What did Canadian Footbal Look Like in 1923?


[url=http://www.britishpathe.com/video/no-game-for-weaklings-1]http://www.britishpathe.com/video/no-ga ... eaklings-1[/url]

It's only about a minute long, unfortunately. Note that there was no forward passing in this game. That wasn't permitted in Canadian football until 1929.

Another one from 1925: www.britishpathe.com/video/canadas-rugby-classic/

Too bad it is kinda hard to tell what is going on

Does anyone know how it worked back then?

Hard to believe that US players used to come up to Canada in those days...because that's where the money was.

Great find PiCat. :thup:

Were both of these games played at Varsity in Toronto?
the Stadium appears to be a complete uniform elliptical back then, instead of separate N/S stands.

looks like over 30,000 fans in the stands, although I don't believe early Canadian stadiums had such a capacity during that period.
Packed house though..

Not 100% sure, but I think the rules had mostly been set by then, with the major differences being forward passing, end zones (necessitated by the legalization of forward passing), and point values for the different means of scoring.

As for the strategy and game play, I’m not sure. I’m still working on understanding the modern game. One thing I did read, though, is that even after forward passing was legalized in Canadian football, it would be a long time before teams would make extensive use of it and they still relied mostly on the running game.

Actually back then in Canadian football it was not uncommon for teams to rush for 100 yds and punt for 1500 yds in a game. They often punted on first down, hoping the receiving team would fumble.

[b]RED GRANGE IN CANADA[/b] In November of 1926,the American Football League--Red Grange's rival to the NFL--invaded Canada by scheduling a game in Toronto. At that time Canadian football was even more different from the U.S. brand than it is today. For one thing, the forward pass had not yet been legalized.

The following story from the Tuesday, November 9, 1926, issue of the Hamilton Spectator:


Think More of Canada Game After Tilt
"Red" Grange's Yankees Winners, 28 to 0

No matter how wildly enthusiastic Americans are over their style of football, the American game will never find favor in Canada. That seemed to be the consensus of opinion following yesterday's exhibition at Toronto, where "Red" Grange's New York Yankees battled "Wildcat" Wilson's Pacific coast professionals, and scored a 28 to 0 victory.
About ten thousand fans turned out to compare the American brand of rugby with the Canadian game, and there appeared to be very little enthusiasm apart from the interest in the players and a little excitement stirred by good individual plays. The absence of kicking, and the narrow outlet for scoring proclivities of the teams, together with the forward passing and the general interference, made the game seem comparatively tame to the hard-boiled fans who like to see the pigskin sailing for points, an aerial duel up and down the field, extended end runs and solo field goals.
Grange Got Try
There was plenty of action in the game, and "Red" Grange provided a pretty piece of work when he broke loose through the line and shook off half a dozen would-be tacklers to sprint sixty yards for the Yankees' first touchdown. The "galloping ghost" also showed some nifty line plunging and defensive work, and he tossed a number of forward passes that were taken for granted as being good, although the receiver didn't always carry the play through. Several other members of the Yankees, notably Gerald Maloney, former Dartmouth star, "Bullet" Baker, former Southern California star, and Wesley Fry, an outstanding Iowa star of other days, fitted into the smooth-working Yankee machine well, and Bradshaw, the quarterback of the Wildcats, together with George Wilson himself and R. Morrison, showed up well for the Wildcats.
Passes Counted
Two of the Yankees' touchdowns were scored on forward passes, and Grange's run, and an intercepted pass accounted for the other two. The placement kick behind the line converted all four.
There was no arguing with the officials, and very few subs were used, both teams going almost all of the first half without a change. The Yankees didn't change their line-up at all. Kicking was seldom indulged in, as no points are allowed in the American game unless the kick is a bona fide field goal or kick from placement. The placement is made by one man taking the ball out and holding it on the ground in position for the kicker. The method of converting touchdowns by bringing the ball ten yards out and directly in front of the goal posts was another feature that looked too soft to the fans.
The line-plunging was fast and hard, and although the gains were mostly small ones, all these plays were well meant. The extensive interference didn't appear to help either team, except on rare occasions, due, probably, to the defensive skills of the teams. Then the feature of any player recovering a punt without being offside was confusing to the fans and took the thrill of kicks being run back, out of the game.
From the standpoint of curiosity and interest in a comparison, the game was a decided success, but from a propaganda standpoint it was a failure. It would take a long time for Canadian football fans to take to the pastime.

