Skip to content

Cool and Unusual Helmets and Uniforms from the Great White North…East

leo 1126 550

Click to enlarge

By Phil Hecken with Leo Strawn, Jr.

Gonna be a (relatively) short post today — just the lede, one sub and ticker — but it’s a great one: Part III of Leo Strawn’s fantastic look-back at the unis and helmets of the Canadian Football League. Hope everyone in the lower 48 (and Alaska/Hawai’i) had a wonderful Thanksgiving and, if you’re one of those types — survived Black Friday.

Let’s get right to the good stuff. Here’s Leo with …

.. .. .. ..

Cool and Unusual Helmets and Uniforms from the Great White North…East
By Leo Strawn, Jr.

As the CFL winds down toward the 104th Grey Cup, I will pick up where I left off, this time sharing some (I think) cool and (definitely) unusual Canadian Football uniforms from the eastern part of Canada.

I would be remiss if I did not mention Scott Grant of Ottawa, Ontario, whose photos have appeared in Leo’s World during the course of these Canadian football articles. Some of the older photos on his site are credited to Ted Grant, so it seems this is a tradition handed down through their family. In addition to looking for photos on image searches, I’ve poured through literally thousands of photos on Scott’s website, looking for references of old helmets and uniforms. His site is an interesting glimpse of CFL uniform history (and more specifically the Ottawa franchises, which we’ll get to shortly). You can check out (and order) his photos here. (If you do scour over them, be advised that not all of the names and years are 100% accurate, so you may have to do a bit of extra research for accuracy.)

Two weeks ago we began this journey north of the border, starting with a general overview in week one, then moving on to a more specific look at some helmets and uniforms from the western provinces last week.

Before checking out uniforms from the east, here’s a couple of updates from last week:

I wasn’t sure exactly what year the Roughriders changed from Regina wearing red and black to Saskatchewan wearing green and white because I was finding different answers on different sites. Wade Heidt offered this link regarding Saskatchewan history from the team’s website. It’s well worth the time it takes to read. (By the way, the answer is: 1948.)

Will S did some amazing research and posted in the comments regarding Calgary’s horseshoe helmets from 1960 and 1961 and another alternate Stampeders lid along with a BC alt helmet from 2003, none of which I had ever seen in any format other than graphic interpretations. Check out the photos and videos in last week’s comments by hitting the link for last week’s article. Thanks, Will!

As I noted previously, I’m essentially ignoring which franchise incarnation is which and just focusing on locations, but I will be mentioning a few more of the historical football clubs today. Also, as promised, the mono red uniforms for les Alouettes I ran across last week (too late to include in the first article) are in the section on Montréal! The last section of today’s piece features some preseason photos of CFL teams from the east and west.

line of canadian flags

Okay, time to sit back and crack open a Molson as we head East:



Hamilton: In addition to the Tiger-Cats, Hamilton was also home to other clubs of note, including the Alerts, who won the fourth Grey Cup, the first for the city of Hamilton, back in 1912. The Ti-Cats are an amalgamation of two clubs from Hamilton, the Tigers and the Wildcats. Hamilton threw back to the Wildcats, whose colours were red and black, a few years ago. The Tigers date back to the earliest days of football on the North American continent and from the club’s earliest days they had a penchant for stripes, a tradition that they have revisited over the decades. In addition to stripes, they also sported a large H on front of their jerseys during their early history.

At the time of the merger of the two clubs in 1950, Hamilton wore white or yellow helmets with a number on front. They were definitely yellow by at least 1954. In the 1957 Grey Cup, the Tiger-Cats were wearing their classic center striping (the guy in the circle of that photo is a fan named Dave Humphrey, who tripped Hamilton’s Dave Bawel on his way to the end zone after an interception). They kept that wide white/black/wide white striping pattern for decades, using it with blank sides, with numbers on sides, with the TC logo in the mid 60s and, starting in the early 70s, with the more familiar pouncing tiger logo. However, the first incarnation of that logo appeared for a single season in 1967 with a red star behind the tiger.

