OTTAWA RENEGADES HISTORY

 

 

 TEAM HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS:

 Sept 16, 1867:

Two non-organized clubs, the Rough Riders and the Senators, play in the earliest game on record played in the Ottawa region.  Records vaguely seem to indicate that the Rough Riders were named for the lumberjacks who rode down the rapids of the Ottawa River.

 Sept 20, 1876:

Ottawa Football Club formed.

 Sept 23, 1876:

Ottawa FC, dressed in cerise (moderate red), French grey, and navy blue colours, played their first game, held at Jacques Cartier Square against the Aylmer Football Club.

 Jan 4, 1883:

Ontario Rugby Football Union (ORFU) was formed - ten days before the birth of the Quebec Rugby Football Union (QRFU) - with the Ottawa Football Club as one of its charter members.

 Nov 10, 1883:

Ottawa FC, also known as Ottawa City, made it all the way to the first ORFU championship game, before losing 9-7 to the Toronto Argonauts.

 1885:

Ottawa College, playing in the ORFU, defeat Ottawa City 21-3 to win the newly-formed Dominion Championship.

 1886:

Ottawa College successfully defend their title with a 13-0 whitewash over the Toronto Argonauts.

 Nov 5, 1887:

Ottawa College again wins the Dominion Championship by defeating the QRFU champion Montreal Amateur Athletic Association team - also known as the Montreal Football Club - 10-5 at McGill Field.

 1889:

After refusing to play the Argonauts for the national crown in 1889, the ORFU champions bolted from the league, playing independently until returning to the Ontario circuit in 1892.  The club, now known as the University of Ottawa (since 1890), would compile an impressive record of 30-2-4 in their first twelve years of existence.

 1894:

The Ottawa AAA's club join U of Ottawa in the QRFU in 1894.  However, it was the university team who would reign supreme that season, capturing the national title by edging Queen's University 8-7.  They followed that up with crowns in 1896, 1897, 1901, 1903, and 1904, as well as QRFU titles from 1894 to 1899, and 1901 to 1904.

 Sept 9, 1897:

Ottawa Football Club re-christened the Ottawa Rough Riders, adopting their now-famous red-and-black colour scheme, in honour of the Canadian Regiment fighting in the Spanish-American War.  The club, which had played in the QRFU, returned to the all-familiar ORFU in 1898, where it would earn its first title chance since 1885.  The Riders went all the way that year by defeating the U. of O. 11-1, preventing a three-peat by its capital city cousins.  College had defeated the University of Toronto (12-8) and the Hamilton Tigers (14-10) in the two previous Canadian Rugby Union final.  That same season, in 1908, the students played out of a 3,000-seat grandstand stadium on Nicholas Street for the first time.  The home field was nicknamed "The Oval", due to its shape, as a bicycle track was included in the construction.

 1899:

The Riders returned to the CRU final, but, the Kingston Granites closed out the century by shutting out the Red & Black 8-0 in Toronto.

 1900:

Riders regained the Dominion Championship with a 17-10 victory over the QRFU's Brockville Football Club.

 1902:

Riders win their final pre-Grey Cup national championship, defeating the defending-champion University of Ottawa 5-0.

 1903:

Riders once again join the QRFU.  It was there that they would earn another national championship game berth in 1905, but the University of Toronto ended those aspirations with an 11-9 win.  That same season, Ottawa University would join the Canadian Intercollegiate Rugby Union.

 Sept 13, 1907:

The Rough Riders, after having merged with the Ottawa St. Patrick's, join the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union (IRFU), along with the Montreal Football Club (QRFU), as well as with the ORFU's Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tigers.  The clubs were to become known as the "Big Four".

 Dec 11, 1909:

Following an invitation from the New York Herald Newspaper, the IRFU-champion Riders and the Hamilton Tigers played an exhibition game of Canadian Football in New York City's Van Courtland Park.  The Tigers took the game 11-6 before 15,000 screaming fans.  It was the first Canadian rugby football game played in the United States by top-level clubs.

 

Neither of the clubs had qualified for the inaugural Grey Cup game, which had been played the previous Saturday (in which the University of Toronto defeated Toronto's Parkdale Canoe Club 26-6).  Ironically, Albert Henry George, the fourth Earl of Grey and the Governor-General of Canada, who had donated the trophy, would not witness this or any of the championship contests that would bear his name.

