November 25, 1950. A date which is forever remembered in the annals of Canadian Football League history. The infamous Mud Bowl. It was a Grey Cup Championship in which Robert Porter (Bud) Tinsley would become a colourful part of CFL folklore. The site was Toronto's Varsity Stadium, a site made swamp-like due to two weeks of relentless rain. The grass quickly turned to a quagmire of mud and water as Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Toronto Argonauts battled for the prestigious Grey Cup Championship.
As the legend goes, Tinsley, a rookie Bomber lineman, was face down in the muck and water, gasping for breath when an alert official pulled him from his murky grave. While lifesaving made for great legend, Tinsley later laughed off the suggestion his life was in danger, "I was just taking a rest," Tinsley would tell friends years later.
The Mud Bowl incident aside, it was quite the rookie season for Buddy Tinsley, who went on to enjoy a successful 11-year career with the Bombers. A seven-time CFL all-star, Tinsley was regarded as the consummate lineman - quick, smart, tenacious and a quarterback's best friend. He was also named CFL All-Canadian four times.
Tinsley, who played in five Grey Cup Championships - winning two (1958 and 1959) - was honoured for football excellence in 1982 when he was elected to the CFL's Hall of Fame. Two years later the former captain would be enshrined in the Winnipeg Football Club's Hall of Fame.
After his retirement, Bud Tinsley made Winnipeg his permanent home where he became a respected member of the community and successful businessman. He coached the St. James Rams to two Western Canadian Senior Championships and a National Title.
Robert Tinsley is also a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Hall of Fame.