Chicago Cardinals 55
Toronto Argonauts 26
Aug. 5, 1959
In 1959, the Toronto Argonauts moved from Varsity Stadium to the brand new C.N.E. grounds. They opened their new facility in a unique way by hosting the NFL's Chicago Cardinals in an exhibition game. Football fans on both sides of the border were curious as to how the game would take shape and 27,700 showed up for the contest. A blend of Canadian and American rules were employed in the game. The coaches were Hamp Pool for Toronto and Pop Ivy (former Edmonton coach) for Chicago
Winners At Gate
Argos Smothered By Cardinals And Lose Norm Stoneburgh
TORONTO (CP)- Toronto Argonauts fattened their treasure Wednesday night, if not their prestige, but it cost them something they can't pay for with mere cash.
Their 55-26 exhibition football defeat at the hands of the National Football League Chicago Cardinals was nothing compared with the loss of their prize Canadian center Norm Stoneburgh,
The graduate of Toronto high school ranks broke an ankle in the second quarter when he was low man in a pileup. He will be out of action for eight to 10 weeks.
To replace him, coach Hamp Pool will be forced to invest some of the coin poured in by the record-setting 27,770 fans in telephone calls to the south since there are no homebrews on the horizon capable of filling Stoneburgh's shoes.
Otherwise, this rugged and free-wheeling meeting of The Big Four and National League athletes was a rousing success and a big headache for the Toronto traffic police.
Main arteries near the football grounds were jammed. Some cars were at a standstill for an hour and in some places were backed up for a mile.
It was a record gate for a football game in the east and the biggest crowd ever to watch an exhibition anywhere in the country, surpassing the 23,566 mark set at Vancouver's Empire Stadium in 1956 when British Columbia Lions met Edmonton Eskimos.
The game inaugurated the Argos’ new lakefront exhibition stadium which had been used previously only for the intra-squad affair. Adding to the interest was the first appearance of an NFL club here and the mixture of Canadian and American rules.
Ahead 13-7 at the first quarter, Argos caved in after half time before the superior weight and blocking of the Chicago crew. Coach Frank “Pop” Ivy used his first stringers extensively and only after they had built up a big lead did he start cleaning out his 50-man bench.
The Argonauts emerged with higher hopes than ever for Ronnie Knox, the brilliant young UCLA quarterback on loan from Chicago Bears of the NFL. He completed 19 of the 23 passes he attempted, had only one intercepted and picked up 219 yards through the air.
Also sparkling were Johnny Green of Chattanooga who took over from Knox late in the last quarter, and rookie halfback Bob Dehlinger from Idaho who ran 70 yards on an interception for one of Toronto's four touchdowns.
Dave Mann scored two and Jerry Philp the other. Vic Kristopaitis kicked two converts.
Chicago touchdowns were scored by Joe Childress, Bobby Watkins, King Hill, Bobby Joe Conrad, Jim Crow, Mal Hammack, Leo Sugar and Lee Williams. Conrad converted six and kicked a single.
The four Chicago quarterbacks- Hill, M. C. Reynolds, Huston Patton and Hunter Enis- had the Argos in a dither with their pitch-outs and faking.
Aside from the crippling of Stoneburgh, the Argos emerged unscathed with the exception of a foot injury to linebacker Don Caraway.
Argos stop Cardinal runner in this image from the Toronto Star
Too Big, Too Strong, Too Good
By JIM HUNT
Toronto Star Staff Writer
Toronto (Special) - Hamp Pool, a football coach who has been in the cellar so long he's suffering from the bends, walked out of Toronto’s spanking new stadium last night firmly convinced Argonauts can beat the Chicago Cardinals.
But the coach didn't find much support from the 27,700 people - more than ever watched a Grey Cup game here- who saw the NFL team take the Argos apart, 55-26, and leave the pieces neatly piled on the turf (video).
The Cards were just too big, too tough and too competent for a team that figures to be the best Toronto has had since the Grey Cup years of 1950 and 1952. Of course, considering the Argo record, that may not be much of a club either.
Pool based his confidence on the way Argos moved the ball against the Cardinals, coached by Frank Ivy who never has lost a football game in Toronto and didn't intend to start last night. And the Scullers did gain a lot of yardage against the tanks of the NFL.
With Ronnie Knox leaving his poems for passes, the Scullers came up with an attack that had the fans cheering wildly- almost as if this were Grey Cup day instead of a warm August evening and an exhibition game.
But the defence was something else again. The Cards just knocked the Argos over and romped, particularly in the second half when a close football game turned into a rout.
Financially, the game was a success. The Cards went home with their pockets jingling and Lew Hayman had enough left from the $100,000 gate to pay for his daughter's wedding on Saturday. But it was an expensive outing for the Argos.
Norm Stoneburgh, the best centre in the east is lost for a couple of months with a broken ankle. Don Caraway, the toughest linebacker who ever got away from Calgary, tore ligaments in his ankle. Both will be tough, if not impossible, to replace.
The biggest difference- besides on the scoreboard- was in the blocking. The Cards fired off the line- ala Ivy of Edmonton days- and had the Argo defenders on their backs a good part of the time. Argos couldn’t move the Chicago giants and so had to rely on Knox's arm and end sweeps.
The NFL backs are also bigger and run harder. Tackles that would stop Big Four backs- and a few western ones too- didn't halt runners such as John David Crow and Joel Childress.
Thanks to Knox, Argos didn't fare too badly on the attack. Ronnie caught them off balance.
Argos went 50-yards in four plays for a touchdown in the first two-minutes. Later in the quarter, Argos had a 13-1 lead and trailed only 21-13 at the half.
But the pounding took its toll. Caraway went out and so did the Argonaut defence. But it was fun while it lasted.
The blending of U.S. and Canadian rules produced a pleasant spectacle. The unlimited blocking resulted in several spectacular runs by both teams- but mostly by the Cards since they took better advantage of the rule.
Argos couldn't seem to get adjusted to having only 11 men when the Cards had the ball. Their three men had a lot of field to cover and usually couldn't do it. The other major change was on the punt returns with blocking allowed. No one got away for a touchdown but longer runs did result.
Another' Canadian team- say the Winnipeg Blue Bombers- would have done better. Probably the Cards wouldn't have been able to run the ball as well against the Canadian champions' line. But whether we like it or not, there's still a world of difference between the calibre of play in the NFL and Canada. But then, does anyone really care?
TOR- Mann TD (Kristopaitis kick)
CHI- Conrad Single
TOR- Dehlinger TD (Conversion failed)
CHI- Childress TD (Conversion failed)
CHI- Watkins TD (Conrad kick)
CHI- Hill TD (Conrad kick)
CHI- Conrad TD (Conrad kick)
TOR- Mann TD (Kristopaitis kick)
CHI- Crow TD (Conrad kick)
TOR- Philp TD (Conversion failed)
CHI- Hammack TD (Conrad kick)
CHI- Sugar TD (Conversion failed)
CHI- Williams TD (Conrad kick)