At the launch, it was 23 years since the Saskatchewan Roughriders won their first and only Gray Cup. The franchise returned to the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons and, despite an exhausted offensive by quarterback Kent Austin, they simply slipped after completing a rock campaign in 1989 with a 9-9 record. Few gave them the opportunity to reach the big game, no matter the win.
On the other hand, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats had finished at the top of the Eastern standings with essentially the same list that appeared in the Gray Cup three consecutive years from 1984 to 1986. Therefore, it seemed like a business one-way. But by the end of the 1989 Gray Cup, the game would become the league with the highest score of all time and the most exciting 60 minutes in CFL history.
PAUL OSBALDISTON, the Saskatchewan Tiger-Cats kicker, was certainly a loser in the playoffs. When we entered the game, we were and should have been great favorites.
MILES GORRELL, offensive lineman of the Tiger-Cats We had a very good season and a pretty good team, first in our division. Mike Kerrigan, our field marshal, was hitting everyone. We had a good set of receivers with Rocky DiPietro and Tony Champion. Champion was an amazing athlete and a man who … he was just amazing.
OSBALDISTON Our crime was very dynamic that year. I think in 1989 I tried 74 boxes and almost 60 extra points. We won the games 45-20, 40-30, scores like that. Our defense was younger; It was something contrary to what led us to the Gray Cup 86, a stellar defense.
GLEN SUITOR, Roughriders security and support We knew they had a good team. They had a serious talent there. Tony Champion was one of the big receivers of the league at that time.
DAVE RIDGWAY, the Roughriders kicker, Tony was at the top of his game, Mike Kerrigan tied. We had played two fantastic matches against them during the year. They won both games, but they were burned.
RAY ELGAARD, receiver of the Roughriders When entering the season, the thought was: “Of course, why not us?” There are only eight teams in the damn league and we have not been in the playoffs for 11 years.