go the way of the Varsity Blues, with a final score of 26-6.
This was monumental for the University of Toronto, as the legacy of the Grey Cup began with them. They would go on to win it for the next 2 years, winning the first actual Grey Cup trophy in 1910. From December 4th to this very day, Canada has had 103 football championships, more than any football league in North America.