It was pointed out that the story appeared on the third--and last--sports page. He adds: "It's interesting to note that a Canadian football game between the Hamilton Tigers and Balmy Beach of Toronto, played the same day at Varsity Stadium in Toronto, drew a 'handful' of fans. However, another sporting event in Toronto that Thanksgiving attracted 8,000. They watched the Bethlehem Steel soccer team from the U.S. defeat Toronto Ulsters 3-2 in an exhibition soccer match.

Hamilton Spectator article quote: [b]No matter how wildly enthusiastic Americans are over their style of football, the American game will never find favor in Canada.[/b]
I gather the Spec sports writers of 1926 were not clairvoyants. :P
:cowboy: Here are some Canadian Football timelines:

TIMELINE: 1860's

First documented football game was played at the University of Toronto on the present site of
University College (400 yards west of Queen's Park) on November 9. One of the participants in
the game involving University of Toronto students was (Sir) William Mulock, later it's
First written account of a football game played in Quebec on October 10 was by R. Tait
Mackenzie. It was between a team of officers from the English troops garrisoned in Montreal and
a team of civilians, mainly from McGill University, and was played on the St. Catherine Street
cricket grounds.
The Hamilton Foot Ball Club was formed on November 3 in a room over George Lee's Fruit
Store and adopted the colours of black and orange. Games were played on the Maple Leaf
Baseball Club Grounds on Upper James Street. The first game for the HFBC was on December
18 against the 13th Battalion (now Royal Hamilton Light Infantry) at the Baseball Grounds. No
score was reported. According to the Hamilton Spectator on November 30 the HFBC had more
than 100 members.

TIMELINE: 1870's

The Montreal Foot Ball Club was organized on April 8 in one of the lower rooms of the
Mechanics Hall building. The first game played in Quebec occurred when the Montreal FC
played Quebec City on October 12 at the Esplanade in Quebec City. The two teams met again on
October 26 at McGill University. Both games ended in 0-0 ties.
The Toronto Argonaut Rowing Club formed the Toronto Argonaut Football Club on October 4
and played its first game against the University of Toronto on October 11. The University of
Toronto won by a Goal and a Try to Nil. The Argonauts adopted dark blue as the team colour.
The first meeting of the Argonauts and HFBC was on October 18 at the University of Toronto.
Toronto won by a Goal and a Try to Nil . The HFBC wore yellow and black for the first time in
this game The following Saturday, the two clubs met in Hamilton at the Cricket Ground (later
Hamilton A.A.A. Ground). Hamilton won by a Goal and Try plus a Touch In Goal to two Goals
and two Trys. It was in the reporting of this game that the HFBC was first referred to as the
The rules of a hybrid game of English rugby devised by the University of McGill were first used
in the United States in a game at Boston between McGill and Harvard. On May 14, Harvard won
3-0 using Harvard rules. The next day, the teams tied 0-0 while playing Canadian rules. Harvard
liked the new game so much they introduced it into the Ivy League. Both U.S. and Canadian
football evolved from these games.
The first inter-provincial game was played between Ontario and Quebec on October 16 at the
Toronto Cricket Grounds. Ontario won on a Goal from a Try.
The Ottawa Football Club was formed on September 20 at the Russell House and played the
Aylmer Club at Jacques Cartier Square on September 23. (Sir) Percy Sherwood kicked a Goal
from a Try for the winning point. Ottawa team colours were cerise (moderate red), French grey
and navy blue.
required the previous year's champion to defeat all challengers. The Toronto Argonauts defeated
the Ottawa FC 9-7 in the first ORFU Championship on 1877
The Ottawa and Britannia Football Clubs played their first game at Montreal. Britannia won 2
Trys and 3 Rouges to 1 Rouge.
Second inter-provincial game is played to a scoreless draw on October 28 between an "All-
Ontario" team and a team from Montreal at Montreal.
The University of Michigan played a game against the University of Toronto. The Winnipeg
Rugby Football Club was formed.

