The R-Nation guide to hating other CFL teams

Being a sports fan entails two things; cheering your team on and wishing the worst upon your rivals.

Despite being the CFL’s youngest franchise, the reality is Ottawa has had a pro football team for more than 127 years. Over that period of time, fierce rivalries were born and faded, slights (real or perceived) occurred, lopsided trades happened and soul crushing defeats were exchanged.

Given that R-Nation’s fanbase has so much fresh blood in it, here’s a little reminder of why (and how much) it should hate each other team in the league.

N.B. certain teams have committed more transgressions than others against the city of Ottawa and its various CFL teams and thus will be ranked higher (or is it lower?) on the list. The unit of measurement used to indicate the appropriate amount of loathing necessary will be Little Balls of Hate, a nod to former Renegade running back Josh Ranek.

BC Lions


– 10pm game starts. Tough on the players, harder on the fans

– Running up the scores in Ottawa during the Renegade era

Verdict: 1 Little Ball of Hate

Not a whole lot of history between these two teams; no Grey Cup meetings and no off the field shenanigans. Plus, it’s hard to hold Casey Printers at his peak against a franchise, right?

Calgary Stampeders


– Absolutely fleecing the Renegades in a trade for All-Star LB John Grace

– Consistently turning trips to Cowtown into losses. Since 2002 Ottawa has won twice at McMahon Stadium

– Making their 3rd jerseys identical to the Redblacks home uniform. Seriously, if the word Stampeders wasn’t on the front, those would be Ottawa uniforms. On one hand, at least they haven’t tried to take Ottawa’s name, but stealing their jersey isn’t far behind.

Verdict: 2 Little Balls of Hate

It’s hard to despise the team you just beat in a Grey Cup classic.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers


– Beating Ottawa in the 1939 and 1941 Grey Cups

– LB Tyrone Jones talking the talk then walking the walk in the 1991 playoffs; trashing the Ottawa in the media during the week, wearing a Rough Riders’ hat in the pre-game warmup and helping hold Ottawa to 8 points in a losing effort

– Voting against keeping the Renegades afloat in 2006

– Inflicting the word “Swaggerville” upon the CFL

– The site of the Redblacks’ 2015 Grey Cup loss.

Verdict: 2.5 Little Balls of Hate

Not a whole lot to hold against the Bombers, mainly because it’s not like too many people in Ottawa vividly remember those WWII Grey Cup losses. Still, Swaggerville will always be cringeworthy.

Toronto Argonauts


– Sharing a city with the Leafs, a truly unforgivable crime

– Overcoming the loss of their starting AND backup QB (both lost to hellacious hits) to win the 1990 East Semi-Final with their 3rd stringer

– Winning the 2004 Grey Cup in Ottawa with Damon Allen at the helm, a big FU to every Southsider who ever hollered “HOBART!”

– Screwing up the 2016 Grey Cup pricing

– Waiting two months to fire GM Jim Barker and then choosing to do it on the same day Henry Burris has his retirement press conference

Verdict: 2.5 Little Balls of Hate

Aside from being a divisional rival, there’s no real reason for R-Nation to hate the Argos. Sure they’ve knocked us out of the playoffs 7 times since 1936, but given that it’s a 9 team league, once in awhile, that kind of thing is bound to happen.

Montreal Alouettes


– Drafting a dead guy but not having the courtesy to bring it up often, leaving people to think that Ottawa is the only team to have done it

Don Matthews and company stealing signals during the Renegade era by sitting in the bleachers and taping Ottawa’s coaches while calling plays

– Anthony Calvillo repeatedly reminding us that the Gliebermans didn’t own the Renegades, he did.

