Labour Day Classic

Last updated

Labour Day Classic Logo 2016.png

The Labour Day Classic is a particular week of the Canadian Football League (CFL) schedule that is played over the Labour Day weekend (which includes the first Monday in September). Labour Day weekend, roughly 12 or 13 weeks into the CFL season, is known for its matchups that do not change from year to year, unlike other "rivalry" weeks of the CFL schedule. Labour Day weekend is also one of typically two weeks (the Thanksgiving Day Classic being the other) in the CFL schedule that the league plays on a Monday. Mark's is the presenting sponsor of the event as of 2014.

Contents

The current weekend matchups involve the Winnipeg Blue Bombers visiting the Saskatchewan Roughriders on the Sunday and on Labour Day itself, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats play at home against the Toronto Argonauts, while the Edmonton Eskimos visit the Calgary Stampeders. The Montreal Alouettes would normally play against the Ottawa Redblacks on the Thursday or Friday, but after both teams were given a bye week in 2019, the rivalry would be further diminished in 2020 with an Ottawa vs BC Lions matchup on the weekend. [1] [2] The BC Lions have no geographic rival and would typically have a bye on Labour Day.

History

The Labour Day Classic began in 1949 and pre-dates the founding of the CFL by nine years.[ citation needed ] The matchups have remained mostly the same throughout history, except during Montreal and Ottawa's periods of hiatus or due to scheduling conflicts.

During the early 1980s, the Montreal Concordes played the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the remaining three teams (Toronto, Ottawa and BC) rotated each year. Ottawa and BC faced each other during the late 1980s and early 1990s while the league had no team in Montreal.

Because Ottawa had no active team from 1997–2001 and 2006–2013, the Alouettes usually played the Lions during those seasons, creating a "coast-to-coast" rivalry.

Hamilton

Due to scheduling conflicts, the Tiger-Cats temporarily revived its rivalry with the current incarnation of the Alouettes in the Labour Day game for the 2011 season; the change in opponents led Hamilton to dub the game the Labour Day Classique in reference to Montreal's francophone community. [3] [4] While in 2011, this automatically resulted in Toronto and BC facing each other.

In 2013, the Tiger-Cats' did not host a game on Labour Day for only the second time in franchise history (the first being 1995). [5] It was also the first time that they did not host a game on that weekend. Because Ivor Wynne Stadium was demolished to make way for the new Tim Hortons Field, the team played out of Alumni Stadium in Guelph. The University of Guelph Gryphons (along with most Ontario University Athletics teams) were playing that same day, so the Tiger-Cats could not host the game. To make up for it, the Toronto at Hamilton matchup was played in the Thanksgiving Day Classic.

For the 2016 contest, to avoid any further conflicts with OUA games, the CFL moved the Toronto/Hamilton matchup to prime time Labour Day evening. [6] That year, the OUA's McMaster Marauders football team moved its Labour Day matchup with the Toronto Varsity Blues football squad to Tim Hortons Field, creating a doubleheader with a series of concerts in-between games. [7] This was moved back to a 1pm start in 2019. [1]

Although not directly associated with the Labour Day Classic, the week after Labour Day often has a repeat match-up of the Bombers vs Roughriders (see Banjo Bowl), Stampeders vs Eskimos (see Battle of Alberta), and Tiger-Cats vs Argonauts (a rivalry which began in 1873), [8] with home field advantage now to the team that did not have it during the Labour Day weekend.

As the league has been increasing in popularity in recent years, print ads for the Labour Day Classic try to evoke the tradition of watching Canadian football on the last weekend of summer. Slogans include "Long Live the Rivalries" and "Watch the Team You Love Play the Team You Love to Hate". Some of the teams wear special third jerseys or throwback uniforms if they play at home.

