The most sucessful teams in CFL history

This is a quote from the history portion of this website, it is not my quote.

The Grey Cup in fact was never donated to the CFL it was donated to the Canada Rugby Union.

Calgary absolutely won the Grey Cup in 1948 but not as a member of the CFL but as the representative of the Western Interprovincial Football Union.

You are absolutely correct the Grey Cup is still the Grey Cup and the Grey Cup has existed since 1909. The FACT is the CFL hasn't.

I would argue as well that the number of Championships does not necesarily mean the most successful. Sarnia has won as many Grey Cups as Regina, I would hardly suggest they are as successful. Queens University has won the Grey Cup more times that Regina, are they then more successful?

You can deny Edmontons success all you want, you can’t deny facts.

Anyway, in my previous post, I give the 'Smoes their fair due.
But if you use the entire history of the Grey Cup, strong cases can be made for the success of other franchises, particularly Toronto, Hamilton and Winnipeg.
And the fact that the 'Smoes did not even exist for most of the first 50 years of that history significantly weakens their claim to the throne.

But what I really want to do here is get some perspective on the "success" of the Riders.
We all get that we have not been as successful at winning Cups as any fan would like for their team.
So if your only benchmark for success is championships, then sadly, we are lacking.

But as the debate includes the "whole history" and the "CFL history" of the Grey Cup, I thought I would break up the Rider "success" into parts as well.

Sure, in the pre-CFL years, we never won a cup.
But when we examine the way things were stacked against the West competitors, it is not that surprising.
To win as the West representative, you were usually required to play several more play-off games than your East opposition, then you got the prize of travelling East via train to play on the other teams home turf. Winnipeg, as late as 1953 played 6 play-off games before succumbing in the Grey Cup game. It is also then not surprising that the Bombers would find greater success in the big game due to their closer proximity, or that West teams have only consistantly found success since airplanes and West locations.
So all West teams were at a tremendous disadvantage in their attempts to win.
Success at this time, for a West team was not solely winning the Cup.
In that regard, the Riders were, along with the Bombers, the dominant team in the West, at one point playing in 7 Cup finals in 9 years, including 5 consecutive appearances, which while we failed to win any, makes us one of only two teams to do so.
That is a measure of success.
Another measure of success, is continuity.
The Riders are the oldest existing team in the West, and only the Argos and Ti-cats can lay claim to a longer unbroken history.
And I believe that would even include NFL teams.
(The Pack might be in the running...)

Moving into the "modern" or "CFL" era, certainly the Riders have not been able to capitalize on the opportunities they have had.
Despite a streak of 13 consecutive West finals, and
5 Grey Cup appearances along the way, we only managed one victory. Best 2 of 3 play-offs did not help the cause.
(And, it is not just coincidence that that one win was the only game played in the West. Calgary would prove the point in 1971 winning only their second cup, also held in Empire Stadium.)

So up to 1972, the case could have been made that in the West at least, either the Riders or Bombers were your choice. While the Esks had 3 cups, the Stamps 2, and the Bombers a handful, the Lions one, the Riders had a number of factors to support a claim.

Which leads me to the next point.
After 1976, the Riders onfield prospects significantly declined.
The reasons are legion, featuring more than a few miscues by the Riders themselves, and to go into them would make an already lengthy post a novel.
Needless to say, any claims to be a successful franchise based on the on-field product since 1976 are futile.
However the case for franchise success does not end with onfield performance.
Some of the reasons for the lack of onfield success segway into the story of off-field success that in the end is what makes the Riders special, and does give them a claim to success beyond any other team in the league.
In the first 50 years, we were not the smallest market in the West.
And onfield performance was therin reflected. Winnipeg was bigger, and had more success, surprisingly. BC didn't have a team.
For most of the last 50 years however, the Riders have been, by far, the smallest market team in the league. In the 30 years since 1976, simply surviving has been the true test of the success of this team.
When the league was crumbling in the 80s and 90s, it was the bedrock formed by the Riders, and Bombers and Eskimos, and to a lesser extent, Calgary, that kept this league going.
When other teams were going bankrupt, it was the Riders that stepped up and placed their own economic future in a noose so Doug Flutie could make a million dollars and beat us the Grey Cup game.
The Riders have teetered on the brink of economic disaster their entire history, but never more so than in the 80s and 90s and I do not think fans outside of Saskatchewan fully appreciate just how serious that threat was.
But we did survive.
And we did so by having by far the largest per capita fan base in the league.
And we did it by selling lottery tickets and having dinners and selling Watkins products and telethons and whatever else we could think of.
If the CFL were a fledgling league today, looking for franchises, they likely would not even consider Regina, or Saskatoon as being viable.

