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 in a summer exhibition game.
For more than a decade between August 1950 and August 1961, teams from both the NFL and CFL played seven exhibition games in Canada (with another three exhibition games played in Winnipeg in 1941).
On Aug. 12, 1950, the Giants defeated the Rough Riders at Ottawa’s Lansdowne Park by a score of 27-6, and the following year saw similar results—the Giants once again beat Ottawa on Aug. 11, 1951, this time by a score of 41-18.
In total, NFL teams have squared off against CFL teams on 10 different occasions; typically, rules from both leagues were used.
The most recent exhibition game was on Aug. 8, 1961, at Toronto’s Civic Stadium, where the Tiger-Cats defeated the Buffalo Bills 38-21.
2014 REDBLACKS STAMP
In 2014, to mark the CFL’s return to Ottawa, Canada Post issued two Permanent 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—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: the letter “R” in front of a circular saw 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, then the 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 alongside TD Place stadium was printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company and is available in booklets of 10 stamps. The stamp featuring the new team logo was printed by Lowe-Martin and is available in coils of 50 stamps. Both stamps are printed on Tullis Russell paper and have simulated perforations.
An official first-day cover was also serviced with an Ottawa cancellation.
“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, then 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.”