– Ending Ottawa’s season in the playoffs 10 times, including 6 times in a brutal year 7 year stretch (1974-1980)

– Durant Carter hauling in a touchdown, running by Ottawa’s bench to taunt and knocking down Head Coach Rick Campbell

– Having the best tailgate setup in the league. It’s directly in front of their stadium and even has a cooler check to stash your tailgating gear as you enter the stadium (Damn right I’m jealous)

Verdict: 3.5 Little Balls of Hate

When the Als were the class of the league, they beat up on Ottawa the way a big brother manhandles his younger one.

Hamilton Ticats


– Dominating the Rough Riders in the early/mid 1960s and preventing Russ Jackson from stacking up more Grey Cup wins

– Beating Ottawa in the playoffs more than any other team in the CFL (12 times)

Tim Cheatwood spitting in George Hudson’s face

– Simoni Lawrence’s low hit on Burris’ knee and Kent Austin defending it by claiming that a hip is located below an ass

– Continuing to insist that if Zach Collaros was healthy in 2015, he would’ve been the MOP and that the Ticats would have represented the East in the Grey Cup

– Obsessive hate on for all things Redblacks, including but not limited to Ottawa’s recent success and 2016 Grey Cup MVP Henry Burris.

Verdict: Four Little Balls of Hate

Undoubtably the Redblacks’ current biggest rival, this East Division foe and their passionate fans have been a thorn in Ottawa’s side for decades

Edmonton Eskimos


– The 1981 Grey Cup loss was the first and last time in pro football history that double pass interference was called, effectively moving Ottawa out of FG range at the end of the game

– Ed Hervey. As a player, Hervey had verbally agreed to a deal with the Renegades, who went ahead and scheduled a press conference to announce the signing. Only Hervey never showed up and later that day signed with the Eskimos.

– Barring the Ottawa’s log and wood cookies from the 2015 Grey Cup. After complaining to the CFL that the inanimate wood object provided the Redblacks with a competitive advantage, the league office forbid Ottawa from bringing it to Winnipeg.

– Poaching Jason Maas while he was still under contract to replace the departed Chris Jones. One thing for R-Nation to keep in mind is that while stealing a coach will hurt for a few years, stealing a name will hurt forever (I’m looking at you Saskatchewan).

– 2015 Grey Cup participation ribbons. Just because it’s an epic troll doesn’t mean R-Nation can’t be salty about it

Verdict: 4.5 Little Balls of Hate

Much like the decades old political feud between Ottawa and Alberta, the Eskimo franchise has been a huge source of frustration in the nation’s capital over the years.

Saskatchewan GREENWHITES


– Copying the Rough Riders name in 1924 (but spelling it differently) and hoping no one would notice

– Winning the 1966 Grey Cup

– Voting against keeping the Renegades afloat in 2006

– Greatly benefiting from the Renegades dispersal draft and going on to win the 2007 Grey Cup with a roster full of ex-Gades, including that season’s MOP, QB Kerry Jospeh

– Refusing to budge on their demand that an Ottawa franchise would only be allowed to return to the league if they did not use the Rough Rider name

– Often bringing up the fact that Ottawa lost its team twice, as if Regina hasn’t held telethons and received NFL money to to keep their team from going under.

– The stubborn insistence that they are a) the best fans in the league and b) Canada’s team

– Placing billboard ads where they don’t belong

Verdict: 5 Little Balls of Hate

R-Nation has a ton to hold against Saskatchewan. Whether it’s deciding after 72 years that they owned elusive rights to the Rough Rider name, winning a Grey Cup thanks to key contributions of a dozen Renegades, or acting high and mighty about never having lost their team, the GREENWHITES deserve all the animosity Ottawa fans send their way.

Santino Filoso

Santino Filoso

Born and raised in the 613, Santino has written about the Redblacks since 2013. He is the only CFL writer currently living in Brazil (as far as we know.)
Santino Filoso
Santino Filoso
About Santino Filoso (196 Articles)
Born and raised in the 613, Santino has written about the Redblacks since 2013. He is the only CFL writer currently living in Brazil (as far as we know.)