 1914:

The Ottawa St. Patrick's, unaffiliated with the previous namesake, join the ORFU.  The team would last but one season, finishing with a 1-3 record after defeating the Toronto Rowing & Athletic Association club in their finale, 10-2.

 1919:

Five years later, following the return of the game after a three-year hiatus due to the Great War, the Ottawa Capitals had a slightly better run, finishing at 2-2, but would fold after the 1919 campaign.

 1925:

LANSDOWNE PARK opens.

 

Team changed its name to "Senators" following a merger with the St. Bridges Club.  That same year Ottawa would celebrate their first Grey Cup championship, as the Senators defeated Winnipeg Tammany Tigers 24-1.

 1926:

Senators successfully defended their title with a 10-7 victory over the University of Toronto.

 1927:

Team reverted back to original name of "Rough Riders".

 1936:

Rough Riders lose 26-20 to Sarnia Imperials in the Grey Cup.

 1939:

Winnipeg Blue Bombers defeat the Rough Riders 8-7 in the Grey Cup.

 1940:

Only two-game series for Grey Cup won by Rough Riders.  They defeated Balmy Beach 8-2 and 12-5 for a total aggregate of 20-7.

 1942:

The Big Four suspended operations during the Second World War.  As some of the clubs went on hiatus, the Rough Riders would join the fledgling Ottawa Civil Service Football League, a three-team circuit that included the Ottawa Civil Service and the Ottawa Royal Canadian Air Force, the eventual champs (who defeated the Riders 9-0 in the final).  The following season, following the demise of the OCSFL, the Ottawa Combines were formed, joining the ORFU for one single season.  The Ottawa Trojans would step in for the 1944 campaign, again as the only pro game in town.  After a one-year hiatus in 1945, the season in which the Rough Riders and the IRFU would return, the Trojans would play two more seasons in the circuit before calling it a day following the 1947 campaign, compiling an overall record of 9-17-1.

 Dec 2, 1967:

Ottawa and Lansdowne Park host the Grey Cup championship game, as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats dominated the Saskatchewan Roughriders by a 24-1 score.

 Nov 28, 1976:

The Rough Riders win their final Grey Cup, defeating the Saskatchewan Roughriders 23-20.

 Nov 22, 1981:

Rough Riders' final Grey Cup appearance - a heartbreaking 23-20 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos.  The Rough Riders led 20-6 at halftime.  It remains the biggest come-from-behind victory in Grey Cup history.

 Nov 27, 1988:

Ottawa is once again the host city for the Grey Cup game.  In one of the closest Grey Cups ever contested, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers edged the BC Lions 22-21.

 1989:

Landowne Park re-named FRANK CLAIR STADIUM.

 Nov 7, 1996:

Ottawa ceases football operations, ending an association dating back over 120 years.

 Mar 6, 2000:

CFL announces plans to re-start football in Ottawa for the 2001 season.

 Sept 5, 2000:

CFL announces Ottawa franchise on hold for 2001.

 Oct 16, 2001:

CFL announces Ottawa expansion franchise granted for 2002.  City of Ottawa also granted Grey Cup for 2004.  Six days later, Eric Tillman was given the reigns as the club's first general manager, and on November 17, former Rider quarterback Joe Paopao was named the franchise's first head coach. Ten days later, running back Sam Zanders, who had played with the Toronto Argonauts the previous season, would become the first club's player as he was signed as a free agent on November 27.

 Nov 18, 2001:

Following a name-the-team contest, Ottawa announces the name of their new team: The "Renegades".  New team colours to be black, red & pewter.

 

DID YOU KNOW?  OTTAWA FOOTBALL HISTORY - FAST FACTS, 1876-2002

The Ottawa Rough Riders were the last opponents of the Montreal Alouettes.  After defeating the Birds 18-15 @ Lansdowne Park on June 15, 1987 in an exhibition tilt, the Als returned to Montreal, unknowing that the franchise would fold on June 24th, the day before their scheduled season opener.  Ironically, the Rough Riders were defeated by the second version of the Alouettes in their first ever game, a 38-7 pre-season decision @ Olympic Stadium on June 13, 1996.

 

The last pre-season victory by an Ottawa professional football team was on June 21, 1993, when the Rough Riders defeated the Argos 30-25 @ Lansdowne Park.

 

Hall of Famer Russ Jackson was actually drafted by the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1958 as a halfback, not a quarterback.

 

The Ottawa Rough Riders have drafted only two future Hall of Famers, Russ Jackson (1958) and Whit Tucker (1962).