The simple fact that we have survived, and had our successes along the way, and are as financially viable today as perhaps in our entire history is a testament to what a word like success means.

And so I am proud of the history of the Riders and believe we are indeed, very succesful.

well larrysmiles I am a Montreal fan more than a Bomber fan. And yes I am aware the Eskimos out played them in the last grey cup.
But the score was not 50 to 11

Actually it was
1990 in Vancouver
Winnipeg 50 EE 11

[url=http://www.geocities.com/cflhistory/Grey_Cup/1909-Present.html]http://www.geocities.com/cflhistory/Gre ... esent.html[/url]

I completely agree with ARIUS that championships are not the only measure of success. I tip my hat to the Riders family on their ability to survive and at times prosper. Despite only 2 wins, the Riders are in fact one of the most successful franchises in the league and in some respects the most successful, paricularly fan support per capita.

I sure happy that Winnipeg once kicked the Eskimos cans, otherwise you would have nothing to fall back on. Enjoy the memory. I unfortunately can't remember every Eskimo score. But that's what happens when you win more than once every couple of decades.

I notice that Queens University once beat the Riders 50-0, I would imagine there must be some immature bozo from Queens that would want to bring that up every time they don't have a good argument.

LOL I only brought that up for laughs, not for argument sake.
I do remember that day in 1990 at Portage and Main with the thousands of Bomber fans chanting "WHO HAS THE CUP!!! WE HAVE THE CUP!!!"
By the way cfleskfan, what were you doing after that game?

Sounds like you are still bitter about it!

Actually he’s more bitter about this…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypf2VcfEAEM

Arguing over what the CFL is and when it started seems to be arguing over semantics. How can you disqualify one of the 8 or 9 current CFL teams just because that same team had success before 1954?!? You could argue that they had MORE competition back then, so I would think the most successful team in the CFL would be the one with success before AND after this 1954 date that the 'shmoes fans love to throw about (it is a very convenient year for them). How about the fact that since 1944, only CFL teams have competed for the Cup? And since 1937, only 5 Grey Cup games have involved a non-CFL team, and those were all during the war years.

As for losing streaks, between 1999 and 2003 Edmonton had the 3rd-longest Grey Cup drought in the league ... and as of now, only Hamilton has a longer streak of missing the playoffs :lol:

This whole thread reminds me of when I posted that I love to see Toronto lose. And I will admit, I do love seeing Toronto lose.
Is all fun rivaly.

Let's see 5 Stanley Cups or an Avro Cup. Ya, I guess I am bitter.

Enjoy watching the Moose.

[quote="CanucKev"] You could argue that they had MORE competition back then, so I would think the most successful team in the CFL would be the one with success before AND after this 1954 date that the 'shmoes fans love to throw about (it is a very convenient year for them). How about the fact that since 1944, only CFL teams have competed for the Cup? And since 1937, only 5 Grey Cup games have involved a non-CFL team, and those were all during the war years.

quote]

What, explain how there was more competition prior to 1921 when there was only Ontario teams competing.

Lose the sour grape. The Eskimos are the most succesful CFL franchise, not only in success on the field but in terms of fan support as well. :lol: :twisted: :lol:

Im just kidding with ya cfleskfan.

I may agree with you cfleskfan on the Esks success on the feild, but Saskatchewan has the best fan support per capita than any football town in Canada.