TIMELINE: 1880's

The "Open Formation" was introduced for the first time. Both teams were required to lineup
across from each other.
The Ontario Rugby Football Union was formed on January 6; 10 days later the Quebec Rugby
Football Union was formed. The ORFU played a Tie Schedule with teams of 15-men per side.
Team A played Team B and the winner played Team C until only one team remained
undefeated. Three divisions were formed in the ORFU. Referees were used for all games. A
point-scoring system was put into place with six points for a Goal from the Field (field goal);
four points for a Try (touchdown), Goals from a Try, Penalties and Free Kicks; two points for
Safety Touches; and one point for Kicks to the Deadline, Rouges and Touch in Goals. The
Quebec Union adopted the Challenge System with Scoring by Goals and Trys. This format
November 10.
The Canadian Rugby Football Union was formed on February 7 at the Montreal Gymnasium and
used the ORFU and New English Rugby Union Rules to form the Code of Rules for Canadian
football. The QRFU adopted the OFRU system of scoring and the Tie Schedule. The Montreal
Foot Ball Club (QFRU) defeated the Toronto Argonauts (ORFU) 30-0 on November 6 in the
first CRFU Championship game.
The ORFU divided into City and College groups. The CRFU stated that the playing field should
be as close to 100 yards in length as practical by 65 yards wide. A combined team from the
Montreal and Britannia Football Clubs (QRFU) defeated an Ontario Combined Team (ORFU) 3-
0 on November 12 in the CRFU Championship game. The CRFU ruled the game was a draw
because the Montreal team did not score four points.
The CRFU ruled that a quarterback could run or kick the ball only after the defenders had pushed
the ball through the scrimmage. The ORFU objected to the CRFU rules governing championship
games and refused to participate. No championship game was played.
The ORFU withdrew from the CRFU and the governing body ceased to function. The ORFU
adopted "heeling" the ball as a method of putting it into play. They also began using a five-man
scrimmage. Goals from the Field were reduced to five points. At the end of the season, team
executive members arranged a Dominion Championship game at McGill University in which
Ottawa College (ORFU) defeated the Montreal Football Club (QRFU) 10-5 on November 5.
ORFU aligned into one unit and competed in a Challenge System. Penalty Kicks were lowered in
value to two points. Hamilton Tigers introduced the three-man scrimmage. ORFU and QRFU
executives arranged a Dominion Championship at Ottawa. Ottawa College (ORFU) and the
Montreal Football Club played to a scoreless tie. This was the last title match until 1892.
Winnipeg Football Club, St. John's College and the Royal School of Infantry formed the
Manitoba Rugby League.
ORFU lowered the value of a Goal from Field to five points. Intercollegiate teams used a twopoint
Goal from a Try. The QRFU adopted a Challenge System

TIMELINE: 1890's

ORFU returned to the Tie Schedule. All teams adopted the two-point Goal from a Try. QRFU
adopted the three-man scrimmage. First game in Alberta, as Edmonton and Clover Bar played to
a scoreless tie. In October, Regina North West Mounted Police played the Winnipeg Football
Club twice in Winnipeg with each side winning once.
At a meeting of delegates of the Quebec and Ontario Rugby Unions at the Windsor Hotel in
Montreal on December 19, the Canadian Rugby Union was formed. Games were to consist of
two 45-minute halves, scoring values: Goal from the Field five points; Try four points; Goal
from a Try two points; Penalty Kick and Free Kick four points each; Safety Touch two points;
and a Rouge one point. ORFU rules were adopted by the CRU including an increase in the height
of the goal posts to 20 feet from 13; the Scrimmage had to release the ball before the lines could
come together and games were to be won by a majority of points scored. Edmonton defeated
Calgary 6-5 in the Alberta Total-point Challenge Series.
The first CRU championship game was played on Thanksgiving Day, November 10 at Toronto's
Rosedale Field with Osgoode Hall of ORFU defeating the Montreal Foot Ball Club of the QRFU
45-5. ORFU assigned Umpires for all games. QRFU adopted the Balanced Schedule (all teams
played the same number of games) and lowered the value of a Goal from a Try to two points.
The Manitoba Rugby Football Union was formed on February 22 and played Fall and Spring
QRFU assigned Umpires for all games and returned to the Challenge System format.
Ottawa College and the Ottawa AAA joined the QRFU. QRFU adopted the Balanced Schedule.
Timekeepers were appointed for the first time to relieve the referees of that duty. ORFU and
QRFU lowered the value of Penalty Kicks to two points.
CRU game length was reduced to two 40-minute halves and the size of a field was set at 110
yards by 65 yards. CRU published the first "Constitution, Rules of the Championship
Competitions and Rules of the Game". MRFU adopted the CRU rules. QRFU introduced fiveyard
Punt Returns.
On November 24, the Canadian Intercollegiate Rugby Football Union was organized in
Kingston, Ontario. CRU changed the length of a game to two 35-minute halves. The QRFU
lowered the Free Kick to two points and adopted a three-team playoff format. Ottawa FC was
suspended by the QRFU executive for excessive rough play.
First Intercollegiate game was played at Kingston on October 8 between McGill and Queen's.
McGill won by 3 Rouges to 2. McGill then played the University of Toronto on October 15. The
U of T won 11-5 in the rain. Toronto went on to win the Yates Trophy as Intercollegiate
champions. The CIRFU was accepted into the CRU, but left later in the year. Ottawa FC reorganized
as the Rough Riders on September 9 and adopted the colours of the Canadian
Regiment in the Spanish-American War - red and black. Ottawa joined the ORFU which adopted
the Balanced Schedule of play. The CRU again changed the length of a game to two 30-minute