Another oddity regarding the pouncing tiger was the low position on the side of the helmet, sometimes nearly touching the ear hole. The shell colour was changed to black in the 80s, and the logo modified about a decade ago. Hamilton has worn a few notable throwbacks and alternates. In 2006, they wore these helmets in the Labour Day Classic. The Ti-Cats threw back to the TC logo on yellow shells in 2009. They reportedly wore a black shell variation also in ’09, though I haven’t seen a photo. (Anyone?) Their signature series helmets featured a logo on one side and a number on the other. That helmet also featured a tapered stripe in the center, which may have been a nod to an earlier helmet design (and another I need help with, this time on the year).

I suspect these cool helmets with a tapered stripe were worn prior to the classic white/black/white center stripes appearing around 1957, but it’s possible they were a special helmet worn in the late 50s or maybe even the early 60s (note the single bar facemasks.) For some reason, when I found that video I dated the screen shots as 1959, though now I can’t recall why. Those screen grabs come from this short video clip specifically referring to them as Hamilton while referencing their victory over the AFL Buffalo Bills in 1961, but the Ti-Cats wore their yellow helmets with the classic center striping in that game (that pic is also included in the section on CFL preseason photos, below).

line of canadian flags



Montréal: The largest city in Québec has also been home to several Canadian football clubs. The AAA Winged Wheelers became the first team outside of Ontario to win the Coupe Grey in the first game played for the Cup outside of Ontario, at Molson Stadium against the Regina Roughriders in 1931. (Not sure which team is which in that photo, sorry, but note the huge numbers on both teams’ jerseys.)

Taking a page out of the 1933-35 NFL Boston Redskins style guide, the Montreal Indians wore these in their inaugural season of 1936 and are the team wearing square numbers in this photo of a game with the Argos in 1937. The Alouettes were born in 1946 and may be the only team in history to wear three different designs on front of their helmet. The original Als wore these helmets, which featured their logo and were worn at least through 1948 when they donned these cool jerseys and pants for the first time in an exhibition game against the Brooklyn Dodgers of the AAFC. (Pic of that game is also included in the section on CFL preseason photos, below). It appears they wore those same helmets in their first Grey Cup appearance and victory in 1949.

By the time of their next Grey Cup in 1954, the logo was gone. In the late 50s, their red helmets featured a single white center stripe. For the 1960s, the Alouettes wore their second different design on the front of their helmets: lark wings that went across the side from the front. They threw back to this in 2009, albeit with the wings separated further apart. I noted last week that I had located a mono red uniform for the Als. They wore these for at least part of the 1964 and 1965 seasons.

After that, Montréal added dark green to their colour scheme. The early 1970s ushered in another unique look for the Larks, with a lot of emphasis on green. In 1974, the Alouettes dropped the green for blue and wore their third different helmet with a front design, winning their third Grey Cup in these lids. In ’75 they moved the logo onto the side of the helmet, but kept those beautiful jerseys into the early 80s. After fans endured a few years with the Concordes, Montréal returned to that later Alouettes logo for a season with a more ordinary jersey and nice overall look.

When Montréal returned to the fold, they added silver to their colour scheme with a new logo, throwing back to those late 1970s uniforms in 2010 and reportedly wearing an alt white helmet with the new logo that same year, though I haven’t seen a photo of that one. (Anyone?) More recently, Montréal has used these alternates as a nod to the 425 squadron of the RCAF who were known as the Alouettes. I wouldn’t mind if they used these helmets full time.

line of canadian flags



Ottawa: The Ottawa Football Club wore some simple striping in the 1920s and newsboy caps were obviously allowed as headgear. Those simple sleeve and socks stripes can be seen on the Senators in 1925, the year of Ottawa’s first Grey Cup appearance and victory. In the late 30s and into the 1940s, the Rough Riders added a swath of red (?) on the shoulders to go along with their simple sleeve striping. For at least part of the 1951 season, they wore striped shoulders (see entire photo in CFL preseason photos, below) reminiscent of Calgary’s look from the late 40s and early 50s. Ottawa’s jerseys were relatively simple in style for the remainder of the 1950s.

Beginning in the late 50s and continuing into the 1960s, the pants had this interesting stripe down the sides, and the east Riders later wore them with these innovative jerseys. Those unique pants remained a part of Ottawa’s repertoire for a number years, even when the Rough Riders began using the classic black shelled helmets with the R logo. After wearing red shells in the late 40s and a series of white helmets after that, Ottawa wore a few helmets you may not be aware of prior to wearing their classic R.

