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 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).