Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Canadian Football League (1958-Today)

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Canadian Football LeagueThe Canadian Football League traces its history back to the formation of amateur rugby football associations in the late 19th century.  Clubs began competing for The Grey Cup, which crowned Canada’s best amateur rugby side, in 1909.  During the first half of the 20th century, the rules of the game began to evolve away from rugby and into the modern sport of Canadian Football, which is played 12-on-12 on a 110-yard field, with the offensive team receiving only three downs (rather than the American four) to advance the ball ten yards for a first down or achieve a score.  By 1954, the sport was fully professional, with amateur clubs dropping away.   Today’s Canadian Football League formally began play in 1958, although some clubs trace their lineage back to the 19th century.

The Canadian franchises of the CFL have been remarkably resilient, with the exception of the recent history of the sport in Ottawa, where two clubs have folded since 1996.  However, from 1993 to 1995, the CFL under then-Commissioner Larry Smith embarked on a highly ambitious and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to expand into the United States.  The CFL’s American adventure found clubs playing as far south as San Antonio, Texas and Shreveport, Louisiana.  One team – the Baltimore CFL Colts/Stallions (1994-1995) proved enormously successful on the field and at the box office – but this was the exception rather than the rule.  None of the American teams lasted more than two seasons and by 1996 the American chapter of the CFL’s history was all over.


Canadian Football League Franchise List

Franchise Years Active Grey Cup Champions
Baltimore CFL Colts 1994 1995 (as Baltimore Stallions)
Baltimore Football Club 1994 1995 (as Baltimore Stallions)
Baltimore Stallions 1995 1995
Birmingham Barracudas 1995 None
British Columbia Lions 1954-Present 1964-1985-1994-2000-2006-2011
Calgary Stampeders 1909-Present 1948-1971-1992-1998-2001-2008-2014
Edmonton Eskimos 1949-Present 14 time champions as of 2016
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 1869-Present 1953-1957-1963-1965-1967-1972-1986-1999
Las Vegas Posse 1994 None
Memphis Mad Dogs 1995 None
Montreal Alouettes 1946-1981 1949-1970-1974-1977
Montreal Alouettes 1986 None
Montreal Alouettes 1996-Present 2002-2009-2010
Montreal Concordes 1982-1985 None
Ottawa Redblacks 2014-Present 2016
Ottawa Renegades 2002-2005 None
Ottawa Rough Riders 1898-1924 & 1931-1996 1940-1951-1960-1968-1969-1973-1976
Ottawa Senators 1925-1930 1925-1926
Sacramento Gold Miners 1993-1994 None
San Antonio Texans 1995 None
Saskatchewan Roughriders 1910-Present 1966-1989-2007-2013
Shreveport Pirates 1994-1995 None
Toronto Argonauts 1873-Present 16-time champions as of 2016
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 1930-Present 10-time champions as of 2016


Canadian Football League Shop

End Zones & Border Wars: The Era of American Expansion in the CFL by Ed Willes



Written by AC

April 28th, 2012 at 12:23 pm

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