In 1961, they wore these cool lightning bolts on their helmets. That was the same season Winnipeg also wore bolts. Sadly, I haven’t found a photo of the two teams wearing those lids against one another. (Anyone?) The following season, the east Riders wore a variation of their 1961 look, changing the bolt design and adding black numbers below. During the 1963 season, Ottawa went to red shells and a bucking horse logo with a lot of subtle detail in the design. The following season would be the first appearance of the R helmets. But for part of the 1964 season, Ottawa wore a helmet I bet you’ve never seen: a black shell with red center stripe and a double R (one red, one white) inside a half red/half white ellipse on the sides.

After about two and a half decades of their classic helmet, the Rough Riders again went to a double R logo, this time with flames, then to this logo on gold and later on black shells. For the few seasons the Renegades existed, they used this helmet. Ottawa is now home to the Redblacks, and I have to say I like their helmets and logo. (Now if they would only change the nickname.) I also want to acknowledge the signature series plaid helmet for its uniqueness.

line of canadian flags



Toronto: The Argos, who became Dominion champions for the first time in the sixth Grey Cup game in 1914, have traditionally had a penchant for stripes much like their provincial rivals located 60 kilometers away. It looks like Toronto primarily wore hooped jerseys and socks into the 1930s. At some point during that decade, they began wearing jerseys with wide swaths of contrasting colour on their shoulders leading down to the cuffs and down the sides. The Boatmen wore this style throughout the 40s also, both dark and light jerseys, until around 1950, apparently always with white helmets.

The 50s saw a return to stripes, this time on the sleeves. Possibly for the first time, the light version of these jerseys along with the helmets appear to be Cambridge blue, although they did also wear white helmets with the light blue jerseys. It’s hard to tell from black and white photos, but there may have been a white version of this jersey, too. The Argonauts dropped the heavily striped sleeves for a more ordinary look starting in the mid-50s, wearing both light blue and white shells, at times with numbers on the sides, over the course of several seasons, including white numbers on light blue shells in 1960.

In the early and mid 1960s, Toronto, like other Canadian teams we’ve looked at, went through several different helmets, including three helmets with boat logos on white shells, and for all three I have seen graphics but no photos, with the exception of these two pics, each one showing a portion of each of the latter two of those linked graphics. (Anyone?) In 1964, the Argos began wearing their classic A on white shells, though not in every game.

By 1969, the A appeared on plain blue shells and stripes reappeared at least partway down the sleeve. They remained that way as the Joe Theismann era got underway in 1971. The Argos added stripes to the pants in ’72 and then also to the helmet in Joe’s final season in Canada, 1973. When A.D. played in ’76, the helmets were the same but matched with mono powder blue uniforms, at times. Around that time, the more familiar boat logo first appeared on blue shells, a helmet they would use for over a decade, followed by another rapid succession of different helmet designs. Eventually, the shield from that boatman logo became the logo as it is currently and has been for a little over a decade.

P.S. I mentioned this Argos helmet earlier and after I finished writing this and shipped it off to UW, I just stumbled across this circa 1963 photo of that helmet and wanted to make sure it was included!

line of canadian flags


CFL Preseason Games

CFL preseason games: In the course of putting this together I ran across a number of preseason photos and I thought I may as well share these too. (Some are also listed above but repeated here so the exhibition game pics are all in one section.) Here are some photos and newspaper articles for Canada v USA exhibitions: Alouettes v AAFC Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948. Ottawa v NY Giants in 1950 and in 1951. Toronto Argos v Chicago Cardinals in 1959, v Steelers in 1960 and v St. Louis Cardinals in 1961. The Als v Chicago Bears and Ti-Cats v AFL Buffalo Bills, both in 1961.

CFL exhibition photos include this pic of the 1963 preseason matchup between Calgary and Ottawa which featured a field full of blank red helmets (Riders with a black center stripe). Winnipeg and Calgary both wore blank shells in 1969 preseason. Anthony Davis played with the WFL Southern California Sun in 1975, so this must be a preseason pic with the Argos wearing blank blue shells in 1976. In 1971 and 1972, Ottawa wore black shells with a single red stripe. Plain black shells for the preseason east Riders in 1973, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1984 and 1992. They wore a plain gold helmet in the ’95 preseason and plain black with center striping the following preseason.