47 Comments on The R-Nation guide to hating other CFL teams

  1. Stephen Fisher // April 16, 2017 at 12:41 pm //

    I understand that this article is completely tongue-in-cheek, but still I must say that my feelings about the league are the opposite of those supported in the article. I think of the league as one big family. I prefer the alouettes to win, but I want all the teams to do well, on the field and at the gate. I could even rationalize, say, that Montreal giving up Chad Owens to a poor Toronto team, who ended up being league’s most exciting player and an absolute alouette killer, was good for the league and not hold a grudge.

    So sure, hate the other teams you say, but I watch every snap of every game and hope both teams win did fill their stadiums and can increase the cap and attract the best players.

  2. Scottsask // April 16, 2017 at 2:40 pm //

    Green whites, I love it!

  3. OilRider // April 16, 2017 at 3:18 pm //

    I’m actually with Stephen Fisher on this. I’m a Rider fan, but I want all CFL teams to do well. So first off, congratulations to the Redblacks on winning the Grey Cup and having awesome fans. Now you just need to send some of that fan magic Toronto and Montreal’s​ way.

    Now that that’s out of the way, lets get to the points in this article.

    First off, we didn’t steal your name. Our name has a different origin, we were in 2 totally different rugby leagues on opposite ends of the country, and weren’t you guys called the Senators when we adopted the Roughriders name?

    Secondly, yes, we had telethons to save our team. You should have done the same. Instead, your teams got sold to the Gliebermans. You have no excuses there.

    I will admit you should get to hate us over not allowing you the Rough Riders name though. As a CFL fan, I’ve always loved its idiosyncrasies. Having the two Rider teams is classic CFL. I’m kinda sad that it’s not a thing anymore.

    On non-SK related things, yes the stamps taking your colours is dumb. When the uniform redesign happened I thought it would be a great opportunity for the Stamps to go back to their classic Red & White. Instead, we have two Redblack teams, colour-wise.
    Also, I always thought that Montreal would make a natural rival for Ottawa. Geographic proximity and all. Guess that just goes to show that you can’t force a rivalry

    • mrnehnehincognito // April 17, 2017 at 4:04 pm //

      Stamps were first team to adopt black into their uniforms which was subsequently copied by other teams including the Riders.

      • Puck Hog // April 17, 2017 at 9:38 pm //

        Yes, Stampland, the Stampeders invented the colour black. And under no circumstances should any other team or individual use it! Shheeeesh!

        • mrnehnehincognito // April 18, 2017 at 9:00 am //

          Of course they didn’t invent black however they were the first to adopt it as a third color and alternate uniform back in 1994. It was quickly copied by other CFL teams (Sask and MTL) and other pro teams as an alternative color too. Calgary slowly brought in in as a main color long before the advent of the redblacks who used Calgary all black uniforms as a template

    • “Secondly, yes, we had telethons to save our team. You should have done the same. Instead, your teams got sold to the Gliebermans. You have no excuses there.”

      I wonder expect you to know this, because it wasn’t in the news, but towards the end of the Renegades, there was a town hall meeting on local television and a bunch of fans went. John Jenkins tossed out the idea of a ticket drive run by the fans in attendance and while it was kind of tossed into out lap, a number of us agreed.

      The league, however, wanted nothing to do with it and squashed it. I suppose they didn’t want to be on the hook for refunds, potentially. Maybe they knew the team was too far gone regardless, I don’t know. But it wasn’t for lack of trying.

  4. Being a long time Lions fan I hate all the other teams pretty well equally … well maybe not Montreal quite so much … I have had a couple of wonderful visits to their city! When I watch games between other teams I have a hard time being happy for either team’s win. I think the perfect outcome to the game would be if a huge sinkhole opened up in the center of the field and sucked in both teams … and most of their fans!
    Just kidding … love the CFL!

  5. Correct me if I’m wrong but did BC and the Peg not vote against the OSEG getting a franchise.

    • Not sure about Winnipeg anymore, but Braley either voted against or abstained. Referred to Ottawa as “scorched Earth” and basically a lost cause.

