Pittsburgh Steelers 43

Toronto Argonauts 16

Aug. 3, 1960

 

Before the game between the Steelers and Argonauts at the C.N.E. grounds in Toronto, the press billed the match-up as a grudge game between the quarterbacks, the Steelers’ Bobby Layne and the Argos’ Tobin Rote. It was Rote who had taken Layne’s starting job at Detroit and relegated Layne to a trade to the Steelers. Unfortunately for the promoters, Layne and Rote expressed nothing but admiration for each other leading up to game time. The two had been roommates back in their old Lions days. Also, the press played up the fact that pass defender, Bob Dehlinger of Toronto would be on the field having arrived in camp after a stint with the US Army. Dehlinger had a huge interception for a touchdown in the previous season against the Chicago Cardinals. The coaches for the game were Lou Agase of Toronto and Buddy Parker of Pittsburgh.

Following the game, the local Toronto press questioned the rationale for these match-ups as both of the Toronto games so far had been complete mismatches. The Toronto Star called the game “sad”, “embarassing” and “humiliating”. The Star wrote that Pittsburgh “was just too powerful for the double blue to play. And, the score flattered the local heroes”. It questioned the logic of continuing the contests in light of the serious injuries that had occurred during the previous season’s game and in the near disastrous injury to Rote.
 

Note: The game was televised over an experimental network that charged $2.00 per TV set to view. It was the first pro game ever played before a pay-TV audience, the advent of pay-per-view.

 

 

 

 

Steelers Buried Argos - Way Down Deep

But Scullers Lucky Tobin Rote's Knee Was Only Bruised

By JIM HUNT

Sport Writer

Toronto Star

 

Argos' honeymoon with the NFL is over and, like all mismatches, the break-up was a sad thing to watch.

 

Some 23,570 paid their money (some $90,000 of it) at the CNE last night to see Argos embarrassed and humiliated, 43-16, by the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team just too powerful for the double blue to play. And the score flattered the local heroes (video).

 

Argo managing-director Lew Hayman, looking at the gate, still is not convinced a NFL team and his club are not a good match. But unless Toronto fans are a lot dumber than this department thinks, they will not turn out another year to see Argos and an NFL team play.

 

It is bad for Argos, something that was quite evident from the hangdog expression in the dressing room. These players didn't quit. But like a preliminary fighter put in with the heavyweight champion, they just didn't have the tools for the job. And it is bad for Canadian football, a game that is trying to convince the public it is big league and charges prices to match.

 

The debacle could have been worse. Midway through the second quarter, Tobin Rote limped off the field after his knee collided with Danny Nykoluk's helmet. For a few paralyzing moments, it appeared another Argo season was over before it had really started. But examination showed Tobin only suffered a bruised knee and could have returned to action if it had been a league rather than an exhibition game. The only injury of note was a concussion suffered by Cleve Wester who was taken to hospital for examination. This was better than last year against the Cardinals when three first line players were seriously injured.

 

For football fans who don't mind seeing the local heroes taken apart, there were some interesting moments last night. Most of them were provided by Bobby Layne, the Steeler quarterback who picked the Argo pass defence apart at will.

 

The Argo cause wasn't helped by the fact Rote was having a poor night, and so were his receivers, before his injury. But the opening minutes of the game gave a tip as to the way this game was going. Argos marched to the Pittsburgh 10-yard line in their only real good drive of the half. Stalled, rookie Bill Mitchell kicked a field goal. Three plays later at 9:23 to play in the first quarter, Layne connected with Preston Carpenter on a 59-yard TD pass and the parade had started.

 

Tom Tracy raced around end 41-yards. Layne passed 40 yard to Buddy Dial and it was 20-3 with only 15 minutes played. At this point, the Argos seemed to lose their poise and frustration set in. The evidence was an onside kick that the Scullers tried on four consecutive third down situations.

 

As coach Lou Agase explained later, it was about all “we had." The first two times Dave Mann managed to get his punts to Dick Shatto (Note: In the CFL a punt or “onside kick” may be recovered by any kicking team member, including the punter, who is behind the ball at the time it is kicked. If they recover the ball their team retains possession). But the Steelers got the next two with the final one "shanking" into Junior Wren's hands for a Pittsburgh touchdown. At this point, Rote went out of the game and so did most of the interest. Larry Krutko belted four yards and Bert Rechichar boomed a 41-yard field goal to make it 36-3 at the half.

 

It would be nice to think Argos were better in the second half. But the presence of Johnny Green, the quarterback who had brief fling with Scullers last season, at the Steeler throttle helped Argos somewhat. Cookie Gilchrist finally did boom over for a TD on a drive most capably directed by Tom Yewcic. The final Argo score came in the final minute of the game when John Wardlaw intercepted a Green pass and romped 107 yards for a TD.

 

The Steelers led 20-3 at the end of the first quarter, 36-3 at the half and 38-9 going into the final 15 minutes. Layne, who tossed one touchdown pass to Ken Carpenter and two to Buddy Dial, completed 15 of 24 passes for 327 yards. He had one interception.

 

The Steelers also scored when Dial got his second touchdown on a 61 yard pass-and-run play with Layne on the throwing end and Lowe Wren scored on a seven yard punt return.

 

The game was played under Canadian rules with each team using 12 men on offense and defense.

 

 

 

SCORING

Pittsburgh Steelers

20

16

0

7

41

Toronto Argonauts

3

0

6

7

18

 

Scoring Summary

 

First Quarter

Tor- FG Mitchell 17

Pitt- Carpenter 59 pass from Layne (Layne kick)

Pitt- Tracy 41 run (kick failed)

Pitt- Dial 40 pass from Layne (Layne kick)

 

Second Quarter

Pitt- Krutko 4 run (Layne kick)

Pitt- Wren 7 punt return (Kick failed)

Pitt- FG Rechichar 41

 

Third Quarter

Tor- Gilchrist 1 run (kick failed)

 

Fourth Quarter

Pitt- Dial 61 pass from Layne (Layne kick)

Tor- Wardlaw 107 yard interception return (Mitchell kick)

 

 

 

 

Regular Season:
 

Pittsburgh was 5-6-1 and finished 5th in the Eastern Conference. The Steelers were led by legendary quarterback Bobby Layne, receiver Buddy Dial and running back Tom Tracy. From 1953-1965 has always been referred to as the Dark Ages of the Toronto Argonauts. The Argos team had dominated Canadian football up until that time. During that thirteen year period, they missed the playoffs 10 times. The 1960-62 seasons were better for the Argos with future NFL stars Cookie Gilchrist and Tobin Rote. In 1961, they finished in first place in the Eastern Division of the CFL with a 10-4 record. The Argonauts lost to the Ottawa Rough Riders in the playoffs. Dave Mann won the receiving title, Tobin Rote the passing crown, and Cookie Gilchrist the scoring title with 115 points.

 

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