 

The first CFL regular season game to involve an American team was played on July 7, 1993, as the Ottawa Rough Riders defeated the Sacramento Gold Miners 32-23 @ Lansdowne Park.

 

The NFL's New York Giants actually played two pre-season games in Ottawa, as they defeated the Rough Riders 27-6 and 41-18 on August 12, 1950 and August 11, 1951, respectively.

 

The 1940 Grey Cup championship is the only two-game series in the history of the event, as the Ottawa Rough Riders defeated Toronto Balmy Beach 8-2 and 12-5.

 

Since records have been kept, the only player to play at least 200 games with the Rough Riders is Moe Racine, with 201.

 

The only others with at least 100 games played are:
Jeff Avery (102), Billy Joe Booth (123), Jim Cain (129), Jerry Campbell (109), Irv Daymond (133), Dean Dorsey (102), James Ellingson (112), Tony Gabriel (110), Gene Gaines (112), Wayne Giardino (113), Russ Jackson (167), Ken Lehmann (105), Loyd Lewis (128), Greg Marshall (120), Gerry Organ (186), Roger Perdrix (120), Jim Piaskoski (155), Joe Poirier (168), Kevin Powell (116), Moe Racine (201), Jim Reid (146), Tom Schuette (127), Jerry Selinger (126), Donn Smith (123), Rick Sowieta (118), Peter Stenerson (100), Wayne Tosh (113), Whit Tucker (121), Patrick Wayne (117).

 

The win on September 14, 2002 for the Ottawa Renegades snapped a horrible drought for CFL teams from the nation's capital in Alberta.  The victory ended a 28-game losing streak by Ottawa teams in Wild Rose Country.  The last Ottawa victory in Alberta came on October 8, 1983, when the Ottawa Rough Riders won 29-24 in Calgary.  On August 26 of that same year the Rough Riders defeated Edmonton 17-14, the only win in history for an Ottawa team at Commonwealth Stadium.

 

 

 PREVIOUS TEAM LOGO(S):

 OTHER TEAM LOGO(S):

Renegades' Inaugural Logo

Renegades' Corporate Logo

 

 

 

 

   NINE GREY CUPS FOR OTTAWA-BASED TEAMS:

 SENATORS:

1925 Grey Cup Champions

1926 Grey Cup Champions

1925

1926

 ROUGH RIDERS:

1940 Grey Cup Champions

1951 Grey Cup Champions

1960 Grey Cup Champions

1968 Grey Cup Champions

1969 Grey Cup Champions

1973 Grey Cup Champions

1976 Grey Cup Champions

1940

1951

1960

1968

1969

1973

1976

 

 

OTTAWA RENEGADES' REGULAR SEASON RECORD:

JUNE 25, 2002 THROUGH NOVEMBER 5, 2005

# - In 2002, 1 point was awarded for an Overtime loss.  [The Renegades had two OT losses]

 

GP

W

L

T

PF

PA

PTS

PCT.

HOME*

AWAY*

72

23

49

0

1,679

2,224

48#

.319

16-20#-0

7-29-0

* - Home & Away record since June 25, 2002

 

 

OTTAWA RENEGADES' RECORD AGAINST OTHER TEAMS:

 

 

 

OPPONENT:

GP

W

L

T

PF

PA

PTS

PCT

BRITISH COLUMBIA LIONS

8

0

8

0

151

311

0

.000

CALGARY STAMPEDERS

8

5

3

0

199

208

10#

.625

EDMONTON ESKIMOS

8

1

7

0

114

295

2

.125

HAMILTON TIGER-CATS

10

5

5

0

277

263

10

.500

MONTREAL ALOUETTES

12

3

9

0

266

443

6

.250

SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS

8

3

5

0

198

235

7*

.375

TORONTO ARGONAUTS

10

4

6

0

205

238

8

.400

WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS

8

2

6

0

169

276

2

.250

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTALS

72

23

49

0

1,679

2,224

48#

.319


 

OTTAWA ROUGH RIDERS RECORD AGAINST OTHER CLUBS:

 

 

 

