84th Grey Cup
November 24, 1996</td></tr><tr><th scope="row" style="text-align:left">Stadium</th><td> Ivor Wynne Stadium</td></tr><tr><th scope="row" style="text-align:left">Location</th><td class="location"> Hamilton</td></tr><tr><th scope="row" style="text-align:left">Most Valuable Player</th><td> Doug Flutie</td></tr><tr><th scope="row" style="text-align:left">Most Valuable Canadian</th><td> Mike Vanderjagt</td></tr><tr><th scope="row" style="text-align:left">Referee</th><td> Jake Ireland</td></tr><tr><th scope="row" style="text-align:left">Halftime show</th><td> The Nylons</td></tr><tr><th scope="row" style="text-align:left">Attendance</th><td> 38,595</td></tr><tr><th colspan="2" style="text-align:center;background:#efefef">Broadcasters</th></tr><tr><th scope="row" style="text-align:left">Network</th><td> CBC, RDS, ESPN2</td></tr><tr><th scope="row" style="text-align:left">Announcers</th><td> (CBC) Steve Armitage, Chris Cuthbert, Mark Lee, Brian Williams, Glen Suitor, Brenda Irving (ESPN2) Gord Miller, Danny Kepley, Miles Gorrell</td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" style="text-align:center;border-top:1px solid #aaa">
The 84th Grey Cup, also known as The Snow Bowl, was the 1996 Grey Cup Canadian Football League championship game played between the Toronto Argonauts and the Edmonton Eskimos at Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton, Ontario. The Argonauts won the game by a score of 43-37.
The temperature at game time was -10°C, with 20 km/h winds and heavy snow. Tractors had to remove snow from the field prior to the game, as well as at halftime.
Edmonton had all the points in the first quarter on a safety touch conceded by Toronto quarterback Doug Flutie and a 64-yard touchdown pass from Danny McManus to Eddie Brown, a shoestring catch that is considered to be of the most memorable plays in Grey Cup history.
In the second quarter, Toronto's Mike Vanderjagt kicked a field goal and Jimmy Cunningham returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown. Another Vanderjagt field goal put Toronto up 13-9. Edmonton regained the lead with a 75-yard pass and run from McManus to Jim Sandusky but lost it again when Robert Drummond scored for Toronto from the one. Edmonton's Henry "Gizmo" Williams reversed that in one play as he returned the kickoff 91 yards for the touchdown, a Grey Cup record that stood until the Eskimos' Tony Tompkins topped it with a 95-yard kickoff return in the 93rd Grey Cup. Flutie marched the Argos to the Edmonton 10 then ran in himself for the touchdown with 20 seconds left in the half to give Toronto the lead 27-23 at halftime, closing a quarter that saw the teams combine for 41 points.
Two Vanderjagt field goals were all the scoring in the first 23 minutes of the second half as Toronto receiver Cunningham dropped certain touchdown passes in the third and fourth quarters.
Edmonton cut the Toronto lead to 33-30 on Eric Blount's five-yard touchdown run with seven minutes remaining. But Flutie marched Toronto 71 yards, including a controversial third-down gamble in which Flutie fumbled the snap but was ruled not only to have retained possession but to have gained a first down. Their drive thus extended, the Argonauts increased their lead to 36-30 on Vanderjagt's 27-yard field goal at 13:26.
McManus hit Marc Tolbert with a seven-yard touchdown pass at 14:51 to round out the scoring at 43-37. An onside kick attempt was recovered by Toronto to end any Edmonton comeback threat.
Edmonton Kicker Sean Fleming missed three field goal attempts.
The dismal weather did not dampen the enthusiasm of the raucous gathering of 38,595, which was the biggest ever at Ivor Wynne Stadium but still 1,805 short of a sellout. It was also the smallest announced Grey Cup attendance since 32,454 attended the 1975 game in Calgary.
Before the game, many people believed that Flutie could not play well in cold weather. Flutie, who was the CFL's Most Outstanding Player this season, was also named the game's top performer. Teammate Mike Vanderjagt, who booted five field goals, was voted the Grey Cup's Most Valuable Canadian.
It was the second-highest scoring Grey Cup game, next to Saskatchewan's 43-40 win over Hamilton in 1989.
It was the Argonauts' first Cup win since 1991. Ironically, they did it in the stadium that had often been called "Never Win" by the Argo fans due to the team's consistent failure to beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at that venue.
Toronto's 27 points in the second quarter came close to tying the Grey Cup record of 28 points in one quarter, set in the 1990 Grey Cup.
1996 CFL Playoffs
In popular culture
The game serves as a key plot point to a 2013 episode of the American TV series How I Met Your Mother. In the episode, teen idol Robin Sparkles derails her music career during the game's halftime show by unveiling her new grunge persona, Robin Daggers, which triggers her move to the United States, entry into journalism and joining the program's core cast. In reality, the halftime act for the contest was The Nylons.