And…one final photo, just because this helmet would look so cool on the field! Plus, it reminds me of ol’ Captain Canuck!

line of canadian flags

This has been a major effort, but researching all of this was also an awesome journey. Sometimes it’s fun to see just how far the rabbit hole goes, though I must admit for weeks now I’ve been having the same recurring nightmare consisting of moose and beavers eating back bacon smothered in maple syrup in a midst of a blizzard! Thankfully, Rush is always playing YYZ off in the distance…

Sadly, due to circumstances beyond my control, I have to make a change in my approach to Leo’s World. Maybe I’ll be able to continue next year in a (roughly) bi-weekly mode, or maybe it will just be every once in a while that I surprise Phil with an installment and let him post it if/when he wants. But, for now, I’ve got some big, time consuming, fish to fry before I can get back to enjoying life. The quicker I can steamroll obstacles, the quicker I can get back to having spare time to devote to things in my life that I take part in purely for the fun of it…like Leo’s World. Hopefully I’ll at least be able to produce a Leo’s World or two later in the winter. We’ll see what the new year brings.

So, since I probably won’t have a Leo’s World to share in December, let me take the time now to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season!

That’s all for now, though. Hope you enjoyed!

Till next time…


.. .. .. ..

Thanks, Leo — and thanks for all you’ve contributed to the blog over the past several months. Leo’s explained (kinda) his circumstances to me in private, and all I can say is let’s all hope everything works out OK. After Paul’s heartfelt piece this past Thanksgiving, and now hearing of Leo’s obstacles, I think we can all safely say we’ll be glad when 2016 is over. My best to you and yours Leo, and let’s all hope you’re back sooner rather than later!

line 2



Pittsburgh Penguins Go For The Gold

Yesterday, in a somewhat surprising move, the Pittsburgh Penguins had their 2017 Stadium Series jerseys (they’ll play the Philadelphia Flyers on February 25th at Heinz Field) revealed. They’re pretty gold.

Check out the screengrabs from NBC (who revealed the unis yesterday — you can click to enlarge):

Pens SS 1

As you can see, the Pens use the gold color they had from 1981-84, but the skating penguin is not inside of a triangle for this incarnation (maybe because they want the logo to be visible from the cheap seats?). Or maybe it’s just to sell more jerseys, I’m not sure.


Instead, they take the triangle and (in this example) use it for the “C” (Crosby’s jersey was shown).

I’m guessing the “A” jersey(s) will follow suit. Pretty nice. You can sorta see there’s a keystone logo on the left sleeve…

Let’s look at the sleeve:

Pens SS 2

Nice — inside the keystone (Pennsylvania is the “Keystone State,” if you weren’t already aware) is the logo “City of Champions” (how original)[edit: Pittsburgh was the first city to use this nickname in relation to sports, but it’s not the only city to use the term] and 4 stars, signifying the four Stanley Cups the Penguins have won.


The triangle is replicated in the keystone, by two crossed hockey sticks, which is also a neat design feature.

So far so good. Unfortunately, we still need to see the back (which is apparently shown here).

Pens SS 3

Ugh. Why do teams constantly fall back on the faux-military font-tripe these numbers have? You want them visible from a distance, so in this regard, they’re good — but there’s not need to use this particular font-style. A simple block would have been more than sufficient. I can’t imagine this would be a selling point (or a deal-breaker, for that matter), but it seems a wee-bit overdone. And the color, style, and front/side of the jersey were so nice. The NOB also appears to be done in military font as well.

There’s also a patch on the right shoulder — it wasn’t shown but it’s likely the Stadium Series patch shown here.

Not bad overall. I love the Penguins in gold — perhaps this will become an new alternate once the Stadium Series is complete — and let’s hope if so, they’ll wear it as their LIGHT sweater against opposing dark sweaters.

Our pal Chris Creamer had a nice writeup here and you can also read here.

