The 36th Grey Cup was played on November 27, 1948, before 20,013 fans at Varsity Stadium at Toronto.
The Calgary Stampeders defeated Ottawa Rough Riders 12 to 7.
The game is remembered fondly for being the year in which Calgary fans brought pageantry to the Grey Cup as much as it was Calgary’s first Grey Cup victory. Calgary fans created a party atmosphere by staging pancake breakfasts on the steps of City Hall, riding horses into the lobby of the prestigious Royal York Hotel, and starting parades, dances and parties everywhere.
The Calgary defence was able to stop the favoured Rough Rider drives at the 8, 10 and 22 yard lines and hold them scoreless. On one of these Ottawa had successfully faked a punt. On the next possession they ran the fake punt again but Howie Turner was stopped short and Calgary took over at their 46 yard line.
They quickly drove into Ottawa territory and scored on a “sleeper play” pass from Keith Spaith to Norm Hill in the end zone, which meant that Hill ran over to the far sidelines and flopped on the field, essentially hiding. Everybody in the stadium, except the Rough Riders on the field, saw this coming. Hill slipped before he had possession of the ball but he fell on his back and the ball dropped into his hands. Hill’s score is sometimes called the “sit-down touchdown”.
Bob Paffrath scored a touchdown for the Riders and they also scored a single.
In the final quarter Ottawa’s Pete Karpuk fumbled a lateral. Calgary’s Woody Strode recovered and returned it to the Ottawa eleven yard line. Karpuk did not attempt to recover his own fumble, believing that the whistle had blown. Pete Thodos scored the winning touchdown on an end rush that opened a large hole in the Ottawa defence while Dave “Baldy” Tomlinson successfully punted in the last winning points.