A guide to R-Nation slang

It’s Grey Cup week and you’re headed to Toronto to watch the Calgary Stampeders take on the Ottawa Redblacks. After slow ticket sales, Grey Cup organizers are now expecting a sell out, due to a spike in purchases made in recent days. The boost in sales can only mean one thing, R-Nation is coming and ready to flood BMO Field as they cheer on their underdog Redblacks.

A passionate bunch, when R-Nation gets talking about their team (or Ottawa’s previous CFL franchises), the lingo can sometimes get a bit confusing for those less familiar with Ottawa’s pro football history. As such, I’ve put together this handy vocabulary guide that will steer you through the most intense conversations with any member of R-Nation.

2nd & 25: Greg Ellingson’s 93 yard TD catch that won the East Final and sent the Redblacks to their first Grey Cup appearance

Big Joe: He of chiseled chin and powerful forearms, Ottawa’s mascot is a caricature of French folk hero Jos Montferrand (Mufferaw)

Big Joe

Brewer: Refers to Brewer Park, the home of authentic tailgates hosted by the Southsiders

Capital Punishment: A nickname for the ferocious Rough Rider defence that terrified opponents in the early 1970s

Cheapskate Hill: Located near the east end zone, a convenient spot for those who can’t afford tickets but still want to support their team or those who missed out on tickets to another sold out game.

Condo Fat Cats: Those perched high above the field, watching the games from their balcony in the west end zone.

DBlock: The self-coined moniker of the Redblacks’ secondary. Currently featuring Jonathan Rose, Abdul Kanneh,  Antoine Pruneau, Forrest Hightower and Mitchell White

Jerrell Gavins va RB FB

Double pass interference: Called only once in pro football history and prevented the greatest upset in CFL history from happening. Scene, the 1981 Grey Cup, final minutes of the 4th quarter. Teams, the 14-1-1 Eskimos vs the 5-11 Rough Riders. Players, Tony Gabriel and Gary Hayes. Result of the flags, elimination of a 20 yard gain that would’ve put the Rough Riders in FG range. Definitely still a sore spot.

Fab Four: Refers to the receivers signed by GM Marcel Desjardins in the 2014 off-season, all of whom have gone on to post back to back 1000 yard receiving seasons (Chris Williams, Brad Sinopoli, Greg Ellingson and Ernest Jackson).

“Friends” of Lansdowne: A group of fun averse Glebites who did their best to prevent OSEG from redeveloping Lansdowne Park.

Gibby: Short for Mike Gibson, the inept Redblacks’ 2014 OC who never met a 2nd and short he didn’t call shotgun a run on.

Glebites: Locals who live near TD Place that really don’t want you parking in front of their house

Glibermans: The boogeymen. Extreme caution must be used when saying this name as local legend has it that if you said it three times fast at midnight, they will magically appear in your city and waste no time either relocating or folding your team.

GREENWHITES: A term of endearment to our name stealing cousins out West

Jeff Hunt: Saviour might be the wrong word, but it’s the first that comes to mind

Lansdowne: In the past, used to refer to the stadium specifically, currently, an area that is home to TD Place and numerous shops and restaurants

Little Ball of Hate: Perhaps the best nickname in the city’s CFL history, used to reference Renegade RB Josh Ranek

Lumberjoes: A couple of super fans who once took the Grey Cup for a canoe ride down the canal

Mardi Gras: A New Orleans tradition once reenacted on the upper South Side during the Renegade era with disastrous effects

Moe the Toe: Spent 17 years in Ottawa, as both an offensive lineman and placekicker. Holds the franchise record with 213 games played

Mouchoir: A dirty french word when spoken in regards to our team, otherwise extremely positive

North Side: Sucks. Also where the roof dwellers sit

Northsiders: Once timid creatures afraid to make noise, Northsiders have recently found their voice

R-Nation: Consists of Rough Riders, Renegades and Redblacks. Loud, proud and boasting 127 years of rich history.

Russ Jackson: Not only the greatest Canadian QB to ever play the game, but one of the best CFL players ever. #12 is a living legend.


Shoe Beer: Spiritual leader of Section UU, chugs beer from his shoe for a good cause


South Side: Where the wild things are, home of the Southsiders

Southsiders: A die-hard group of fans who tailgate, cheer, party and wave their flags in any weather


The Catch: Arguably the most iconic moment in Ottawa’s CFL history, when Tony Gabriel led the Eastern Riders over the Western ‘Riders in the 1976 Grey Cup.

The Professor: While the 5 time Grey Cup winner is no longer with us in person, former Rough Rider coach/GM Frank Clair never misses a game thanks to his bronze sculpture that overlooks the field.

The R: Found on our helmets, a link to past glories

The refs: Often objects of derision, occasionally applauded

Wood cookies: Sawn off following every touchdown at TD Place, also known as Eskimo poison.


Santino Filoso is originally from Ottawa and has written about the Redblacks since 2013. He is the only CFL writer currently living in Brazil (as far as we know).