  6. Everybody hates the Riders…. As it should be. 😉

  7. Oh great, now the world revolves around Ottawa as well as Regina. And for the record, it was not a below the knees hit on cry-baby Burris. Glad he is gone…

    • That was a stupid comment in an case. Burris is out of the pocket on the run. He is fair game. So happy gappy is gone. Sick of hearing him whine and cry every time he’s got touched!

  8. Puck Hog // April 16, 2017 at 9:04 pm //

    Actually, there is one other CFL writer from Brazil. His name is Fernando Florestan. He writes that he hates the Ottawa franchise, regardless of the nickname. He claims they are cheaters and that their fans steal red and black flannel from containers heading to help children in third world countries. And like their counterparts up the hill, the taxpayers across Canada are forced to fund their uniforms and tape purchases. Devils! They are!

  9. Yeah, those Rough Rider name rights must’ve indeed been “elusive”…probably a factor in these Rough Riders actually abandoning that name in 1924 in favour of “Senators”…Doesn’t give you much of an argument with a team who opts for ‘Roughriders’ in acknowledgement of a reporter who used that name to informally refer to the team almost ten years earlier…

    • I think back then names were a lot more “fluid”. A lot of the teams within a city would share a name (like the baseball and football Giants), for example.

      I’ve seen the Senators name used for Ottawa well before they were said to have adopted it and well after they were said to have abandoned it. They were sometimes referred to as simply the Ottawas. It just wasn’t that official a thing, just a nickname. I don’t think Rough Riders ever really left, either.

  10. I dunno, us in Hamilton don’t (yet) mind the RedBlacks. You guys support the team and make the league look good, it’s a far better place to visit then B.O. T.O. and anyone who beats the Stamps in the Grey Cup, can’t be all bad, even after Hank’s whinefest.

    I’d have to say Calgary is probably the top of our list right now. I mean, make no mistake, we want to loathe the Argos, but their fans are an endangered species, so we’ve all had to back off a bit in the last few years. Nah…who am I kidding…it’s the Argos.

    • Hammer … Its the Argos for sure … but I can’t let the comment about Simoni Lawrence’s hit on Burris go without comment. Clean hit. No intent to injure. No penalty … unlike the head-hunting hit – intent to injure – penalty – hit that took Matthews out of the game. Burris deserves respect for what he accomplished over a long career … but his BS rant calling out Lawrence on that play did nothing good for his legacy.

  11. Tony Gabriel makes it even.

  12. george fogarty // April 17, 2017 at 7:11 am //

    Love it and yes the Greenwhites top the list for us RB fans. Overall the passion that people have for their team and the CFL is great. Can hardly wait for the season to start.

  13. I am a usually a huge fan of Santino’s articles and writing but agree with Stephen Fisher on this one (with the one exception of hoping the Redblacks win instead of the Als). This article is completely contrary to how I see the CFL and pretty much all other teams. I know the article was supposed to be clever or funny but it really wasn’t either.

  14. Jonnythec // April 17, 2017 at 1:37 pm //

    Bring it!…plus that r-nation crap was stolen from us.

    • mrnehnehincognito // April 17, 2017 at 8:27 pm //

      Well Jonnythec they may be but its a switch as it’s you that usually steal from others. Players,staff, uniform concepts, names..

  15. mrnehnehincognito // April 17, 2017 at 4:08 pm //

    Fact is Ottawa was given a huge leg up this time around with the generous format of the expansion draft.

    Here’s a interesting promotion.. Sask vs Ottawa where winner gets exclusive rights to Rougrider name.

    • Ladd Law // April 17, 2017 at 7:26 pm //

      Your obsession is relentless, which sadly is a quality of sorts. Here’s a better promotion: Eliminate the horse and replace it with a Bovine of some kind.