OPPONENT

YEARS

GP

W

L

T

PF

PA

Pts

BALTIMORE STALLIONS

1994-1995

2

0

2

0

40

82

0

BIRMINGHAM BARRACUDAS

1995

2

0

2

0

55

96

0

BRITISH COLUMBIA LIONS

1961-1996

51

18

31

2

1,142

1,401

38

CALGARY STAMPEDERS

1961-1996

48

18

30

0

1,109

1,336

36

EDMONTON ESKIMOS

1961-1996

52

20

30

2

1,212

1,528

42

HAMILTON TIGER-CATS

1946-1996

170

80

89

1

3,488

3,497

161

LAS VEGAS POSSE

1994

1

1

0

0

54

50

2

MEMPHIS MAD DOGS

1995

2

0

2

0

27

49

0

MONTREAL ALOUETTES/CONCORDES

1946-1996

151

84

63

4

3,268

2,864

172

SACRAMENTO GOLDMINERS

1993-1994

3

1

2

0

56

114

2

SAN ANTONIO TEXANS

1995

2

0

2

0

44

92

0

SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS

1961-1996

53

20

33

0

1,194

1,427

40

SHREVEPORT PIRATES

1994-1995

3

1

2

0

75

99

2

TORONTO ARGONAUTS

1946-1996

166

82

81

3

3,461

3,302

167

WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS

1961-1996

56

24

31

1

1,379

1,618

49

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTALS

1946-1996

762

349

400

13

16,604

17,555

711

 

 

OTTAWA ROUGH RIDERS POST-SEASON RECORD:

 

Does NOT include Grey Cup

 

OPPONENT

GP

W

L

T

PF

PA

PCT.

HAMILTON TIGER-CATS

30

17

12

1

477

510

.583

MONTREAL ALOUETTES/CONCORDES

22

10

12

0

417

333

.455

TORONTO ARGONAUTS

27

16

11

0

394

375

.593

WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS

2

0

2

0

24

52

.000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTALS

81

43

37

1

1,312

1,270

.537

 

 

OTTAWA ROUGH RIDERS' GREY CUPS:

 

 

 

YEAR:

SITE:

WINNING TEAM:

LOSING TEAM:

1925

Ottawa

OTTAWA SENATORS 24

Winnipeg Tammany Tigers 1

1926

Toronto

OTTAWA SENATORS 10

University of Toronto 7

1936

Toronto

Sarnia Imperials 26

Ottawa Rough Riders 20

1939

Ottawa

Winnipeg Blue Bombers 8

Ottawa Rough Riders 7

1940 *

Ottawa

OTTAWA ROUGH RIDERS 8

Toronto Balmy Beach 2

1940 *

Ottawa

OTTAWA ROUGH RIDERS 12

Toronto Balmy Beach 5

1941

Toronto

Winnipeg Blue Bombers 18

Ottawa Rough Riders 16

1948

Toronto

Calgary Stampeders 12

Ottawa Rough Riders 7

1951

Toronto

OTTAWA ROUGH RIDERS 21

Saskatchewan Roughriders 14

1960

Vancouver

OTTAWA ROUGH RIDERS 16

Edmonton Eskimos 6

1966

Vancouver

Saskatchewan Roughriders 29

Ottawa Rough Riders 14

1968

Toronto

OTTAWA ROUGH RIDERS 24

Calgary Stampeders 21

1969

Montreal

OTTAWA ROUGH RIDERS 29

Saskatchewan Roughriders 11

1973

Toronto

OTTAWA ROUGH RIDERS 22

Edmonton Eskimos 18

1976

Toronto

OTTAWA ROUGH RIDERS 23

Saskatchewan Roughriders 23

1981

Montreal

Edmonton Eskimos 26

Ottawa Rough Riders 23

* - Two-Game, Total Point series; Ottawa wins 20-7

 

APPS

W

L

PF

PA

PCT.

15

9

6

276

224

.600

 


 

OTTAWA FOOTBALL HISTORY

 

The rich history of football in the Ottawa-Gatineau area can be traced as far back as the year of Confederation, as the earliest game on record played in the region was on September 16, 1867, when two non-organized clubs, the Rough Riders and the Senators, clashed on the pitch.  Records vaguely seem to indicate that the Rough Riders were named for the lumberjacks who rode down the rapids of the Ottawa River.  It must be assumed that the Senators took their name from the governmental body.

 

All reference to Ottawa professional football has, for years, pointed to the Ottawa Rough Riders' franchise.  On Tuesday, September 19, 1876, a meeting was held at the Russell Hotel to form the Ottawa Football Club.  The club was initially run by the Ottawa Amateur Athletic Association, yet it would be another twenty-one years before a proper nickname would be chosen.  Four days later, on Saturday, September 23, 1876, Ottawa FC, dressed in cerise (moderate red), French grey, and navy blue colours, played their first game, which was held at Jacques Cartier Square against the Aylmer Football Club.  However, it was not until the following year (May 12, 1877) that Ottawa would host its first game against an outside team, when the Britannia Football Club of Montreal visited the Nation's Capital.

