The best and most important Grey Cup game occurred 20 years ago, in 1996, when the Toronto Argonauts beat the Edmonton Eskimos 43-37.
The game became famous for a fumble by Toronto quarterback Doug Flutie, which somehow wasn’t called by referee Jake Ireland and instead gave the Argonauts a first down. Edmonton’s Henry “Gizmo” Williams and Toronto’s Jimmy “The Jet” Cunningham exchanged long touchdowns.
The game was played in a steady snowstorm.
Everyone found out afterwards the league was worried about having enough money to pay bonuses to the winning players. The CFL was nearly bankrupt as 1996 Grey Cup Week unwound in Hamilton, a city that seemed depressed at the best of times.
As huge snowflakes kept falling and the game ended, Eskimos head coach Ron Lancaster angrily sprinted past the media. Argos head coach Don Matthews was more gregarious, staying on-field for the Cup presentation.
The snow kept falling. All the bills got paid. The game was so beautiful, so engaging, it got people invested in the Grey Cup again and may actually have saved the CFL.