      • mrnehnehincognito // April 17, 2017 at 7:28 pm //

        Ladd Law why not provide a constructive comment for once instead of pouncing on everyone

      • mrnehnehincognito // April 17, 2017 at 7:42 pm //

        lol I guess the suggestions of the riders playing the Redblacks in this type of 1 game high stakes showdown scares you Ladd Law.

    • Except they weren’t. That team went all of 2-16 (though they lost several close ones).

      If you count off Ottawa top players over their past three years, they were not acquired by the expansion draft. They were free agents, draft picks and trade acquisitions.

      The receiver position is the best example. Their 2014 receivers were complete garbage and most were obtained in the expansion draft. They signed Chris Williams, Sinopoli, Ellingson, Ernest Jackson the following year.

      There are about a half dozen guys left from the expansion draft. If anyone one thinks it was such a gold mine, you can probably sign half of this bunch right now.

      • mrnehnehincognito // April 18, 2017 at 9:40 am //

        No one is claiming Ottawa hasn’t done a good job and it is impressive winning cup in 3rd year, but don’t forget:
        1-Ottawa was handed the first pick in draft when in any other world they wouldn’t have
        2-Only extreme luck and poor decisions by Argos lead to Burris being a FA
        3- By acquiring Kevin Glenn in expansion draft and above mentioned extreme luck they were given automatic trade bait
        4-Only extreme luck and poor decisions by Argos lead to Harris being a FA
        5- Ottawa has had the fortune of playing in a very weak division and only have a 22-31-1 regular season record

        • 1. Pretty sure most expansion teams are given that. The Renegades were. I believe it’s been done that way in the NFL as well. It’s common, not particularly “generous”.

          2/4 It’s not “luck” when another team makes a poor decision that ALL OTHER CLUBS can take advantage of. Winnipeg tried to get Burris and failed. Harris chose Ottawa for a reason. It’s not like these guys drew straws. It’s Ottawa being better at personnel management. Same with finding guys like Abdul Kanneh, Jerrell Gavins, Forrest Hightower and William Powell off the street.

          3. Glenn ended up turning into Antoine Pruneau, if I recall correctly. You think adding Pruneau to the list I provided earlier makes it a pot of gold? It’s one player acquired while ignoring the half dozen or so who didn’t even suit up a single time for a variety of reasons.

          5. Can’t have it both ways. You can’t claim they were gifted a great team then point to a lousy regular season record. It defeats your own point. If they were given a great team, they should have a better record.

          Again, point me to the players on the expansion draft list that made Ottawa into a contender. Think Moton Hopkins is a difference-maker on the defensive line? I think five of them never even played for the club. Many were gone after the first season. There’s a reason for that.

          Ottawa got to pick from the scraps of other teams. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s also pretty standard. But that draft played little part in their success. Expansion drafts are almost always crap.

          • mrnehnehincognito // April 18, 2017 at 2:58 pm //

            I never said you were gifted a great team. I pointed out you were given a leg up due to various reasons. This combined with weakness of East is what has given you your success. Again not taking anything away from it.

            Do you think Ottawa would have won cup without Burris?

  16. Passionate fans have teams the love and teams they hate. There is nothing wrong with that.

    I find it fun that this Redblacks fan hates the Riders just like the rest of us outside of the rectangle.

    • Ladd Law // April 17, 2017 at 7:39 pm //

      You know, it’s comments like this that make no sense. It is a fact if one cares to look and compare the home played games for all teams, and look at the game with the highest attendance for the year, it is with few exceptions, when the Riders are in one’s town. Ottawa included. The city didn’t ask you homies to run on the grass in front of that big building, did they? So how does your last statement equate? You and inconsequence should brain storm some more material. Technically it’s a polygon.

