'Rough Riders'? Why choose any other name?

No doubt, there’s going to be a fierce debate over the name of the new CFL franchise in Ottawa. Those in favour of adopting a completely new name will doubtless point out that the old names of ‘Rough Riders’ or ‘Renegades’ carry too much negative baggage with them. Furthermore, it would be silly to have two teams with the same name, in a 9-team league.

Well, this is an argument in favour of keeping the old name ‘Rough Riders’.

Apart from the historical significance of the name (more on that in a moment), is there any other professional sports franchise, anywhere, in any league of any sport, who can say they’ve had as rough a time of it as the Ottawa football franchise has? The name ‘Rough Riders’ would seem to fit this franchise to a tee.

Would it be quirky, having two teams with the same name? Absolutely! But rather than be embarrassed by this anomaly, CFL fans ought to embrace this quirkiness as being distinctly CFL. Hell, having two teams with the same name would be no quirkier than awarding a single point for a missed field goal attempt. It’s the oddities of the Canadian brand of football that keep it, well, Canadian. The more we try to emulate the NFL brand of football, the poorer we will inevitably look by comparison. I say, let’s celebrate the uniqueness of the CFL!

On the subject of rivalries, I think we can all agree that the more you have, the more exciting the game becomes. Despite being in two different divisions, there was always a natural rivalry between the Rough Riders and the Roughriders that simply never materialized between the Roughriders and the Renegades. Who can forget Russ Jackson leading his Rough Riders to victory over the upstart Roughriders, led by former Rough Rider (and current Roughrider) Ron Lancaster, back in ’69? (okay, so it was before my time, but that merely proves my point – the game was a classic.) Why would anyone willingly neuter such a great rivalry?

Which brings us to history and tradition. A lot of people will criticize the CFL for being ‘bush league’, but I wonder how many of these people realize that the CFL has a longer, more storied tradition than the more celebrated NFL? Rather than sweep the past under some rug, the league should be promoting its history. At the time the Rough Riders folded in ’96, they were the oldest professional sports franchise in the world. Think about that. It sort of puts the lie to the notion that the CFL is in any way ‘bush’, doesn’t it?

As to the argument that the fans wouldn’t support a team with the old moniker, I wonder how many fans have opted not to support the Senators for the flimsy reason that their team name was ‘ancient’ or somehow ‘archaic’. Not very many, I’m guessing.

So let the debates begin! I for one, firmly plant my flag on the side of ‘Rough Riders’!

And PS. The North Side still s*cks

Why does doing something in the Canadian way have to equal it being odd?

Also, it wouldn't just be emulating the NFL. None of the other major sports leagues have 2 teams with the same nicknames.

Are there any other Ottawa football teams that existed in the past that may offer an alternative name and also provide a bit of history?

I vote for Roughriders

I've already outlined why I think naming them "Rough Riders" is a very bad idea. It's in a discussion in the Ottawa forum:

[url=http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=25166]http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?name=PNphpB ... ic&t=25166[/url]

The discussion is pretty detailed, take a look if you're curious.

The basics:

Only current die-hard CFL fans will appreciate a revival of the Rough Riders. The prospective fans that this team needs to attract will be turned off.

quite simply, I just dont buy it.

Most cities in most leagues who lost a team and then got one back, have gone with different names.

Baltimore Ravens
Houston Texans

Alanta Thrashers

just to name a few of the top of my head.

Time for Ottawa to start fresh, new team, new name, hopefully new results.

Montreal Alouettes! :wink:


holy cow, sask won the cup with only 2 players. wow :lol: 8) :rockin: :cowboy:

The real CFL never had 2 teams named roughriders

The real CFL?

My CFL doesn't. It used to have a rough rider and a roughrider. But that is days gone by, and sometimes its good to have new things, new names and new ideas. This is one of those times.
Its annoying to say, hey I am a Rider fan. oh which one? the green riders, or western riders or 2007 grey cup champion riders. Its just tedious. I prefer just saying riders. I would settle with saying 2008 Grey cup Champion Riders though.

I understand how you feel Sambo, but from personal experience.....I was delighted when they announced that MTL was back in the CFL, with the original Alouette name.
I would imagine that many Ottawa fans would feel the same.

Good point Billy. I think when the original Rough Riders come back, you should rename your team the Wheat Kings.


I'm a traditionalist. If you look at most of my posts, I generally hate change. I like to keep things as they are. Over the many decades I could never figure out how we had two teams with the same names in the league.

I remember the media and CFL doubters poked fun and riducled the league for having two teams with the same name. Already one sportscaster made the comment "Here we go again, two Roughriders in the CFL." We don't need that negative media approach!I honestly beleive in the BEST INTEREST of the league, a name other than Rough Riders should be used. Where the league struggles for positive media, and positive coverage, giving the anti CFLers more ammunition does not help the league at all. While I know the die hard Rider fans in Ottawa feel passionate about reviving the Old Riders, would that really be an overall benefit to the league and team?

I really think the team in Ottawa needs to start fresh.


Sorry :oops:

Riders, Renegades, Samabo, Billy - what's in a name?

I understand why SSK fans dont want the same name. I also understand why Ottawa fans would.

If its not that.....then it will be something else. We should be used to it by now.

I know the "Anti CFL Media' will always find things to belly-ache about. But why make it so easy for them?

I know there are many passionate Rider fans in Ottawa that want to see a return of the Rough Riders. I commend them for their passion. God knows every CFL city could use that passion. But from a pbig picture, and CREDIBILITY, a new name really needs to be chosen. Image is everything in how you market your product.

as opposed to YOUR cfl.

I guess you didnt get the memo!