You can also look at a video of the new jersey here:

So what do you guys think? Good? Stupid? Somewhere in between?

line 2



Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: With the sad passing of Carol Brady Florence Henderson late Thursday night, here’s a photo of most of the Brady Bunch stars (where are Greg and Mike???) in Hollywood Stars uniforms, in 1973 (from Bruce Menard). I also see Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, but who’s the kid in the blue turtleneck (Bruce thinks it might be Florence’s real life son)? … Check out this awesome “vintage” Philadelphia A’s shirt. Says Berserker, “I found an awesome sweatshirt while cleaning. Don’t care it doesn’t fit.”

NFL/CFL News: The Philadelphia Eagles will be wearing their black uniforms on Monday Night when they host the Green Bay Packers (from ThomPucks). … Colin Kaepernick apparently wore a t-shirt back in August that appeared to show support for Fidel Castro (who coincidentally passed away yesterday), so naturally this has people upset. … Speaking of controversial attire, Richard Paloma asks, “were you aware of the cleats Colts’ long-snapper Matt Overton was wearing Thursday night? It’s making the rounds in the law enforcement circles. (I went to high school with his dad and we were cops together at neighboring agencies).” … Not really pro football, per se, but check out the quality socks/helmet stripes/contrasting nameplate on this Santa bobble head (from Trayton Miller). … The Ottawa RedBlacks and Calgary Stampeders will compete for the Grey Cup tomorrow, but apparently interest in the CFL the game is suffering “from benign neglect” (or Toronto’s ‘crowded sports scene’), which is a damn shame (from TommyTheCPA). … The Miami Dolphins will again wear their beautiful throwbacks this Sunday (h/t Hammer). … Here’s a thrift store find even Jimmer Vilk would be jealous of (from Mad Dog Tannen).

College/High School Football News: Neat observation from Griffin Smith: Interesting spelling of champion W/ CFP trophy, “H” from Hofstra and “C” from Creighton. … This was a mix up right? NYS Class D State Championship Game: both teams with white jerseys. Orange/ red pants. Submitter Ryan Moore adds, “Too confusing for me.” Here’s another look (from Section4Football). And a couple even more confusing views from Rężłük Rüłęś. And if you’re still curious, here’s an article about the confusing game (from Rick DiRubbo). … THE Game is today. Here’s a photo of the 1970 game (from 216 Sports History). Other than the maize trou, those unis have remained remarkably consistent. Also note the stirrups the refs used to wear. … One of the more storied rivalries in NCAAFB takes place today with USC hosting Notre Dame. Check out this gathering of the greats: Pop Warner, Babe Ruth, Knute Rockne, Christy Walsh, Lou Gehrig, Howard Jones & Tad Jones (November 25, 1927); from Bruce Menard. … FSU will be honoring Monk Bonasorte with this decal today (h/t Victory Cheeseballs). … It looks like Indiana high schools now get jersey patches for the state championship game (from Matt Barnthouse).

Hockey News: The Fort Wayne Komets, an ECHL team, wore military themed sweaters on Thursday evening (from Jeff Tasca). … “It’s well known that NHL teams have a special ‘trophy’ that whomever played the best receives that night. After the next game – that player chooses who they thought earned the trophy that night,” says Dustin Semore. “Most of the ‘Path the Winter Classic’ seasons on HBO shows us what each team has. The Captials have an Abe Lincoln beard and hat. The Rangers have a broadway fedora. Watching the Nashville Predators’ ‘Beneath the Ice’ showed that the player-given trophy is a large chain necklace fastened with a large rusty lock. No clue behind the reasoning. But it’s a fun insight to what the players “play for” each night.

College/High School Hoops News: Raise your hand if you remember this: the 2002 NIT when Syracuse and South Carolina both showed up in white unis, which led ‘cuse to change into their orange tops (but white shorts). More here (thanks to Patrick Rock). … On Thanksgiving night, Nebraska played Dayton. Tweeter John Bedell points out the Cornhuskers wore white jerseys, with white NOB. “Impossible to see.” … “The Mountain” may well be the prettiest floor in West Virginia/on East Coast. Mingo Central High School Miners do it right! says WesWilson. … Last evening, against UNC Asheville, the Kansas Jayhawks wore their *white ice* unis (which have white NOB and no piping); from Matt Straus. … The SDSU Aztecs will wear their turquoise (“N7”) uniforms on Monday (from Devin). … The Dayton Flyers wore their blue alternates yesterday (from Tom Hirt). … “As I was researching older Auburn basketball uniforms,” writes Clint Richardson, “I learned that they debuted the infamous Tiger Stripe uniforms for the 1998-99 post season, and then changed them a few weeks into the 1999-00 season.”