TIMELINE: 1900's

The ORFU prohibited the use of CIRFU players and the CRU stated that players must block with
their bodies and not hold opponents with their arms or hands.
The ORFU stated that all players must sign amateur cards. CRU rules that the ball was to be
placed on the ground in line with the front foot of the Scrimmage before the lines could come
together. John Thrift Meldrum Burnside's revised football rules were put into play in University
of Toronto Inter-faculty games, and later in the Mulock Cup championship games.
The ORFU adopted the Burnside Rules which reduced teams to 12 men per side, put into play
the Snap-Back system of moving the ball, required the offensive team to gain 10 yards on three
downs, abolished the Throw-In from the sidelines, permitted only six men on the line, stated that
all Goals by Kicking were to be worth two points and the opposition was to line up 10 yards
from the defenders on all Kicks. The Rules were to be made uniform across the country as
quickly as possible. The CIRFU, QRFU and CRU refused to adopt the new Rules. QRFU and
CRU reduced their rosters from 15 to 14 players. CRU ruled that possession could not go beyond
three scrimmages unless during the third scrimmage the ball was moved five yards on a run or a
kick. Ottawa returned to the QRFU and MRFU moved to a fall schedule.
The value of a Try (touchdown) was increased to five points and Goals from a Try was reduced
to one point in the ORFU. QRFU adopted a rule by Tom (King) Clancy of Ottawa that a team
must make five yards on its third scrimmage to keep possession of the ball.
The Intercollegiate and Quebec Unions refused the Burnside Rules. For championship games,
the CRU ruled the teams would use QRFU rules for the first half and the intercollegiate rules for
the second half. QRFU moved to four 15-minute quarters; Trys worth five points and Goals from
Trys worth one point. CIRFU adopted 10-yard rule for three downs and the ORFU gave captains
the option of playing four 15-minute quarters. Goals from the Field were increased to three
points and the Fair Catch rule was replaced by a three-yard Punt Return rule
Specifications first laid down for the size of football - 11 inches long, 23 inches in circumference
and 13-3/4 ounces in weight. Goals from the Field and Free Kicks were increased to four points
in the ORFU. Games were four 15-minute quarters in length. CIRFU lowered Goals from the
Field to four points and Free Kicks to three points. Calgary City Rugby Foot-ball Club was
formed March 14 at Calgary City Hall.
The Interprovincial Rugby Football Union (Big Four) grew out of an amalgamation between the
Hamilton Tigers, Toronto Argonauts of the ORFU and the Ottawa Rough Riders and the
Montreal Foot Ball Club of the QRFU on September 13. The QRFU withdrew from senior
competition. The Ottawa entry was the result of the amalgamation of the Ottawa St. Pats and
Rough Riders. Montreal won the Big Four's first game, 17-8 over Toronto and subsequently
became the league's first championship team. Calgary City Rugby Foot-ball Club played its first
game on October 31 and defeated the Strathcona Rugby Foot-ball Club 15-0 at Calgary. The
CRU adopted the intercollegiate rule of one yard between opposing lines and stated that the lines
could not move until the ball was put into play by the Scrimmage. Teams had to gain 10 yards in
three downs; a Try was five points; a Goal from a Try was one point; a Goal from the Field was
four points; a Free Kick was three points and a Penalty Kick was worth two points The ORFU
adopted the CRU rules. The Edmonton Rugby Foot-ball Club was formed on April 10 and
adopted the uniform colors of black with yellow facings. Edmonton played its first game on
November 9 and defeated the Calgary City Rugby Foot-ball Club 26-5 at the Edmonton
Exhibition Grounds. The Saskatchewan Rugby Football League was formed.
Calgary City Rugby Foot-ball Club was re-organized as the Tigers on August 27 and adopted
yellow and black as the team colors. Calgary Rugby Football Union was formed on September
29 in the offices of the Sovereign Life Insurance Company. The Caledonia and Hillhurst Football
Clubs play for the championship of the Central Alberta Rugby Football League on September 4.
The Edmonton Rugby Foot-ball Club was re-organized as the Esquimoux on October 16. Goals
from the Field were reduced to three points by the CRU.
Lord Earl Grey, the Governor General of Canada, donated a trophy to be awarded for the Rugby
Football Championship of Canada. Only teams registered with the Canadian Rugby Union were
eligible to compete for the trophy. The first game was played in Toronto at Rosedale Field on
December 4 between the University of Toronto and the Parkdale Canoe Club with the University
of Toronto winning 26-6 before 3,807 fans. Hugh Gall kicked a record eight singles in the game
for the U of T. The gross revenue was $2,616.40. On December 11, following an invitation from
the New York Herald newspaper, Hamilton Tigers and Ottawa Rough Riders played an
exhibition game of Canadian football in New York City at Van Cortland Park. Tigers won 11-6
before 15,000 fans.