Current matchups

Edmonton vs Calgary

Eskimos victoriesStampeders victories

Did not play in following years: 1954–1958, 1964–1968, 1973, 1981

Winnipeg vs Saskatchewan

Blue Bombers victoriesRoughriders victories

Longest winning streak, Roughriders 11 (2005–2015)
Longest winning streak, Blue Bombers 4 (1978–1982)

Did not play the following years: 1955–1960, 1964–1969, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1981

Toronto vs Hamilton

The Toronto—Hamilton Classic is one of the components of the Harold Ballard Trophy, an award given to the winner of the season series between the Tiger-Cats and Argonauts. The trophy is named after Harold Ballard, who owned the Tiger-Cats for much of the 1980s and owned Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment for most of that time. A trophy has been awarded to the winner of the series since 1979. [9]

The Toronto—Hamilton contest is officially known as Football Day in Hamilton and has its own presenting sponsor, WeatherTech Canada. Since the opening of Tim Hortons Field, Football Day in Hamilton has consisted of a Tiger-Cats game as well as a concert and either a McMaster Marauders football or a Hamilton Hurricanes (CJFL) matinée. [10]

Argonauts victoriesTiger-Cats victories

Did not play the following years: 1962, 1965–1966, 1969–1970, 1972–1974, 1976–1977, 1979, 1981–1986, 1990, 1995, 2011, 2013

Ottawa vs Montreal

No.DateLocationWinnerScore
1 1949 Ottawa Rough Riders 22–21
2 1952 Montreal Rough Riders 32–21
3 1953 Ottawa Rough Riders 26–6
4 1954 Ottawa Alouettes 20–11
5 1955 Montreal Alouettes 34–22
6 1956 Montreal Alouettes 42–10
7 1957 Montreal Alouettes 22–21
8 1958 Montreal Alouettes 11–9
9 1959 Ottawa Alouettes 22–7
10 1960 Montreal Alouettes 39–22
11 1961 Ottawa Rough Riders 25–24
12 1963 Montreal Rough Riders 37–15
13 1967 Ottawa Rough Riders 17–5
14 1971 Ottawa Rough Riders 40–17
15 1975 Montreal Rough Riders 18–11
16 1978 Montreal Rough Riders 23–18
17 1996 Ottawa Rough Riders 17–6
No.DateLocationWinnerScore
1 2003 Ottawa Renegades 43–38
2 2004 Ottawa Alouettes 22–16
3 2005 Montreal Alouettes 41–18
No.DateLocationWinnerScore
1 2014 Montreal Alouettes 20–10
2 2016 Montreal Redblacks 19–14
3 2017 Montreal Redblacks 32–4
4 2018 Ottawa Alouettes 21–11
Series: Redblacks leads 13–11
Includes games from all Ottawa franchises

Did not play in following years: 1950–1951, 1962, 1964–1966, 1968–1970, 1972–1974, 1976–1977, 1979–1986, 2002, 2015, 2019, 2020

Notes
No Montreal team 1987–1995
No Ottawa team 1997–2001, 2006–2013

Other matchups

BC vs Montreal

Lions victoriesAlouettes victories

BC vs Ottawa

Lions victoriesRough Riders victories

Montreal vs Hamilton

Hamilton has played and hosted the Labour Day Classic against Montreal (aka Labour Day Classique) nine times in CFL history. According to a Hamilton Spectator article, 2011 marked 25 years since Montreal had battled Hamilton in this Classic at home. In previous years, Montreal has played as either the Alouettes or Concordes. The Classique has been a notoriously one-sided rivalry; Hamilton is undefeated in the Labour Day series, and Montreal is winless, with their best result being a tie in the first Classique in 1962.

Alouettes victoriesTiger-Cats victories

Related Research Articles

The 2005 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 52nd season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 48th Canadian Football League season.

The 2004 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 51st season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 47th Canadian Football League season.

The 2003 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 50th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 46th Canadian Football League season. The pre-season began on May 30, 2003 and the regular season started on June 17, 2003. Taylor Field in Regina, Saskatchewan hosted the 91st Grey Cup on November 16, with the Edmonton Eskimos defeating the Montreal Alouettes 34–22.

The 2002 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 49th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 45th Canadian Football League season.

The 1986 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 33rd season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 29th Canadian Football League season.

The 1981 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 28th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 24th Canadian Football League season.

The 1976 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 23rd season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 19th Canadian Football League season.

