The Round Mound of Refound: How Charles Barkley saved the Grey Cup in 1999

Just call Charles Barkley the Grey Cup saviour.

Following the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ CFL title game victory in 1999, the team went out on the town in Vancouver and celebrated with the big silver trophy. However, it was lost in during the all night party.

“Fortunately, Charles Barkley was there from the Phoenix Suns and he brought it back in a limousine the next morning when we were getting on the bus. He opened the door and said, ‘Hey guys, you forgot something,’” kicker Paul Osbaldiston shared during the Ticats remote reunion.

Barkley, who was playing for the Houston Rockets at the time, was in the city for a regular season matchup with the Grizzlies on Monday, November 29 — he scored 22 points in a 118-110 Houston win — the day after Hamilton hoisted the Grey Cup for the first time since 1986. The Ticats had lost the year before to the Calgary Stampeders, but won the rematch 32-21.

Quarterback Danny McManus was the Grey Cup MVP completing 22-of-34 passes for 347 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. McManus, who is known to tip some beers, felt Barkley was “just coming home from the club” when he returned the trophy as the Ticats were departing for the airport.

Mike Morreale was named the game’s Most Valuable Canadian after catching three passes for 51 yards and helped his hometown team claim a CFL championship. Morreale recalls the Ticats being at The Roxy in downtown Vancouver.

“Barkley joined our party as we were having a good time. As things usually happened with our team, we dispersed and guys went in 100 different directions,” Morreale said on The Waggle podcast.

“We usually got back in the morning and told stories, the only thing is we didn’t have the prized possession — it literally was gone. We left the Grey Cup there.”

Morreale and his teammates were thankful Barkley brought the Grey Cup back to its rightful owners in his own style.

Read the original story in 3 Down Nation.

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3DownNation is a website dedicated to covering the CFL and Canadian football. Founded in 2015 by veteran CFL writer Drew Edwards while reporting for the Hamilton Spectator and initially the property of the Torstar corporation, ownership of the site was transferred to its contributors in January of 2019.
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