TIMELINE: 1910's

Regina Rugby Club was formed on September 13 at the Regina City Hall and adopted the colors
of old gold and purple. On September 22 the Saskatchewan Rugby Football Union was
organized in the Flanagan Hotel at Saskatoon. SRFU adopted the CRU rules. Regina played
Moose Jaw Tigers in its first game on October 1 at the Moose Jaw Baseball Grounds. The Tigers
won 16-6. Edmonton changed its name to the Eskimos.
Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta Unions formed the Western Canada Rugby Football Union
on October 21. Regina RC changed its colors to blue and white. Winnipeg realtor Hugo Ross
donated the championship trophy bearing his name; he subsequently drowned in the sinking of
the S.S. Titanic in April, 1912. Calgary Tigers won the Western Championship and challenged
for the Grey Cup, but the CRU would not accept the challenge because the WCRFU was not a
full member of the CRU. University of Toronto defeated the Argonauts 14-7 on November 25 to
win its third consecutive Grey Cup championship.
Regina Rugby Club adopted the colors of the Canadian contingent in the Spanish-American War

  • red and black Hamilton Alerts were suspended by the ORFU on November 23 for flaunting the
    authority of the Union. Toronto Rowing and Athletic Club had protested a penalty call which had
    resulted in a victory for the Alerts. The ORFU ordered the game be re-played on the 23rd, but the
    Alerts refused to field a full team. The Alerts lost to Toronto 39-7 while the main squad lost a
    regularly scheduled match in Hamilton to the Tigers 12-8. The Alerts went on to defeat the
    Toronto Argonauts 11-4 in the Grey Cup game. Many of the players joined the Tigers of IRFU
    the following season.
    Hamilton Tigers played four exhibition matches in Western Canada defeating Winnipeg 26-1,
    Regina 26-4, Moose Jaw 25-1 and Calgary 19-2. This is the first documented East-West series of
    games. On September 6 the Hamilton Alerts applied for reinstatement. In the ORFU under the
    name of the East Hamilton Athletic Association, but the request was denied. The Hamilton
    Rowing Club, however, was accepted.
    The remnants of the Hamilton Alerts operated separately from any Union for several seasons
    before fading from the scene. The CRU appointed Head Linesmen and the CIRFU adopted a
    three-yard Interference rule IRFU adopted a Residence Rule.
    No games because of the First World War.
    No playoff games because of a rules dispute with the CRU in the West, lack of interest in the
    East and student studies to the Intercollegiate Union which were deemed more important.TIMELINE: 1920's