Grab Bag: adidas and Surrey have entered into a new cricket kit partnership (from Jimmer Vilk, who adds, “They’re switching to (adidas) from Under Armour). And it’s good to see the tops are so free of ads (/sarcasm). Jim likes the colour of the jersey. … “The matte phenomenon is not just limited to helmets” notes Mary Lynn Delfino. … A moving company called “Knights (Transportation?)” has a K logo that uses the negative space to for a Knight logo (good spot by MM) — that was spotted in California.

line 2



And that will do it for today. Big, yuuuuuuuge, tremendous thanks to Leo, not just for today’s outstanding effort, but for all his contributions to Uni Watch. Let us hope his hiatus is short!

I’ll be back with a full SMUW tomorrow, as we begin to wind the College Football regular season down (lots of great rivalry games today). See you tomorrow, but until then…

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“The bad news is that the new Lynchburg Hillcats script is unreadable. The good news is that “Hillcats” is a terrible name, so an unreadable script is an upgrade.”

— R. Scott Rogers

line 2



Comments (53)

    Two things – the Penguins Stadium Series jersey has a lot of the fonts that the Steelers use. Appropriate since the game is in Heinz Field.

    Second – I miss the early Hollywood Stars games that the Dodgers had once a year during the summer. I went to a lot of those games in the early 70s and stars played in them. Now the games are “meh” and have a lot of “who?”.

    Much in the same way that Dancing with the Stars should be renamed dancing with the moderately known

    Those Knights moving trucks are a highlight of road trips for me. The company varies its trucks’ color schemes, so you see the trailer, the K, and the negative space in different colors. And they’re always well thought-out combinations. Someone at that company cares a lot about design.

    I always love seeing those trucks. Even the purple ones.
    That photo doesn’t do it justice. That vertical rod is blocking the horse head.

    Apparently the different colors are for different types of shipments. Here’s some of their branding information:


    “…I also see Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, but who’s the kid in the blue turtleneck (Bruce thinks it might be Florence’s real life son)?”

    Another possibility for the boy in the turtleneck is Walter Matthau’s son Charlie who would have been around 10-11 years old at the time.

    I concur, sure looks like him. He was the A’s player in “The Bad News Bears” that confronted Tanner Boyle after Kelly was making all the plays in the penultimate game.
    “Hey Tanner, does he go to the bathroom for ya, too?”

    Still my favorite movie ever.

    I don’t think the Pens’ stencil-style numbers are necessary a nod to the military. Pittsburgh has always been an industrial town. The Steelers’ wordmark has always used a stencil-style font.

    Agreed. My first impression upon seeing the initial release was that the stencil letters were a nod to the Steelers, and I figured there was a good chance the numbers and NOB would get that treatment as well.

    I’m a bit surprised by Phil’s reaction; I’d have thought he would’ve been able to make that connection.

    I’ll give you the link uses the stencil lettering, but so too do most link; But I’ve never seen Steelers numbers depicted in this font. They used classic block and now the futura condensed.

    I guess I’ve been link when I see that link

    If it’s a nod to the Stillers (which makes sense, given the locale), I’m fine with the stencil NOB, but I’m still not a fan of the number font. Block or futura would have been a better tribute.

    There is something to be said for consistency between the letter font and the number font, which this jersey does have. It seems that it’s a clear nod to Pittsburgh’s industrial history.

    Thanks Leo. Great stuff! – nicely showcases the deep history of the Canadian game. Some great unis. Hope all works out well for you real soon.


    Phil might disagree, but your contributions should be about quality, not quantity. Much more important, best of luck in dealing with whatever you have to deal with.

    Why would I disagree with this?

    If I’m hoping for more of Leo’s contributions, it’s only because they’re so awesome — but his quality is always top notch. If he never (and lets hope not) has another entry here, we’re far, far richer for everything Leo has contributed. I’m merely hoping for his troubles to dissipate as quickly as possible.