      • mrnehnehincognito // April 17, 2017 at 8:22 pm //

        oh Ladd Law you are nothing if not entertaining!. Stop standing behind attendance numbers. You are the smallest market in the league with little else to compete with. Besides the RB’s have every game sold out; you don’t so they still have that over you. Face it Ladd Law your while fans pride in the riders ins strong the last decade over all your attendance are no more impressive than any team and overall you’re still the most under celebrated team in this league

        • Obviously placing facts before you is beyond your comprehension levels. Attendance points to many things. It’s no secret the Riders have had hard times and attendance showed the product on the field. Being a small market it was tough to field a competitive team. Salary cap changed that and since then the Riders have been as successful as any other. We won’t go into mechanizing sales because even you can do the math on that one. In the end, it is you that are here reading and writing about the Riders, so they are clearly on your mind more than the Stumps. That says it all. Just another closet Rider fan living in denial. Step into the Green and free yourself from your torment.

          • mrnehnehincognito // April 18, 2017 at 1:13 pm //

            lol sorry I couldn’t handle the losing I’ll stick with the stamps thanks.
            Blaming past woes on lack of salary cap is laughable .No player was paid big money in the 80 and 90s (with exception of a few). All teams struggled financially as there was no big TV money like now. Riders had many good players over the years. They were a losing franchise is all. Plain and simple

          • mrnehnehincognito // April 18, 2017 at 1:18 pm //

            Further to your point Ladd Law Free agency as it exists today didn`t really exist until the mid 1990s. Teams generally provided professional`courtesy as not aggressively seeking FAs. Teams used to sign their own and FA movement only occurred when teams couldn`t come to an agreement`with them

  17. Puck Hog // April 17, 2017 at 9:42 pm //

    We all know Ottawa stole Saskatchewan’s nickname, just like they are cashing in on the RIDER NATION term by using R-Nation. Much as the politicians in that town, you can’t trust any of them………

    • R-Nation is not copying Rider Nation any more than Rider Nation copied Raider Nation. To hear some Saskatchewan fans talk about it, you’d swear they came up with the idea of the word “nation” to represent a fan base. Lol…

  18. Scottsask // April 17, 2017 at 10:56 pm //

    That’s a Bingo!

  19. mrnehnehincognito // April 18, 2017 at 10:14 am //

    So I guess everyone has to ask why the riders are so hated…
    Is it all the cups?
    The constant success?
    Having such a revered organization?

    • Ladd Law // April 18, 2017 at 2:39 pm //

      You are the only one showing hatred. We keep saying it is getting old, but here you are. It must be tough on you knowing that what you say is in fact a lie. The Riders are hated by many for being exactly who they are, beloved by a whole province, across this and other countries. It’s only the true haters that spew the hatred. The majority only post about the teams they care about and don’t dip so low as to constantly bash another team. You are an exception to the rule. It’s ok though, as your secret love affair with all things Green does not stop you from cheering for the Stumps.

      • mrnehnehincognito // April 18, 2017 at 3:06 pm //

        Again Ladd law I’ll ask. why is it the riders are hated.
        Saying its because beloved throughout the province really makes no sense to hate them
        Loved throughout Canada, (only by those who left Sask for better opportunity)makes no sense to hate them
        Loved in other whom exactly?
        fyi there is a guy living in Tennessee (born and raised) who often calls into stamps post game show because he loves the stamps for no other reason than they are good. His neighbor loves the Esks for the same reason. As you can imagine they have arguments over this.

  20. Scottsask // April 18, 2017 at 10:24 am //

    I’m just really happy Ottawa is back in the league. Now this league needs one more team!

    • mrnehnehincognito // April 18, 2017 at 10:58 am //

      Agrees Scott sask lets make each division equal. I vote for Quebec City Flurry.

    • Enrico Della Penta // April 19, 2017 at 7:13 am //

      Bingo, need another East team, either Quebec City or out in Halifax that would be great. As for the hate-o-meter Green whites take the cake as is quite evident from the comments on this piece.

      Where the hell is Robin from (theCITY)?

Comments are closed.