Sometimes, (OK all the time), Toronto has a superiority complex. “We wouldn’t riot like Montreal or Vancouver,” we say, with an air of imperviousness.
While we may not have a full-scale riot to our name, there has been no shortage of bad actors in the stands, and even on the sidelines of Toronto sporting events. Let’s run through six times Toronto sports fans flew off the rails.
The annals of Toronto sports fan debauchery would not be complete without a nod to the OG rabble-rouser; the infamous 1957 Grey Cup ghost known as “The Tripper.”
The 45th Grey Cup held at Varsity Stadium between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers was the first instalment of the CFL’s final game to be broadcast from coast to coast. Those new to football must have been scratching their heads when a fan decided to get in on the action.
After picking off Winnipeg’s quarterback and tip-toeing up the sideline with nothing but green grass (or brown mud) ahead of him, Hamilton’s Ray “Bibbles” Bawel encountered an unexpected obstacle; the foot of one David Humphrey. Bawel fell, and just like that, two men had their lives linked forever.
Humphrey later revealed in a 2008 interview with TSN that a police officer loaned him his badge. Humphrey then used the badge to get down to the sideline, saying that he was security. Years later, Humphrey would send Bawel a gold watch inscribed with the words “From the Tripper, Grey Cup 1957.”
Fortunately, Humphrey’s actions didn’t determine the game, as Hamilton won in blowout fashion, 32-7. Still, his decision to put his worst foot forward is one of the most iconic moments in Grey Cup history.