The 1983 Toronto Argonauts Grey Cup Riot

These days it’s like pulling teeth to get anyone out to an Argos game, but it wasn’t always that way. A whole lot of people used to genuinely care about the team, so much so that there was a mini riot after they won the Grey Cup in 1983.

I have no memory of any of this. I was about to turn four, so was obviously far too young to appreciate it at the time. In fact, this is the first I can even recall hearing about it.

Speaking of firsts, I believe this marks the first time I’ve heard the phrase “dumping confetti on shoppers” as part of a report like this. Was that a thing people used to do? It sounds extra weird coming right after the lighting of firecrackers.

It’s also interesting to hear vague talk of what would eventually become the SkyDome all the way back then, even though it makes total sense given that it opened less than six years later. It still being hypothetical kind of gives me a new appreciation for how fast things like government and construction can move when they want to.

You may also like this post from long-time sports reporter Howard Berger that features both his memories from the time and some scans of newspaper front pages and some of his other memorabilia.

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