CIRFU and IRFU adopted a four-yard Interference rule while the CRU opted for three yards of
Western Canada Rugby Football Union joined the CRU and challenged for the Grey Cup.
Edmonton Eskimos, first Western team to play in a Grey Cup game, lost to Toronto Argonauts
23-0. Rule changes included reducing players from 14 to 12 per side; putting ball into play by
snapping it back; limit of 18 players with substitutes permitted freely.
Calgary Tigers renamed the 50th Battalion. Queen's defeats Regina 54-0 as Queen's scored a
record nine touchdowns on December 1. Edmonton withdrew from competition.
Coach Bill Hughes of Queen's introduced the use of films as a coaching technique. Numbering
of players, although used for years was made compulsory. The Regina Rugby Club became the
Regina Roughriders.
McGill coach Frank Shaughnessy introduced the huddle system to Canadian football. It was at
first called the Conference System. Calgary 50th Battalion became the Tigers. Ottawa changed
its name to the Senators.
British Columbia Rugby Football Union was formed on September 1.
Western Canada Intercollegiate Union was formed. Ottawa reverted to the name Rough Riders
Tri-City Rugby Football Union was formed on August 25 and consisted of Moose Jaw, Regina
and Winnipeg. The Union disbanded the following year because of travel expenses.
Saskatchewan and Winnipeg re-formed their unions. First radio play-by-play broadcast of a Grey
Cup Game was on December 1. Hamilton Tigers shutout Regina Roughriders 30-0 before a
crowd of 4,767 at the Hamilton Amateur Athletic Association Grounds.
CRU adopted use of the forward pass on a limited basis in Junior, Interscholastic, Western
Canada Rugby Union, Western Intercollegiate Union and the Grey Cup final. First legal pass in
Canada was thrown by Gerry Seiberling and the first reception was by Ralph Losie of Calgary
Altomah-Tigers against Edmonton on September 21. Jersey Jack Campbell of Regina threw the
first forward pass in a Grey Cup game and Jerry Erskine made the first reception. First
touchdown pass was by Edmonton's Joe Cook to Pal Power in the second quarter of a game
against the University of Alberta on September 28. The first interception return for a touchdown
was by Joe Hess of the University of Alberta in the same game when he caught a pass by Cook.

TIMELINE: 1930's

On June 10, the Winnipeg Winnipegs Rugby Football Club was formed and adopted the colors
of green and white. Winnipeg played its first game against St. John's Rugby Club at Carruthers
Park on September 13. St John's won 7-3. On September 29 in the first game played in Canada
under floodlights, the Hamilton Tigers defeated University of British Columbia in an exhibition
game at Athletic Park. The first game in Eastern Canada under floodlights was on October 29
between Oshawa and Toronto Balmy Beach in Toronto's Ulster Stadium. The Convert kicking
spot was moved from the 35-line to the 25 but only drop kicks were allowed.
CRU approved the forward pass for all leagues and the first TD pass in Grey Cup history was a
Warren Stevens to Kenny Grant play in Montreal's 22-0 win over Regina. Convert scrimmage
line was moved to the five-yard line, and the point could be scored by a drop-kick, place kick,
run or pass.
Calgary Altomah-Tigers became the Altomahs. Winnipeg and St. John's amalgamated to field a
stronger team, and adopt the colors of blue and gold.
Edward (Red) Tellier of Montreal, who had been suspended for life for attacking George
Gilhooley of Regina in the 1931 Grey Cup final, was re-instated. Eastern Intercollegiate Union
formally withdrew from Grey Cup competition. The horn was introduced to officiating
For the first time a Western team won the Grey Cup. Winnipeg Pegs (they weren't Blue Bombers
for another year) defeated the Hamilton Tigers 18-12 at Hamilton. Calgary became the Bronks.
Teams were restricted to a maximum of five imports and only players who had lived in Canada
for a full year could compete in the Grey Cup game. The Western Interprovincial Football Union
(WIFU) was formed with Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Calgary Bronks and Regina Roughriders.
IRFU and WIFU adopt playoff format of a two-game total-point series between first and second
place teams. A white ball was used for games played under floodlights in Western Canada.
Intercollegiate teams stop competing for the Grey Cup.
The Quebec Rugby Football Union discontinued challenging for the Grey Cup.
Edmonton Eskimos joined the Western Interprovincial Football Union and adopted the colors of
blue and white, but withdrew in 1940.