Well, actually no where in there did I refer to 1921, I was talking about 1937. At the earliest. However, 1921 is another convenient year for Eskimo fans going on and on about how their team is so great - first year you made the Grey Cup, after all. What, did the nineties not start until 1993 either? I'm assuming that whoever started the thread didn't mean "post-19xx only" when saying CFL history. I would assume - and I think this is rational - that CFL history, especially considering the Grey Cup symbolizes the CFL and is the main measure of success in the CFL, would start about 1909. And if Edmonton wasn't allowed to compete when it was an all-Ontario thing (something I've never heard of), then neither were Calgary, Regina, or Winnipeg. The fact of the matter is, Toronto and Hamilton have won more cups than Edmonton. It doesn't matter when they were from; they still won them. I guess that 23 of Montreal's 24 Stanley Cups don't count, since they were won in an NHL that had no more than 21 teams, and quite often, less than 7?

As for the last comment, though I won't say all Eskimos fans are the same, and frankly I wouldn't even say CFLeskfan is one of the "bad" ones (ie obnoxious) - that last comment of his is fairly uncharacteristic, he's actually one of the better 'shmoes fans I've come across - it is comments like those that give Esks fans such a bad name ... and it contributes to why the 'shmoes are the most hated team in the league ... but I realize you're just trying to get over the pain of blowing a huge playoff streak (not to mention countless games over the course of the last season), so I'll let it go :lol:

Well, actually no where in there did I refer to 1921, I was talking about 1937. At the earliest. However, 1921 is another convenient year for Eskimo fans going on and on about how their team is so great - first year you made the Grey Cup, after all. What, did the nineties not start until 1993 either? I'm assuming that whoever started the thread didn't mean "post-19xx only" when saying CFL history. I would assume - and I think this is rational - that CFL history, especially considering the Grey Cup symbolizes the CFL and is the main measure of success in the CFL, would start about 1909. And if Edmonton wasn't allowed to compete when it was an all-Ontario thing (something I've never heard of), then neither were Calgary, Regina, or Winnipeg.
Perhaps a Rider fan needs to step in here and try to help get the historical perspective solved? First, in 1909-21, I suspect more teams likely had an opportunity to play for the Cup than the current 8, which is what I expect was meant by "more competition". It was simply that they were all in Ontario.

Which segways into the main part of what I am quoting canuckey on. It is a fact that only Ontario teams competed for the Grey Cup until 1921.
Calgary(Tigers, not Stamps) challenged for it as early as, I believe, 1911, but were soundly rejected.
The fact is, the Eskimos were the first Western team ever to be allowed to compete for the Grey Cup and that happened in 1921. It could just as easily been Calgary or Regina. But it wasn't.
And it is something Eskimo fans can legitimately be proud of.
And of course it does beg the question, "if Western teams had been allowed to compete earlier, could they have won Cups that otherwise went to the Argos (or Queens)?"
Of course given that it would be a long time after 1921 before a West team would actually win, I think the answer to that question is, "no, the Argos would still have won those 2 Cups".
Anyway, I think the point is, 1921 was a turning point for Canadian football and the history of the Grey Cup. As important as adding the forward pass, or blocking on running plays.
But it doesn't make the early Cups the Argos won less important either.
It is all about the history and the tradition.
It all counts.

Athough there are several historically significant years, there is no doubt the Toronto Argonauts have won more Grey Cps than any other team.

There is also no doubt that notwithstanding Toronto's Grey Cups. The Edmonton Eskimos are the most successful franchise in the CFL.

Beer Barons, I agree with you 100%.

The Eskimos have the most Grey Cups in CFL history. Period. I am not qualifying this to "modern history". I am talking about the ENTIRE CFL history. The Canadian Football League did not even exist prior to 1954. Prior to 1954, the Grey Cup was awarded to the best amateur rugby team. If this thread had anything to do with the greatest amateur rugby city of all time, there would be no doubt that Toronto holds that title, as 10 of their 15 Grey Cups came prior to the existance of the CFL. All 13 of the Eskimos Grey Cups were won in the CFL. Which of course means, that Edmonton won ZERO amateur rugby Grey Cups, which I am very sad about. :lol: :lol: . But the fact that this thread was limited to the history of the CFL, not the history of the Grey Cup, is quite clear.