 

Ottawa College, also known as St. Joseph's College, fielded its first team in 1881, thanks to the efforts of Mr. E. Sullivan, one of the school's students.  He was subsequently named team captain and head coach of the Garnet and Grey.

 

On January 4, 1883, the Ontario Rugby Football Union was formed (ten days before the birth of the Quebec Rugby Football Union), with the Ottawa Football Club as one of its charter members.  Ottawa FC, also known as Ottawa City, made it all the way to the first ORFU championship game, after defeating both Queen's University (18-2) and the Hamilton Tigers (14-9) - known today as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats - in each of its regular season contests.  In the title clash, City was edged 9-7 by the visiting Toronto Argonauts on Saturday, November 10, 1883.  The teams were to meet again the following year in the ORFU final, but the Argos were declared champions following Ottawa City's forfeit.  1884 was also the year in which Ottawa College hosted the first American visiting team to the National Capital, defeating Boston's Harvard University.  Records seem to indicate that the National Football League's New York Giants, who defeated the Rough Riders in pre-season exhibition games at Lansdowne Park in 1950 (27-6) and 1951 (41-18), are the only other American visitors to Ottawa.

 

Ottawa College, playing in the ORFU, was given the opportunity, in consecutive seasons, to battle for the newly formed Dominion Championship.  After taking back-to-back ORFU titles in 1885 (by defeating Ottawa City 21-3) and 1886 (a 13-0 whitewash of the Argos), the boys were forced to travel to hostile ground to take on the QRFU champion.  Nonetheless, they prevailed with a 10-5 victory over the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association team, also known as the Montreal Football Club, at McGill Field on Saturday, November 5, 1887.  The following year, the clubs met yet again, this time in Ottawa, battling to a scoreless tie.  However, after refusing to play the Argonauts for the national crown in 1889, the ORFU champions bolted from the league, playing independently until returning to the Ontario circuit in 1892.  The club, now known as the University of Ottawa (since 1890), would compile an impressive record of 30-2-4 in their first twelve years of existence.

 

The Ottawa AAA's club would join U of O in the QRFU in 1894.  However, it was the students who would reign supreme that season, capturing the national title by edging Queen's University 8-7.  The lads followed up with crowns in 1896, 1897, 1901, 1903, and 1904, as well as QRFU titles from 1894 to 1899, and 1901 to 1904.

 

It was on September 9, 1897 that the Ottawa Football Club were re-christened the Ottawa Rough Riders, adopting their now-famous red-and-black colour scheme, in honour of the Canadian Regiment fighting in the Spanish-American War.  The club, which had played in the QRFU, returned to the all-familiar ORFU in 1898, where it would earn its first title chance since 1885.  The Riders went all the way that year by defeating the U. of O. 11-1, preventing a three-peat by its capital city cousins. College had defeated the University of Toronto (12-8) and the Hamilton Tigers (14-10) in the two previous Canadian Rugby Union final.  That same season, in 1908, the students played out of a 3,000-seat grandstand stadium on Nicholas Street for the first time.  The home field was nicknamed "The Oval", due to its shape, as a bicycle track was included in the construction.

 

The Riders returned to the CRU final in 1899, but unfortunately, the Kingston Granites closed out the century by shutting out the Red & Black 8-0 in Toronto.  Redemption time came the following year, as the Riders returned to the top of the mountain by defeating the Brockville Football Club of the QRFU by a 17-10 score.  They added another crown two years later, defeating the University of Ottawa, the defending champions, 5-0.

 

Following the Riders' final pre-Grey Cup national championship, the club promptly bolted back to the league across the river, playing in the Quebec league in 1903.  It was there that they would earn another national championship game berth in 1905, but the University of Toronto ended those aspirations with an 11-9 win.  That same season, Ottawa University would join the Canadian Intercollegiate Rugby Union.


 

On September 13, 1907, the Rough Riders, after having merged with the Ottawa St. Patrick's, joined the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union, along with the Montreal Football Club (QRFU), as well as with the ORFU's Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tigers.  The clubs were to be known popularly as the "Big Four".  It was also in 1907, under coach Father William Stanton, that the Garnet and Grey would capture their first national university title, by defeating the University of Toronto on the road for the Canadian Intercollegiate Rugby Football Union crown.  It would be the school's last until taking the Canadian Intermediate Championship in 1939.