1500yds of punting. Wow! I guess that's why the one video said that Canadian rugby was a blend of soccer, among other things. It's still not a very accurate statement, but it's less nonsensical than I thought it was.

...another interesting item from the era was that due to the extreme gentlemanship of the players it was not uncommon for the offesne to explain to the defense exactly what play they were going to execute, and then do exactly what they said they would...also, the captain on the offensive side (not always the quarterback, but usually) would ask if everyone was ready, and when he felt everyone was would countdown from 3 backwards very loudly to initiate the play...

...after the play was over everyone would help each other find lost teeth and reset nose bridges before assembling for the next play...

And find each other's monocles?

Yep, punting and punt returns were a big part of the game, especially in the early years. For example, here is the Box Score of the 1935 Grey Cup game, the first ever won by a Western team.

Winnipeg 5 7 6 0 -- 18
Hamilton 3 1 6 2 -- 12

Winnipeg--Marquardt 23 pass from Rebholz (kick failed)
Hamilton--FG Turville 27
Winnipeg--Kabat 33 pass from Rebholz (Rebholz kick) Hamilton--Single Turville 42
Winnipeg--Single Kabat 18 FG attempt Hamilton--Patterson 6 run (kick failed) Hamilton--Single Turville 40
Winnipeg--Hanson 78 punt return (Rebholz kick) Hamilton--Safety
Wind--S 8 mph. Temperature--39 F. Field--muddy. Sky--cloudy, light rain.

Rushing. Hamilton: Patterson 3-9, 6L. Smiley 7-15, 8L. Timmis, 6-1, 2L. Ferraro 4-12, 6L. Turville 2-8, 13L. Wright 1-1. Craig 1-1. Winnipeg: Fritz 17-57, 8L. Kabat 5-30, 10L. Hanson 7-41, 10L. James 4-minus 1, 2L. Rebholz 3-3, 1L. Roseborough 2-8, 5L.

Receiving. Hamilton: Patterson 2-46, 26L. Winnipeg: Marquardt 1-23. Kabat 1-33. Perpich 1-36.

Passing. Hamilton: Ferraro 2/14, 46 yds, 2 int. Welch 0/1. Winnipeg: Rebholz 3/5, 92 yds, 1 int, 2 TDs.

Punting. Hamilton: Welch 9 for 355, 39.4 avg, 55L. Turville 16 for 660, 41.3 avg, 57L, 1 FG att for 25. Winnipeg: Perpich 2 for 93, 46.5 avg, 50L. Kabat 13 for 365, 28.1 avg, 45L, 2 FG att for 53, 36L. Rebholz 7 for 182, 26.0 avg, 40L.

Punt Returns. Hamilton: Welch 1-0. Turville 8-32, 10L. Ferraro 1-3. Patterson 5-38, 11L. Smiley 1-20. Winnipeg: Hanson 15-339, 78L, 1 TD. Rebholz 3-26, 20L.

Kickoff Returns. Hamilton: Ferraro 1-0. Smiley 1-0. Turville 1-2. Reed 1-0 (own). Winnipeg: Fritz 2-30, 30L. Rebholz 1-10. Hanson 0-5 (lateral).

Interceptions. Hamilton: Wright 1-0. Winnipeg: Oja 1-10. Hanson 1-4.

Team Statistics

(W)Wpg (H)Ham
First Downs
—Run (W)4 (H)2
--Pass (W)3 (H)2
--Penalty (W)3 (H)3
Rushes—Yards (W)38-138 (H)24-47
Passes—Complete (W)5-3 (H)15-2
Passing Yards (W)92 (H)46
Yards Lost (W)22 (H)32
Total Yards (W)208 (H)61
Punts—Yards (W)24-693 (H)28-1093
Punt Returns—Yards (W)18-365 (H)16-93
Kickoff Returns—Yards (W)3-45 (H)4-2
Interceptions—Yards (W)2-14 (H)1-0
Fumbles—Lost (W)3-3 (H)3-2
Penalties—Yards (W)9-90 (H)7-65


[b]Some ammendments

1887 [/b]- First Manitoba championship played. The Winnipeg Football Club defeated the St.John's Football Club two games to one.

