Playing a Dangerous Game is another episode of Engraved On A Nation, the series of documentaries celebrating 100 years of the CFL and the Grey Cup (Beacher’s photo inspires Grey Cup doc) .
In 1969 Canada was under threat by the Front de Libération du Québec, or as it was commonly known, the FLQ. This ultra-left-wing Quebec nationalist group had already bombed the Montreal Stock Exchange, as well as the home of then-Mayor Jean Drapeau. The 1969 Grey Cup game was scheduled to be held in Montreal for the first time since 1931, and many thought that the event should be moved to another city outside Quebec.
The Commissioner of the Canadian Football League (CFL) at the time, former Beach resident Jake Gaudaur, was adamant that holding the Grey Cup in Montreal would demonstrate to the people of Quebec – as well as in the rest of Canada – that the FLQ was not in charge of the province, and did not represent the views of Quebecers. He even went so far as to invite then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (himself an ardent Canadian nationalist who, just a year later took the FLQ to task with the War Measures Act) to make the ceremonial kick-off.
The security for this particular Grey Cup game was tighter than normal, and many Canadians, not just football fans, were glued to their televisions to watch the showdown.
Playing a Dangerous Game originally aired in October, but you can visit www.tsn.ca/greycup/#theDocsPage and click on the link that will let you play the episode on your computer.