 

On Saturday, December 11, 1909, following an invitation from the New York Herald Newspaper, the Tigers and the IRFU-champion Riders played an exhibition game of Canadian Football in New York City's Van Courtland Park.  The Tigers took the game 11-6 before 15,000 screaming fans.  It was the first Canadian rugby football game played in the United States by top-level clubs.

 

Neither of the clubs had qualified for the inaugural Grey Cup game, which had been played the previous Saturday (in which the University of Toronto defeated Toronto's Parkdale Canoe Club 26-6).  Ironically, Albert Henry George, the fourth Earl of Grey and the Governor-General of Canada, who had donated the trophy, would not witness this or any of the championship contests that would bear his name.

 

Two more Ottawa-based ORFU clubs would see the light of day; unfortunately neither would have a lasting impact.  In 1914, the Ottawa St. Patrick's, unaffiliated with the previous namesake, would last but one season, finishing with a 1-3 record after defeating the Toronto Rowing & Athletic Association club in their finale, 10-2.  Five years later, following the return of the game after a three-year hiatus due to the Great War, the Ottawa Capitals had a slightly better run, finishing at 2-2, but would fold after the 1919 campaign.

 

The Ottawa Rough Riders changed their nickname to the Senators following a merger with the St. Bridges Club in 1925.  It was that same year that Ottawans would celebrate their first Grey Cup championship, as the Senators defeated Winnipeg Tammany Tigers 24-1.  They successfully defended their crown the following year, capping off a glorious season with a 10-7 victory over the University of Toronto.  Apparently, superstition was not an issue as the Sens reverted back to the Rough Rider nickname in time for the 1927 season.  1927 would also mark the return of the University of Ottawa football program, after sitting idle from 1913 to 1926.

 

After two failed attempts in the Grey Cup game (1936 and 1939), it would not be until 1940, the only season in which a two-game, total point series determined the champion, that the Rough Riders would return to the Canadian football summit.  They would repeat six more times (1951, 1960, 1968, 1969, 1973, and 1976), coming up bridesmaids on four other occasions (1941, 1948, 1966, and 1981).

 

In 1942, the Big Four suspended operations during the Second World War.  As some of the clubs went on hiatus, the Rough Riders would join the fledgling Ottawa Civil Service Football League, a three-team circuit that included the Ottawa Civil Service and the Ottawa Royal Canadian Air Force, the eventual champs (who defeated the Riders 9-0 in the final).  The following season, following the demise of the OCSFL, the Ottawa Combines were formed, joining the ORFU for one single season.  The Ottawa Trojans would step in for the 1944 campaign, again as the only pro game in town.  After a one-year hiatus in 1945, the season in which the Rough Riders and the IRFU would return, the Trojans would play two more seasons in the circuit before calling it a day following the 1947 campaign, compiling an overall record of 9-17-1.

 

The City of Ottawa and Lansdowne Park, on five separate occasions, have hosted a Grey Cup championship game.  The first three, on December 5, 1925, December 9, 1939, and December 7, 1940 (Game 2), was by virtue of being one of the two finalists, in an era before the game was contested on a pre-determined "neutral" site.  Lansdowne Park became that neutral site on December 2, 1967, as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats dominated the Saskatchewan Roughriders by a 24-1 score.  And in one of the closest Grey Cups ever contested, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers edged the B.C. Lions 22-21 on November 27, 1988.

 

Little did people know that the Rough Riders would only have eight more years left, as the club ceased operations following the 1996 season.

 

However, long-suffering professional football fans in the nation's capital were given a breath of fresh air on Wednesday, October 17, 2001, as a group, led by sports entrepreneur Brad Watters, were awarded a Canadian Football League franchise for the city of Ottawa.  Lansdowne Park will again be the site of Earl Grey's famous game, as the city was also awarded the 2004 title game on the same day.  Six days later, Eric Tillman was given the reigns as the club's first general manager, and on November 17, former Rider quarterback Joe Paopao was named the franchise's first head coach.  Ten days later, running back Sam Zanders, who had played with the Toronto Argonauts the previous season, would become the first club's player as he was signed as a free agent on November 27.

 

Finally, following a name-the-team contest, the Ottawa Renegades Football Club was born, winning out over other contenders, such as Rivermen and Beavers.  The famed mammal would not be shut out, as Ruffy the Beaver would become the club's official mascot.