October 2 - Winnipeg Football Club (Winnipegs) 39 - Regina North West Mounted Police (Rough Riders) 4
October 3 - Regina NWMP def Royal School Mounted Infantry (unable to locate score).

May 26 - First western championship.
Winnipegs 10 (one goal & one try) - Moosomin 0 - game played at Regina, NWT.

Oct 29 - Ottawa City Football Club uses the name 'Rough Riders' for the first time. The team also unveiled new Red and Black jerseys for this game.

Ottawa joins the IRFU and is known as the Ottawa City Football Club or Ottawas

Ottawa had been called Senators off and on since before WWI.

Ottawa would not change its name back to Rough Riders until 1931.

Sept 21 - First legal pass was thrown in a game in Winnipeg. In the 1st quarter of this game, Ronnie Gay of the Winnipeg Tammany Tigers intercepted a pass thrown by the Winnipeg St.John's. Unable to determine who threw the ball. This preceded the pass in the Edmonton-Calgary game by a couple of hours.

The Winnipeg Rugby Club was awarded a franchise on May 14 at the annual meeting of the MRFU. June 10 was when the first set of officers was elected.

Oct 3 - prior to an exhibition game against the CNR team from Montreal (Nationals) Ottawa announced that the team would be called the Rough Riders. The team also changed its colours to black and white for one season before returning to red and black in 1932. Ottawa went 24 years without being called the Rough Riders.

The Winnipeg St.John's and the Winnipegs did not amalgamate to field a stronger team. The St.John's suspended operations (originally for one year) so that they could their finances in order. Attempts were made to have another men's club or sports club operate the St.John's team for 1933. When those attempts failed, the players were dispersed between the Winnipegs and the Garrison. The Garrison was an army team and only accepted service men. The Garrison claimed the one eligible player with the remainder of the players joining the Winnipegs. The Winnipegs operated two teams in 1933. The 'A' team was called the Winnipegs and adopted blue (sometimes described a purple) jerseys. They were not blue and gold until 1934. The 'B' kept the old green jerseys and adopted the name 'Shamrocks'.

The team was simply known as the Winnipegs. 'Pegs is just a short form that was often used in newspapers. The team was never called the Winnipeg 'Pegs.

This also might be of interest to some of you. It is a timeline of East-West relations during the pre-modern era.

...this alone should have led to dissolution of the west from the confederation and a civil war to establish a free West Canada state:

1927 - The Regina Roughriders repeated as western champions and this time they were willing to play for the Grey Cup because Toronto Balmy Beach won the east. The Beaches team refused to accept the challenge. The Balmy Beach argument was that their fans should not be expected to pay to see an inferior team play. The CRU intervened and sided with the western team. It was not up to the Balmy Beach team to determine who could and could not play for the Grey Cup.
Toronto Balmy Beach reluctantly agreed to play the game and then started a campaign asking their fans to boycott the game. If the fans did not show up for the game then it would be a financial disaster for the Regina Roughriders. In the end, the Regina Roughriders withdrew their challenge for the Grey Cup and for the third time in four years, the Grey Cup champions were determined without a game being played.

...terrible gamesmanship, smug easterners of the day...

As for the 1884 Dominion Championship Final....This is Huntley Drummond's autograph....


Not Huntley Drummond! I looked everywhere for that guy's autograph back in nineteen ought six. Back in those days we called football "roundball" and we used a turnip instead of a pigskin. You see, back in those days, rich men would ride around in Zeppelins, dropping coins on people, and one day I seen J. D. Rockefeller flying by. So I run of the house with a big washtub..

...Anyway, about the washtub. I just used it that morning to wash my turkey, which in those days was known as a walking bird. We'd always have walking bird on Thanksgiving with all the trimmings: cranberries, injun eyes, and yams stuffed with gunpowder. Then we'd all watch football, which in those days was called baseball.

And that's when the "essence" as some would say distinguishing Canadian rugby football from American football ceased to be. Bring on 4 downs now I say to bring new generations of young fans in that want more uniformity, not complete, but more uniformity into the game that they can relate to. And the NFL is what most young fans relate to when speaking of gridiron in NA and probably most older fans as well.

Give it a rest Earl. :roll: