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Calgary Stampeders
AmericanFootball current event.svg 2012 Calgary Stampeders

Calgary Stampeders logo

Founded 1935
Based in Calgary, Alberta
Home field McMahon Stadium
League Canadian Football League
Division West Division
Colours Red, white, and black
              
Nickname(s) Stamps, Horsemen
Head coach John Hufnagel
General manager John Hufnagel
Owner(s) Group headed by John Forzani,
Ted Hellard, and Doug Mitchell
Grey Cup wins 1948, 1971, 1992,
1998, 2001, 2008
Mascot(s) Ralph the Dog
Website www.stampeders.com
Uniform CFL CAL Jersey

The Calgary Stampeders are a professional football team based in Calgary, Alberta, competing in the West Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL). The Stampeders play their home games at McMahon Stadium and are the third-oldest active franchise in the CFL. The Stampeders were officially founded in 1935, although there were clubs in Calgary as early as 1909.[1] The Stampeders have won 17 Western Division Championships and one Northern Division Championship. They have appeared in 12 Grey Cup Championship games, and have won the league's Grey Cup championship six times; most recently in 2008. The team has a rivalry with the Edmonton Eskimos (See the Battle of Alberta.)

Team factsEdit

Formerly known as: Bronks 1935 to 1944
Helmet design: red background with a white, running horse. This design has been in place, with slight variations, since the 1968 season.
Uniform colours: Red, Black and White.
Stadiums: Mewata Park Stadium (1939–1959), McMahon Stadium (1960–present)
Western regular season championship: 17 — 1937, 1938, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1965, 1967, 1971, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2008, 2010
Northern regular season championship: 1 — 1995
Grey Cup final appearances: 12 (6 victories) — 1948 (won), 1949 (lost), 1968 (lost), 1970 (lost), 1971 (won), 1991 (lost), 1992 (won), 1995 (lost), 1998 (won), 1999 (lost), 2001 (won), 2008 (won)
Main Rivals: Edmonton Eskimos, Saskatchewan Roughriders, BC Lions
2011 Regular Season Record: 11 wins, 7 losses, 0 ties.

Ownership Edit

The Calgary Stampeders Football Club is owned by a Group headed by John Forzani, Ted Hellard, and Doug Mitchell.[2]

Executive Committee Edit

As of 2011 the Calgary Stampeders Executive Committee consisted of five people: John Forzani, Chairman; Doug Mitchell, Governor; Bob Viccars, Executive Member; Lyle Bauer, President/Chief Operating Officer and Stan Schwartz, Executive Vice-President/Consultant to the Executive Committee.[3]

MascotsEdit

Ralph the DogEdit

Ralph the Dog was the first ever CFL mascot and the only mascot in the CFL with four Grey Cup rings. Ralph enters his 35th season as the #1 fan and mascot of the Stampeders.[4]

Quick Six the Stampeder touchdown horseEdit

When the Calgary Stampeders score a touchdown at McMahon Stadium, the Stampeder touchdown horse along with its rider leads the charge down the east sidelines while the crowd erupts in unison to celebrate.[5]

Franchise historyEdit

The first time a Calgary team took the field in Canadian football was in 1891 when they faced Edmonton in a home-and-away series.[6] The following years saw the formation of several Calgary-based football teams starting with the Calgary Tigers of the Alberta Rugby Football Union in 1908. This was followed by the likes of Canucks, the 50th Battalion, Altomahs, Tigers for the second time and later the Bronks.

Organized football in Calgary dates back to 1909 with the emergence of the Calgary Tigers in the newly-formed Alberta Rugby Union.[7] The Tigers were a dominant force in provincial football for four years as they captured the Western Canadian Crown in 1911. In 1915 the Tigers gave way to a new team in Calgary — the Calgary Canucks — that only played until 1919, because of World War I. An official league was never formed. In 1923 football returned to Calgary. The "Fiftieth Battalion" was formed, named for the 50th Battalion, CEF, whose veterans' association provided organization support. In 1924 the Fiftieth won the Alberta title but was downed by Winnipeg in the Western final.[8]

In 1924 football in Calgary took a four-year hiatus until the Tigers resurfaced in 1928, and made history that year with the first forward pass in Canadian football.[9][10] In 1931 the Calgary Altomahs began a four-year existence, playing at the 2,000-seat Mewata Stadium. By 1935 the Altomahs had given way to the Calgary Bronks. In 1935, they became part of the Western Interprovincial Football Union. In 1938 the Bronks took the league championship. Senior football in Calgary ended in 1940 when World War II began.

The Stampeders were officially born on September 29, 1945[11] and they took their name from the annual Calgary Stampede held in Calgary.[12] The Calgary Stampede is an annual ten-day rodeo, exhibition and festival held every July in Calgary, Alberta. The Stampede goes back to 1886. In their very first game played on October 22 at Mewata Stadium they beat the Regina Roughriders 12–0 before 4,000 fans in attendance.[13] It was a taste of success to come that decade under the direction of head coach Les Lear and talented stars such as Woody Strode, Paul Rowe, Keith Spaith, Dave Berry, Normie Kwong and Ezzert "Sugarfoot" Anderson.

Grey Cup: In 1948, the Stamps fans who made the trip to Toronto were responsible for turning the Grey Cup into the week-long party it is today. Several faithful travelled by train to Toronto and a classic bit of Grey Cup folklore is Calgary alderman Don Mackay riding a horse into the lobby of the Royal York Hotel.[14][15]

Notable seasonsEdit

League annals show 17 regular season Western Division championship, with three straight coming from 1992 to 1994. 1 Northern regular season championship in 1995. 12 Grey Cup final appearances and 6 Grey Cup Championships.

The beginning: 1945–1949Edit

The Stamps played their first game on October 27, 1945 in Regina against the Roughriders. The result was a 3–1 win. There was no regular season in 1945 and after beating Regina 15–1 in a two-game total-point series, Calgary lost to Winnipeg in the West final.[16]

A perfect season: The year 1948, was perhaps the greatest season in Stamps history, the Stamps became the only professional Canadian football team ever to achieve a perfect season with a record of 12–0 and capping the year with a Grey Cup victory over the Ottawa Rough Riders at Toronto's Varsity Stadium. It was also during that same Grey Cup festival that Calgary fans brought pageantry to the game and made it into a national celebration, featuring pancake breakfasts on the steps of City Hall, starting the Grey Cup parade and even riding horses in the lobby of the Royal York Hotel.[17]

In 1949 Calgary's winning streak continued until October 22, when a 9–6 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders halted the run at 22 wins. It is a record that still stands. They returned to the Grey Cup the following year (1949), with a 13–1 record but lost to the Montreal Alouettes 28–15 in the title game. It would be 19 years until Calgary once again reached the Grey Cup, losing 24–21 to the Ottawa Rough Riders in the 1968 final, and not until 1971 when they were crowned champions, defeating the Toronto Argonauts 14–11.

Growing up 1958–1968Edit

In 1958 Don Luzzi became the first Calgary player to win a CFL Award when he was named the league's Outstanding Lineman. George McMahon was elected president of the Stamps in 1960 and, soon after, plans for a new stadium were announced and construction began. Within 103 days, the club had a sparkling new home and Stamps directors named it McMahon Stadium,[18] after George and his brother Frank. Calgary lost its new-home debut, 38–23 to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

In 1961 Earl "Earthquake" Lunsford set a CFL record by rushing for 1,794 yards in a season. The mark stood until Stamps running back Willie Burden rolled up 1,896 yards in 1975. Tony Pajaczkowski won the CFL Award as top rookie in 1961 and fellow Stampeder Harvery Wylie took the award a year later.

In 1964 running back Lovell Coleman became the first Stampeder to win the Schenley Award as the CFL's Most Outstanding Player. In 1966 Hall of Fame linebacker Wayne "Thumper" Harris was voted the league's best defensive player for the second year in a row. In 1967 Harris was the recipient of the first President's Ring — an award voted on by players and awarded to the Calgary player who best combines performance, sportsmanship and contribution to the team. Quarterback Peter Liske was the league's Most Outstanding Player.

In 1967 head coach Jerry Williams became the first Red and White boss to win the Annis Stukus Trophy, which goes to the CFL's top coach of the year. Williams guided the Stamps to a 12–4 record, following a 6–9–1 mark in 1966. In 1968 the white running horse logo was worn on Calgary helmets for the first time.

In 1968, nearly 20 seasons after their last Grey Cup appearance, the Stamps returned to face the Ottawa Rough Riders in Toronto. After taking a 14–4 halftime lead — thanks to a Terry Evanshen touchdown catch and a Liske run — the Stamps unravelled in the second half. Ottawa quarterback Russ Jackson would do just enough to beat Calgary 24–21.

The Grey Cup era: 1970–1975Edit

After finishing third in the West Division with a 9–7 record in 1970, the Stamps played four post-season games to earn a Grey Cup date against the Montreal Alouettes in Toronto. Hugh McKinnis scored an early touchdown run but it would prove to be Calgary's only major in a 23–10 defeat.

In 1971 for the third time in four years, the Stamps made it to the championship match. This was the first with a happy ending for Calgary. Facing the Toronto Argonauts in Vancouver, Hall of Fame receiver Herm Harrison opened the scoring on 14-yard pass from Hall of Fame quarterback Jerry Keeling. Jesse Mims also had a scoring run and the Stamps fended off Toronto — with help of the infamous "Leon McQuay Fumble" — for a 14–11 triumph and the second title in franchise history. Harris was the MVP and defensive lineman Dick Suderman was the Top Canadian. Harris was voted the league's best defensive player for the second year in a row in 1971.

In 1974 Stamps defensive lineman John Helton, a future Hall of Famer, was named Top Defensive Player in the CFL. Two years earlier, he was named the CFL's Top Lineman.

The Stampeders and City of Calgary hosted the Grey Cup for the first time in 1975. The Edmonton Eskimos defeated the Montreal Alouettes 9–8 at McMahon Stadium, as Canadian kickers (Dave Cutler for Edmonton and Don Sweet for the Als) accounted for all the points. Willie Burden set a CFL record with 1,896 rushing yards in a single season in 1975. Mike Pringle would twice surpass that total (1994 and 1998) but Burden's average of 118.5 yards per game remains the best ever. Burden's total came in 16 games, while Pringle established the CFL record of 2,065 in 1998 in an 18-game season (114.7 average).

1976–1979Edit

1976 was the worst season in franchise history — 2–12–2 — under head coach Bob Baker and in-season replacement Joe Tiller. In 1978 after a seven-year absence from the post-season, Calgary returned and pounded Winnipeg 38–4 in the West Division semifinal. A week later, the Stamps lost to Edmonton in the West final. In 1979 the Stamps defeated the B.C. Lions 37–2 in the West Division semifinal but a long drought ensued: they did not win another playoff game until 1991.

Quiet times 1980–1989Edit

The Stampeders nearly folded after the 1985 season marked by declining attendance, financial woes and poor 3–13 record. However, a successful "Save Our Stamps" campaign resulted in season ticket sales of 22,400, additional funds and stability that translated to improved on-field play which laid the groundwork to Grey Cup berths in 1991 and 1992 when they won the title over Winnipeg. One bright spot in a generally dismal decade came when defensive tackle Harold Hallman won the CFL's Most Outstanding Rookie Award and was named to the All-Canadian team in 1986.

In 1989 after going 10 years without a playoff game at McMahon Stadium, the Stamps returned with a home date against Saskatchewan in the West Division semifinal. The thrill was short-lived, as the 'Riders won 35–26.

The Wally Buono, Doug Flutie era 1990–2002Edit

The decade of the 1990s was very successful for the Stampeders, led by quarterbacks Doug Flutie, Jeff Garcia and Dave Dickenson throwing to receivers Allen Pitts, Terry Vaughn and Dave Sapunjis, and a rock steady defence led by Western All Stars Alondra Johnson, Stu Laird and Will Johnson. They reached the Grey Cup final three more times, losing in 1995 and 1999 and winning in 1998.

In 1990 Stamps president Normie Kwong hired Wally Buono, an assistant with the club, as head coach and the club's fortunes began a rapid upward ascent. Calgary finished first in the West Division for the first time since 1971 with a 11-6-1 record and a 1st place finish in the West Division. The Stamps lost in the West Division Finals to Edmonton.

In 1991 Calgary businessman Larry Ryckman privatized the Calgary Stampeders Football Club and on October 23 he became its sole owner. Calgary finished 11-7 with a 2nd place finish in the West Division. The Stamps lost the Grey Cup to the Toronto Argonauts 36 to 21.

In 1992, four months after taking over the Stamps, Ryckman hired quarterback Doug Flutie to a personal services contract and the foundation was built for a dynasty through the decade. As a member of the Stamps, Flutie would go on to win CFL MOP (Most Outstanding Player) honors in 1992, 1993 and 1994. The Stamps finished 13-5 with a .722 winning percentage, and a 1st place finish in the CFL West Division. Calgary led by Flutie's 480 passing yards, defeated Winnipeg 24–10 to win the third Grey Cup in club history. Flutie was the MVP and Stamps slotback Dave Sapunjis was the Top Canadian.

The Stamps went 15-3 for three straight years from 1993 to 1995, returning to the Grey Cup in 1995 only to lose 37–20 to the Baltimore Stallions who became the first, and only, American team ever to win the league championship.[19] Dave Sapunjis was named CFL's Top Canadian for the second time in three seasons.

In 1996 Calgary businessman Sig Gutsche, through a successful bid, became the club's second private owner. In 1996 Running back Kelvin Anderson became the second Calgary player to earn CFL Top Rookie honours. He rushed for 1,068 yards and 10 touchdowns on 240 carries. The Stamps finished 13-5 and finished 1st in the West Division, but lost Division Finals.

In 1997, the Stamps had (by Wally Buono standards) a disappointing season with a 10-8 regular season record and a 2nd place finish in the West Division. They lost in the Division Semi-Finals.

In 1998, the Stamps returned to form with a 12-6 regular season record and a 1st place finish in the West Division and the Stamps notched their 4th Grey Cup at Winnipeg Stadium that year in front of crowd of 34,157. A last-play, 35-yard field goal by Mark McLoughlin gave the Stamps a 26–24 triumph over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 86th Grey Cup. Jeff Garcia went on to National Football League fame with the San Francisco 49ers, after earning MVP honours in the win. Slotback Vince Danielsen was the Top Canadian. In 1998 Fred Childress became the first — and only — Stamps offensive lineman to win the CFL award for Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman.

In 2000 With nine receptions against Winnipeg on August 16, Allen Pitts passed Don Narcisse on the all-time CFL receptions list. A year earlier, Pitts set CFL records for receiving yards and touchdown catches. He retired after the 2000 season with 966 catches for 14,891 yards and 117 touchdown receptions. The Stamps finished the 2000 regular season with a 12-5-1 record, but the heavily-favoured Stamps lost to the B.C. Lions in the West final at McMahon Stadium and blew a chance to play a Grey Cup in their own ballpark. A week later, quarterback Dave Dickenson was named the league's Most Outstanding Player.

In 2001, Gutsche entered into an agreement with California businessman Michael Feterik, and he became the third private owner in the club's history. The Stamps had their first of two consecutive losing seasons under Bouno in 2001 going 8-10, but they did have a 2nd place finish in the West Division. They also won the 89th Grey Cup. Led by Grey Cup MVP Marcus Crandell and a tenacious defense, the Stamps upset Winnipeg 27–19 for their fifth championship in 2001. Aldi Henry was the Top Canadian after blocking a punt that swung the game's momentum.

After winning their fifth Grey Cup championship in 2001, Calgary went into a brief period of decline until 2005 when they emerged as playoff contenders again, led by Henry Burris at quarterback and Joffrey Reynolds at running back. Nevertheless, they did not win a playoff game for several years, suffering three successive losses in the 2005, 2006, and 2007 Western semi-final games.

Calgary finished a dismal 6-12 in 2002 with a 5th place finish in the West Division. 2002 marked the first and only time the Stamps failed to make the playoffs under Wally Bouno.

Moving forward 2003–2011Edit

Defensive tackle Joe Fleming became the first defensive player since Harris to receive CFL Top Defensive Player honours in 2003. After 153 wins in 13 seasons at the helm, Buono left the Stamps because of the meddling and unorthodox ownership methods of Feterik. Two new coaches — Jim Barker and Matt Dunigan — failed to bring success in the ensuing years.

In 2003 under Jim Barker the club finished a dismal 5-13 during the regular season, missing the playoffs and finishing in 5th place in the West Division.

In 2004, the Calgary Stampeders lured Matt Dunigan away from TSN and hired him to be their general manager and head coach. Dunigan like Barker before him had a losing season going 4-14 in the regular season with a 5th place finish in the West Division. The Stamps missed the Playoffs for the 3rd consecutive season and Dunigan was fired after one season. Stamps wide receiver Nik Lewis was Calgary's third CFL Rookie of the Year after catching 72 passes for 1,045 yards and eight touchdowns in the 2004 CFL campaign.

In 2005, a group of Calgary businessmen who were former players and community-minded individuals purchased the club from Feterik and began pointing it back towards to its former glory. Ted Hellard, Doug Mitchell and John Forzani were among the group's more public faces, while Sapunjis and Bob Viccars were among the former Stamps players. Tom Higgins (Canadian football) was named Head Coach and he immediately began to restore the Stamps to their previous glory. Higgins and the Stamps finished 11-7 in the regular season with a 2nd place finish in the West Division, but lost in the Division Semi-Finals.

In 2006, Higgins led the Stamps to a 10-8 regular season record and 2nd place in the West Division. The Stamps once again suffered a lost in the Division Semi-Finals.

The Stamps played their 1,000th game in franchise history — a 45–45 overtime draw with the B.C. Lions at McMahon Stadium on August 17, 2007. The 2007 season would prove to be Higgins final season with the Stamps as he was fired after a first round lost in the West Division Semi-finals. The Stamps 2007 regular season record was a disappointing 7-11 with a 3rd place finish in the West.

In 2008, after three years of decent regular seasons but no playoff success, the Stampeders ended their playoff drought en route to winning the team's sixth Grey Cup 22–14 against the Montreal Alouettes. Former Stamps quarterback and offensive coordinator John Hufnagel was brought back to the club as head coach/general manager in 2008. He was given a long-term contract and complete control of all football matters. The result was a 13–5 record and first place in the West Division, a West Final win over the BC Lions and a previously mentioned Grey Cup championship thanks to a victory against Montreal. Henry Burris was named the Grey Cup Most Valuable Player with DeAngelis being the top Canadian.

The players, coaches, staff and management of the Stampeders received their 2008 Grey Cup Championship rings on June 20, 2009 in a private ceremony in downtown Calgary. The stunning Grey Cup ring features the Stampeders famous running horse logo on a ruby-red background over the diamond-encrusted shape of the Grey Cup. It has two sets of triple rubies on either side of the cup portion of the trophy representing the six championships in the Stamp's history.

The player's name and number or on one shank of the ring and the other shank displays the title "Grey Cup Champions" along with the winning score of the teams championship-game victory over the Montreal Alouettes — 22-14 — as well as an image of Olympic Stadium, the site of the conquest. The ring was composed of 109 diamonds totaling two karats and 14 rubies totaling 1.5 karats. Each individual ring contains 60 grams of gold and took six days to complete.[20]

In 2009, the Stamps finished 10-7-1 in the regular season with a 2nd place finish in the West Division. The Stamps lost in the West Final.

The Stampeders celebrated their 65th anniversary as well as the 50th anniversary of McMahon Stadium in 2010 and Stamps Quarterback Henry Burris was the CFL's Most Outstanding Player (MOP). The Stamps finished the regular season with a 13-5 record and a 1st place finish in the West Division, but lost in the West Finals.

The Stampeders' 2011 regular season record was 11-7 and the Stamps finished 3rd in West Division during the regular season. Calgary lost the Western Division Semi-Final game to Edmonton 19 to 33.

Grey Cup championshipsEdit

Year Winning team Score Losing team Title Location
1948 Calgary Stampeders 12–7 Ottawa Rough Riders 36th Grey Cup Varsity Stadium, Toronto
1971 Calgary Stampeders 14–11 Toronto Argonauts 59th Grey Cup Empire Stadium, Vancouver
1992 Calgary Stampeders 24–10 Winnipeg Blue Bombers 80th Grey Cup SkyDome, Toronto
1998 Calgary Stampeders 26–24 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 86th Grey Cup Winnipeg Stadium, Winnipeg
2001 Calgary Stampeders 27–19 Winnipeg Blue Bombers 89th Grey Cup Olympic Stadium, Montreal
2008 Calgary Stampeders 22–14 Montreal Alouettes 96th Grey Cup Olympic Stadium, Montreal

Builders of noteEdit

Builders honored as of 2010

Players of noteEdit

Head coachesEdit

General managersEdit

The Presidents' RingEdit

The Presidents' Ring was established in 1967 by Calgary Stampeders Football Club team president George McMahon and general manager Rogers Lehew. The ring is presented annually to the Calgary Stampeders player deemed by his teammates to best combine excellence on the football field with leadership, inspiration and motivational skills.

Players so honoured Template:As of:

Wall OF FameEdit

The Stampeders Wall of Fame recognizes the greatest players and most important off-field contributors in Stampeders history; it was Instituted in 1985.

Players so honoured Template:As of:

Current coaching staffEdit

Template:Calgary Stampeders staff

Current rosterEdit

Template:Calgary Stampeders roster

ReferencesEdit

Jim Finks as 1960 interim coach: Toronto Globe and Mail, Saturday 20 August 1960, p. 21, "Calgary Coach Resigns".

External linksEdit

MediaEdit

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