On today’s date in 1951, the National Football League’s (NFL) New York Giants beat the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) Ottawa Rough Riders 41-18 in a summer exhibition football game.
From August 1950 through August 1961 – a span of 11 years – teams from both the NFL and CFL played six exhibition games in Canada. It began in 1950, when the Giants beat the Rough Riders in Ottawa 27-6, but the following year saw similar results as the Giants beat Ottawa again on Aug. 11, 1951.
In total, NFL teams have squared off against CFL teams on eight different occasions, usually using rules from both leagues. The most recent game was on Aug. 8, 1961 in Hamilton, Ont. where the Tiger-Cats defeated the Buffalo Bills 38-21.
In 2014, to mark the CFL’s return to Ottawa, Canada Post issued two Permanent-rate (85 cents) stamps (Scott #2754-5) as part of its Ottawa Redblacks issue.
Canadian-born quarterback and legendary Ottawa Rough Rider Russ Jackson is featured on one stamp against the background of Ottawa’s new stadium; this is a nod to both the history and future of football in the nation’s capital. Jackson spent his entire 12-year professional football career with the Ottawa team and quarterbacked the Rough Riders to three Grey Cup victories. He’s a member of the Order of Canada, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. The second stamp features the Redblacks logo: a saw blade-notched “R” in front of a circular saw that represents Ottawa’s early lumber heritage.
“With over 100 years of history, the CFL has a storied past and reflects the culture, enthusiasm and spirit of Canadians,” said Lisa Raitt, minister responsible for Canada Post. “These stamps build a bridge between Ottawa’s football history and future.”
The two stamps were designed by Bensimon Byrne, the official advertising agency for the CFL. The stamp featuring Russ Jackson and the new TD Place stadium, printed by Canadian Bank Note Company Limited, came available in booklets of 10 while the stamp featuring the new team logo, printed by Lowe-Martin Group, is available in coils of 50. Both stamps are printed on Tullis Russell paper and have simulated perforations. The official first-day cover was cancelled in Ottawa.
“We are proud to play a part in Ottawa’s return to the CFL and complete the special issues by representing all nine cities and teams,” said Deepak Chopra, president and CEO of Canada Post. “The determination and dedication of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group and their fans bodes well for them to create their own legacy.”