    Sorry, Phil. All I was trying to say is that I’m sure you like having the content, and my tongue was somewhere in my cheek. We are, in fact, in complete agreement.

    Lots of excellent CFL research again Leo! You are right – I have never seen that double R logo of the Eastern Riders from 1964. I Have some observations to add:

    – 1967 Hamilton Tiger-Cats helmet. The image behind the leaping tiger is the Canadian Centennial logo. Kind of looks like a maple leaf made out of triangles. 1967 was the nation’s centennial year.

    – The Hamilton Flying Wildcats wore red and blue. The Ti-Cats wore red and black for the 2013 throwback. Test marketing found that fans felt blue was not preferred to keep the throwback true, as it was a colour of the archrival Toronto Argonauts. It was decided to change the stripes from blue to black for the throwback. Attached is an article explaining this – near the bottom.


    -You had mentioned you had not seen a photo of the Alouettes white helmet with present day logo. They reintroduced that helmet this year as an alternate to the silver one. The white helmet became a helmet they most commonly wore on the road.


    In retrospect, I think I knew that about the red image behind the tiger. Referring to it as a star when I was writing didn’t sound right and I kept thinking “I need to look that up for accuracy” and simply forgot by the time I got everything put together because there was so much info to cover. Thanks for the correction.

    Good info on the Wildcats. Everything I’ve seen said they were red/white or red/white/black.


    Though it seemed strange to me when first announced, I am used to and now like the name Redblacks for the Ottawa football team:

    -The team basically gave a nod to tradition and adopted a modern uniform look of the old Rough Riders, including a modern version of the classic “R” on the helmet. The team name needed to start with “R”. A rebirth but they just could not bring back the same name in today’s CFL. Reminds me of how the Washington Nationals basically adopted a modern version of the Washington Senators uniforms. Same look – different name.

    -Ottawa is a bilingual city. The nickname translates to Rouge et Noir. This style of team nickname is not foreign to us and has been used for French team names in Quebec. Notably the Canadian university football powerhouse Laval Rouge et Or (and the not so powerful Sherbrooke Vert et Or).

    -The name is really no different than the Browns, Blues, Reds, etc. It just happens to be 2 colours in the name.

    – CFL teams in general have quirky, unique team names. This one fits right in with the group.

    I was about to post the same comments about the RedBlacks and their use of colours, it’s about that French market where football is extremely popular.

    What I find odd though is how their nickname is different in French than English. Because of the English translation of their French nickname being Red and Black.

    I don’t mind RougeNoir. They should have just went with that. It doesn’t sound campy in French like it does in English. And using a French nickname as the main (not a second language alt) nickname would have fit the definition of ‘quirkiness’ just fine, IMHO.

    The problem for me is (and I’m sure I’m not the only one), ever since they announced the name, all I can think about when I hear “RedBlacks” is…


    And somehow, because of that, it seems fitting that this Ottawa team wears plaid. :)

    I always liked the uniqueness of having two of nine teams with basically the same name and it was completely understandable because they came from different leagues. I know it was impossible to return to that name because it’s all one league now and sad that Ottawa had to fold and lost the name Rough Riders in the first place.

    “And somehow, because of that, it seems fitting that this Ottawa team wears plaid. :)” Which reminds me of another classic moment in Canadian tv. link

    great work as always. thanks for posting the Scott Grant photo link.

    Don’t have much free time today during the day to try looking for CFL missing pics but here’s a quick find for the 1961 Winnipeg vs Ottawa lightning bolt helmet matchup:

    they also met up in the 1961 preseason:

    Wow, thanks Will!

    While cleaning up bookmarks (and jpgs so they’re all in one spot for future reference rather than scattered all over the hard drive), I discovered a couple of other photos I wish I would have noticed a day earlier. One of them is the ’62 Ottawa helmets in color. Maybe next year I can do an update on the CFL stuff.


    Not sure if your comment about the sleeve logo, ” ‘City of Champions’ (how original)” was sarcastic or not, but Pittsburgh was using the term in 1979 after the Pirates won the World Series and the Steelers won the Super Bowl. Granted the Penguins didn’t win a championship that year and City of Champions doesn’t really apply here since only the Penguins won a championship last year, so they may be jumping on the bandwagon, but the nickname is something that has been associated with Pittsburgh before.