The 1974 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 21st season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 17th Canadian Football League season.

The 1973 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 20th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 16th Canadian Football League season.

The 1972 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 19th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 15th Canadian Football League season.

The 1969 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 16th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it was officially the 12th Canadian Football League season.

The 2007 Canadian Football League season was the 54th season of modern Canadian professional football. Officially, it was the 50th season of the league, and many special events were held to commemorate the event. Regular-season play began on June 28, 2007 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario and concluded on Saturday, November 3, 2007. The playoffs began on Sunday, November 11, 2007, and ended with the championship game, the 95th Grey Cup, at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, on November 25, 2007, with the Saskatchewan Roughriders as champions.

The 1968 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 15th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 11th Canadian Football League season.

The 1962 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the ninth season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the fifth Canadian Football League season.

The 1963 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the tenth season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the sixth Canadian Football League season.

The 2008 Canadian Football League season was the 55th season of modern Canadian professional football. Officially, it was the 51st season for the league. It was also the first CFL season in which all of the league's regular season and post-season games, including the Grey Cup game, were aired on TSN. This meant the CFL was no longer aired on broadcast television in Canada. As of 2008, TSN was available in approximately 8.8 million of Canada's 13 million households. Montreal hosted the 96th Grey Cup at Olympic Stadium on November 23, when the championship was won by the Calgary Stampeders.

The 2011 Canadian Football League season was the 58th season of modern Canadian professional football. Officially, it was the 54th season of the league. The complete schedule was released on February 18 and featured the defending Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes opening the season against the visiting BC Lions on Thursday, June 30, 2011. The season was among the most notable in the modern era for the competitiveness of the teams; going into the final week, five teams were tied for first place in the league, a first in modern CFL history. It was also the first time since 1982 that all teams finished with fewer than 12 wins in the regular season. As well, for the first time since 1950, the start of the modern era, all four teams competing in the divisional finals were different from the four teams that had competed in the division finals the previous year. Newly renovated BC Place Stadium in Vancouver hosted the 99th Grey Cup on November 27, with the hometown Lions defeating the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 34–23 in front of a sold-out crowd.

The 2013 Canadian Football League season was the 60th season of modern Canadian professional football. Officially, it was the 56th season of the league.

The 2014 Canadian Football League season was the 61st season of modern Canadian professional football. It was the 57th season of the league. Vancouver hosted the 102nd Grey Cup on November 30. The league expanded to nine teams with the addition of the Ottawa Redblacks, giving the CFL nine teams for the first time since the 2005 season. As a result of the expansion, the schedule shifted to a 20-week regular season plus three weeks of playoffs ; the season started on June 26, 2014.

The 2015 Canadian Football League season was the 62nd season of modern Canadian professional football. Officially, it was the 58th season of the league. The Edmonton Eskimos won the 103rd Grey Cup on November 29, defeating the Ottawa Redblacks 26–20 in Winnipeg. The schedule was released February 13, 2015 and the regular season began on June 25, 2015.

References

  1. 1 2 "2019 CFL season schedule" . Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  2. "2020 CFL season schedule" . Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  3. Gameday: The Labour Day Classique.
  4. From a purely football angle, this Labour Day Classique should be a good one. Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
  5. "Mark Your Calendars: 2013 CFL Schedule announced". March 5, 2013.
  6. Bucholtz, Andrew. Five takeaways from the CFL's 2016 schedule. 55 Yard Line (Yahoo! Sports). Retrieved February 18, 2016.
  7. Staff, 3Down (May 3, 2016). "Ticats partner with Mac to supersize Labour Day".
  8. "Canadian Football Timelines (1860–present)". Football Canada. Archived from the original on February 28, 2007. Retrieved December 23, 2006.
  9. Edwards, Drew (October 12, 2013). "Some fans might remember Harold Ballard . . . but the Ballard Cup!?". TheRecord.com. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  10. "TIGER-CATS ANNOUNCE WEATHERTECH FOOTBALL DAY IN HAMILTON TO TAKE PLACE ON LABOUR DAY – Hamilton Tiger-Cats". ticats.ca.