NEWSMAKER: The Ottawa Rough Riders/Renegades
A not-so-brief history of Ottawa football
CBC Sports Online | April 12, 2005
1867: Two non-organized clubs, calling themselves the Rough Riders
and the Senators, play the Ottawa region's earliest recorded rugby
Sept. 19, 1876: The Ottawa Football Club is formed at a meeting
at the Russell Hotel. The Ottawa Amateur Athletic Association agrees
to run the club.
Ottawa Rough Riders helmet, circa mid-1960s
Sept. 23, 1876: Ottawa FC plays its first game, against the
Aylmer Football Club. The game is held at Jacques Cartier Square in
1883: Ottawa FC, also known as Ottawa City, becomes a charter
member of the Ontario Rugby Football Union.
Nov.10, 1883: Ottawa FC loses 9-7 to the Toronto Argonauts
in the inaugural ORFU championship game.
1897: The Ottawa Football Club is renamed the Ottawa Rough
Riders and adopts red and black uniforms to honour the Canadian Regiment
fighting in the Spanish-American War.
1898: The Rough Riders win the Canadian Rugby Football Union
championship game, defeating the University of Ottawa (also a member
of the CRFU and winner of the previous two league titles) 11-1. The
Rough Riders go on to capture the CRU title again in 1900 and 1902.
1907: The Rough Riders merge with the Ottawa St. Patricks,
break from the CRFU, and join the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union
along with the Montreal Football Club, the Toronto Argonauts and the
December 11, 1909: The Rough Riders play the Tigers in an exhibition
game at New York City's Van Courtland Park. It is the first time a
top-level Canadian football game is played in the United States.
1925: The Rough Riders change their nickname to the Senators
after merging with the St. Bridges Club.
December 5, 1925: The Senators win Ottawa's first Grey Cup
championship, defeating the Winnipeg Tammany Tigers 24-1 at Ottawa's
December 4, 1926: The Senators win their second consecutive
Grey Cup, beating the University of Toronto 10-7.
1927: The Ottawa Senators change their nickname back to the
December 7, 1940: Ottawa captures its third Grey Cup championship,
defeating Toronto Balmy Beach 20-7 in a two-game aggregate score series,
the only time such a format has been used to award the Grey Cup.
November 24, 1951: Ottawa defeats the Saskatchewan Roughriders
21-14 to capture its fourth Grey Cup.
1956: The Rough Riders leave the CFRU to join the Canadian
Football Council; the umbrella organization is re-named the Canadian
Football League in 1958.
November 26, 1960: The Rough Riders defeat the Edmonton Eskimos
16-6 to win their fifth Grey Cup championship. Ottawa running back
Ron Stewart is named the game's most outstanding player.
December 2, 1967: The city of Ottawa hosts its first neutral-site
Grey Cup championship game as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats defeat the Saskatchewan
Roughriders by a score of 24-1 at Lansdowne Park.
November 30, 1968: The Rough Riders defeat the Calgary Stampeders
24-21 for their sixth Grey Cup title. Ottawa running back Vic Washington
is named the game's most outstanding player.
November 30, 1969: Ottawa wins its second straight Grey Cup,
and seventh in history, by defeating Saskatchewan 29-11. Rough Riders
quarterback Russ Jackson claims the most outstanding player award.
November 25, 1973: The Rough Riders defeat the Eskimos 22-18
to win their eighth Grey Cup. Ottawa defensive end Charlie Brandon
is named the game's most outstanding player.
November 28, 1976: Ottawa captures its ninth Grey Cup with
a 23-20 win over Saskatchewan. Rough Riders quarterback Tom Clements
is named most outstanding offensive player.
November 22, 1981: The Rough Riders lose 23-20 to the Edmonton
Eskimos in the Grey Cup final; it is the last time the Rough Riders
appear in the CFL championship game.
1989: Lansdowne Park is renamed Frank Clair Stadium in honour
of the former Rough Riders coach who guided the team to two Grey Cup
championships in the late 1960s.
1991: The Rough Riders' board of directors resign, forcing
the CFL to assume control of the club. The league later sells the
club to U.S. businessman Bernie Glieberman, who hands day-to-day operation
of the club over to his son, Lonie. The Gliebermans begin their controversial
reign by replacing the team's traditional 'R' logo with two flaming
Rs and luring former NFL star Dexter Manley out of retirement.
1994: The Gliebermans leave town to establish a CFL expansion
franchise in Shreveport, La. American businessman Horn Chen later
buys the Rough Riders.
November 7, 1996: The Ottawa Rough Riders cease operations
following the 1996 CFL season.
CFL commissioner Larry Smith announces
the league can longer support the Ottawa Rough Riders.
October 17, 2001: The CFL returns to Ottawa as the league awards
an expansion franchise for the 2002 season to a group headed by Toronto
businessman Brad Watters. On the same day, the league announces the
2004 Grey Cup will be held at Frank Clair Stadium.
October 23, 2001: Eric Tillman is named the first general manager
of the new Ottawa franchise.
November 17, 2001: Former Rough Riders quarterback Joe Paopao
is named head coach of the new Ottawa franchise.
November 18, 2001: The new club is christened the Ottawa Renegades.
Reportedly, Watters balked at Chen's demand of $250,000 for the rights
to the Rough Riders name.
November 21, 2004: 51,242 fans pack Frank Clair Stadium to
watch the Toronto Argonauts defeat the British Columbia Lions 27-19
in the 92nd Grey Cup game.
May 28, 2005: The CFL board of governors approve the sale of
the Renegades to the Gliebermans and previous part owner Bill Smith
of Orillia, Ont.
June 30, 2005: Lonnie Glieberman launches a scheme to lure
a younger crowd to Renegade games by running a Mardi Gras promotion
where men were given beads to hand out to women, who have traditionally
earned the trinkets in such contests by baring their breasts.
November 5, 2005: Joe Paopao coaches his last game after leading
the Renegades to third in the East Division with a 7-11 record.
March 2, 2006: Lonnie Glieberman resigns as president of the
Renegades, less than one year into his second stint in the job.
March 20, 2006: CFL Commissioner Tom Wright meets with Bernie
Glieberman and Bill Smith about the future of the franchise after
the pair indicate they would not be willing to continue to invest
in the team following losses of close to $4 million in the 2006 season.
March 22, 2006: The Renegades are put up for sale after the
CFL owners rejected a financial proposal tabled by Glieberman that
called on the league to give the team a $2-million loan to help fund
April 9, 2006: The CFL mothballs the Renegades for a year,
announcing it has suspended operations for the franchise for the 2006
season. The league says it will focus on finding a new owner to bring
the Renegades back for the 2007 campaign.
April 12, 2006: Renegade players are divided up amongst the
remaining eight CFL teams in a dispersal draft. The Saskatchewan Roughriders
trade up to land the No. 1 pick and use it to select quarterback Kerry