The CFL will forever be known as the nine team league that once had two teams called the Roughriders.
That Ottawa team is now two iterations removed from existence, but Saskatchewan may soon have another professional team elbowing in on their name.
The Washington Football Team recently reached out to season ticket holders for input on a potential new name for the NFL team. Each fan received an email with ten name candidates to rank. Not every fan received the same list however and the team will receive feedback on 30 different nicknames.
CJME broadcaster Jamie Nye was the first to point out on Twitter that ‘Riders’ was among the names being considered. Other top candidates include the Wild Hogs, Redtails, Presidents and Guardians. In another CFL connection, Renegades also made the list.
Washington is strongly considering maintaining the Football Team moniker permanently, but will remain nameless through at least the 2021 season. However, Riders has a strong Washington connection that would make it an intriguing candidate.
According to the official history of the Saskatchewan team, there are two theories on where the name “Roughriders” came from.
One states that it derived from members of the North West Mounted Police who were called Roughriders because they broke the wild horses used by the force. However, the other contends there was a Canadian contingent that fought with future American President Teddy Roosevelt in the Spanish-American War, where Roosevelt’s troops became known as the Rough Riders.
Following the war, the Canadian troops returned home, with some of them settling in Ottawa and the rest moving west, explaining the name’s presence in both locations. While the North West Mounted Police explanation makes more sense in Regina, the fact the colours worn by Roosevelt’s infantry were red and black makes the second theory the favoured one for Ottawa.
As a beloved resident of the big White House up the road from where they play, it’s no wonder the Washington Football Team would consider associating themselves with the ‘Bull Moose’ Teddy Roosevelt.
Other candidates are more likely choices, but we’ve always thought Mount Rushmore could be improved with a watermelon helmet.