1961 CFL season

Last updated
1961 CFL season
Regular season
DurationJune – October, 1961
Playoffs
Start dateNovember 11, 1961
East Champions Hamilton Tiger-Cats 1961-11-25
West Champions Winnipeg Blue Bombers 1961-11-22
49th Grey Cup
DateDecember 2, 1961
Site Exhibition Stadium, Toronto
ChampionsWinnipeg Blue Bombers
  1960 CFL seasons 1962  

The 1961 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the eighth season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the fourth Canadian Football League season.

Contents

CFL News in 1961

The Western Canada Intercollegiate Rugby Union merged with the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union.

The WIFU changed its name to become the Western Football Conference.

The CFL season schedule was partially interlocked to allow teams of the Eastern Football Conference to play regular season games against the teams of the Western Football Conference. Beginning this season, teams played opponents in their own conference three times and opponents in the other conference once, meaning the length of the regular season remained unchanged in both conferences (i.e. sixteen games for Western teams and fourteen games for Eastern teams). The format remained as such until 1974 when the Eastern Conference extended its schedule to sixteen games.

A third consecutive year of interleague exhibition matches were scheduled with teams in the National Football League. As in 1959 and 1960, both CFL teams lost, with the Toronto Argonauts falling to the St. Louis Cardinals, 36–7, on August 2, and the Montreal Alouettes losing to the Chicago Bears, 34–16, on August 5). The Hamilton Tiger-Cats had a better idea for success: challenge the nascent American Football League to a duel. The Tiger-Cats faced off against their cross-border "rivals", the Buffalo Bills, on August 8. The Tiger-Cats defeated the Bills, 38–21, giving the Canadian league its first win over an American team since 1941. The AFL, embarrassed over the loss, declined to play another international game, and with the CFL consistently losing to NFL teams, the CFL ended international competition.

The 49th edition of the Grey Cup went to overtime for the first time at Toronto's CNE Stadium. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers won championship over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, 21–14.

The CFL made rule changes for the 1962 season, permitting four defensive backs per team to have unlimited blocking during rushing plays, as long as they are lined up outside the ends. Additionally the tackle-eligible play became illegal.

Regular season standings

Final regular season standings

Note: GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, Pts = Points

Western Football Conference
TeamGPWLTPFPAPts
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 16133036025126
Edmonton Eskimos 16105133425721
Calgary Stampeders 1679030031114
Saskatchewan Roughriders 16510121131411
BC Lions 1611322153934
Eastern Football Conference
TeamGPWLTPFPAPts
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 14104034029320
Ottawa Rough Riders 1486035928516
Toronto Argonauts 1476125525815
Montreal Alouettes 144912132259
  • Bold text means that they have clinched the playoffs.
  • Winnipeg and Hamilton have first round byes.

Grey Cup playoffs

Note: All dates in 1961

Conference Semi-Finals

Western Semi-Finals
Edmonton Eskimos vs Calgary Stampeders
GameDateAwayHome
1November 11 Edmonton Eskimos 8 Calgary Stampeders 10
2November 13 Calgary Stampeders 17 Edmonton Eskimos 18
Calgary won the total-point series by 27–26
Eastern Semi-Finals
Toronto Argonauts @ Ottawa Rough Riders
DateAwayHome
November 11 Toronto Argonauts 43 Ottawa Rough Riders 19

Conference Finals

Western Finals
Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs Calgary Stampeders
GameDateAwayHome
1November 18 Winnipeg Blue Bombers 14 Calgary Stampeders 1
2November 22 Calgary Stampeders 14 Winnipeg Blue Bombers 43
Winnipeg wins the best of three series 2–0
Eastern Finals
Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs Toronto Argonauts
GameDateAwayHome
1November 18 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 7 Toronto Argonauts 25
2 (OT)November 25 Toronto Argonauts 2 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 48
Hamilton won total-point series by 55–27

Playoff bracket

 Division Semifinals  Division Finals   49th Grey Cup
              
 East  E1 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 55
(7+48)
 
 E2 Ottawa Rough Riders 19  E3 Toronto Argonauts 27
(25+2)
  
 E3 Toronto Argonauts 43    E1 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 14
   W1 Winnipeg Blue Bombers 21 (OT)
 West  W1 Winnipeg Blue Bombers 2
(14,43)
  
 W2 Edmonton Eskimos 26
(8+18)
  W3 Calgary Stampeders 0
(1,14)
 
 W3 Calgary Stampeders 27
(10+17)
 

[1]

Grey Cup Championship

December 2

49th Annual Grey Cup Game: Exhibition StadiumToronto

Western Champion Eastern Champion
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 21 (OT) Hamilton Tiger-Cats 14
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are the 1961 Grey Cup Champions

The 1961 Grey Cup remains the only CFL title game decided in overtime. It also marked the fourth time in five years that the championship was decided between the Blue Bombers and Tiger-Cats. [2]

CFL Leaders

1961 Eastern All-Stars

Offence

Defence

1961 Western All-Stars

Offence

Defence

1961 CFL Awards

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References

  1. "1961".
  2. "1961 Grey Cup Classic". CBC. November 8, 2002.
  3. "CFLapedia".