    I’ve edited the original text to reflect that Pittsburgh was apparently the first city to use this term in relation to sports teams — but they’re far from the only city to use it.

    My original comment was more directed to Cleveland, which (until the Indians lost the World Series) seemed to be taking delight in using the term (“Cleveland: City of Champions…and the Browns”). It is cliched now, but I’ll give full props to the Burgh for being the originator.

    Still, there are many cities who could (and do) claim the title (warranted or not). But in researching it, it seems Pittsburgh was the first to do so, so they’ll get belated props here.

    As much as I wish we had a hockey team in Fort Worth, I think the Komets team referenced in the hockey section belongs to Fort Wayne.

    Hey Phil…Appreciate the shout-out to Fort Worth, but I believe the military hockey sweaters belong to the Fort Wayne Komets…Waiting for a new Fort Worth arena to be built before we get a hockey team back.

    should matt overton be expecting a fine for his cleats? or does the nfl reserve that for players of a certain variety?

    Ohio State just doesn’t look right with those stripeless dark gray helmets and black TV numbers.

    Then again, Michigan still looks odd with the white pants on the road.

    Those (Ohowihate)Ohio State helmets looks just awful. Ruining the look of a classic, and this year, especially meaningful, matchup.

    I actually resisted adding the Ohowihate to my post earlier, just because I felt like I could be jinxing Michigan if I included it. XD

    The black numbers by themselves wouldn’t be so bad, but the helmets, with the added black socks and undershirts, just really wreck the look. It’s BFBS without actually wearing a black jersey.

    I was going to say something about The Ohio State Blackeyes earlier today, but after the way the game turned out, never mind. What a finish, though.

    For many of us who always wondered “how would OSU look if they ditched their classic helmet and wore a steelers lid instead?”, well now we know.




    Sometimes the comments get hung up on me too. No worries, glad to have the links. :)

    Thanks again!

    Just looked at last week’s Western team uniforms, the Calgary Stampeders only wore the helmet you can’t find (with the horseshoe and the bucking bronc) once, it was a Friday night game in Edmonton in the return match from the Labour Day Classic, sometime around 2002 or 2003 and Calgary got blown out, which is why it’s hard to find pictures of it. I know for a fact that there’s one still remaining in the Stampeders’ Equipment Manager’s office.

    Will S linked some video in the comments last week, so I do have the game info and some screen grabs from the video, at least.

    Would love to see a crisp photo of that helmet, though!


    Okay, time to sit back and crack open a Molson as we head East
    Uh, if you’re a Ti-Cats fan (as I used to be) you crack open a Steeler.
    For the love of Bernie Ruoff, please bring back the yellow helmets, Hamilton!

    Molson gave me an all-expense paid trip for me and a friend to see Metallica above the treeline, fed us well and all the beer we could drink.

    If I’m going to plug a Canadian brew, it will always be Molson. ;)

    (Not sure which team is which in that photo, sorry, but note the huge numbers on both teams’ jerseys.)
    They look just right to me…

    spent some time going through some online newspapers and online archives having a tough time finding much of anything for those 60’s Argos helmets so started looking elsewhere.

    CFL Football Hall of Fame and Museum site has this photo from 1963:

    A fair portion of the helmet of Dick Shatto in this video (at around 5:48) – he played for the Argos from 1954-65.

    Thanks again!

    Yeah, that 1963 photo is in the article, at the bottom (P.S. section) of Toronto. I found that literally within a couple of hours of sending LW to Phil and had him update for me. Actually found another one (not as much visibility on Argos as that one) also against BC and the year is 1964. Same unis for both teams, so I’m kind of wondering if that photo you linked isn’t from ’64 also.

    Everything in my life is now on the back burner, though. Can’t spend any time researching for a while. :(

    Appreciate all the links, Will. Cheers!

    You hit on a pet peeve of mine when you wrote “the 4 Stanley Cups the Penguins have won.” Better to say “the 4 times the Penguins have won the Stanley Cup.” There is only one Cup.

Comments are closed.