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Tom Clements spent his first 4 seasons in the CFL with Ottawa. Recruited from Notre Dame where he played under the legendary Ara Parsegian Clements made an immediate impact with Ottawa as their starting quarterback in 1975 capturing the leagues outstanding rookie award. Clements topped those exploits in his second year with Ottawa leading the team to a Grey Cup championship over Saskatchewan in a classic Grey Cup. He left Ottawa after the 1978 season but fans will always remember his last second touchdown pass to Tony Gabriel that clinched the '76 Grey Cup. Read more about Tom Clements here...


There were not many star players in the last years of the Ottawa Rough Riders but one name who did hold a special place with fans was running back Reggie Barnes. The Pennsylvania native joined Ottawa as a free agent in 1990 and proceeded to rush for 1,260 yards and 5 touchdowns on his way to being named Outstanding Rookie in the league that year. Barnes proved his rookie season was no fluke posting an incredible 1,486 yards rushing in 1991 and 10 rushing touchdowns it would be his finest season as Ottawa finished 9-9 that year. Barnes also played with Shreveport, Hamilton and Toronto but ended his career in 1996 with Ottawa the last season for the Rough Riders. A fitting end for one of the last crowd favourites as a  Rough Rider. Read more about Reggie Barnes here...

 


Angelo Snipes joined the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1991 from the NFL Kansas City Chiefs. The 6'1" 235 lb stalwart from West Georgia Collegiate brought instant credibility to the Ottawa defense. in his first season he managed 5 quarterback sacks, adjusting to the Canadian style of play. In 1992 Snipes was an absolute force; destroying opposing quarterbacks to the tune of 20 quarterback sacks. Under the attacking defense of Co-ordinator Dave Ritchie, Snipes was dominant and the club had their best season in 13 years for a 9-9 record. Snipes was named the East divisions Most Outstanding Defensive Player and Most Outstanding Player. He finished runner-up for league honours. Snipes followed up his outstanding season with 14 more sacks in 1993 his last season in Ottawa. He was traded to B.C. in June 1994 concluding the most prolific two seasons for an Ottawa defensive player in club history. He enjoyed further success with Birmingham and Winnipeg but his greatest success was in the Nation's capital dominating the Defensive Line for the Ottawa Rough Riders.


The Ottawa Renegades joined the league in 2002. They arrived with great optimism coming to a city that had lost the Rough Riders following the 1996 season. The team had good support their first season and competed admirably in spite of an expansion draft that hindered the teams chances. In 2003 the team took a big step forward uncovering future stars in quarterback Kerry Joseph (pictured) and running back Josh Ranek. The team improved to a 7-11 record just missing the playoffs. Optimism was high for 2004 with the city hosting the Grey Cup. With terrible timing ownership decided to drastically cut costs and the product on the field suffered. A dissapointing 5-13 record led to a change in ownership and ultimatly the death knell for the franchise. Following what would turn out to be a lame duck year under the Glieberman regime the team ceased operations prior to the 2006 season. Leaving the future of football in Ottawa up in the air once again. Read more on the brief history of the Renegades here...


Dexter Manley had a vaunted 11 year career in the National Football League. He won two Super Bowls as a member of the Washington Redskins. Manley was banned from the NFL for life in 1991 for repeated drug violations. Lonie Glieberman president of the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1993 was not deterred by the shrouded history of Manley he saw headlines and ticket sales. Manley signed with Ottawa prior to training camp in 1993. After a year out of football and still suffering from a serious drug addiction Manley arrived out of shape and with deteriorated football skill. A promising 9-9 season in 1992 was turned into a 4-14 circus. Manley only played 3 games as a Rough Rider but left behind 2 resigned coaches and a damaged team in his wake in 1994 when he along with the Glieberman's left behind a mess they had created and headed for an expansion franchise in Shreveport. Read more about Dexter with Ottawa here...


Whether Ottawa fans like it or not the Glieberman family hold a place in the history of professional football in the nation's capital. Bernie Glieberman and most notably his son Lonie Glieberman have left their unique mark with both the Ottawa Rough Riders and the current Ottawa Renegades. Bernie and his son Lonie previously owned the Ottawa Rough Rider franchise from 1992 to 1993 at which point they were essentially run out of town and to Shreveport to establish a U.S. expansion team. The duo returned as white knights to save the financially strapped Renegades prior to the 2005 CFL season and after a dubious season in '05 their time in Ottawa has come to an end with disastrous results again. From a CBC Online feature read more about the family and their link to football in Ottawa here...


On a 2-16 club in 1988 the Rough Riders #1 pick Orville Lee provided fans with a great season as the lone bright spot on a bad team. The North York raised Lee was the leagues #1 overall selection in '88 out of Simon Fraser University. Lee had an incredible rookie season as he led the league in rushing with 1,075 yards and was named the leagues Rookie of the Year. Lee is only the second non-import running back in the past 50+ years to lead the league in rushing (Edmonton's Normie Kwong is the other). While he was never able to duplicate the production of his rookie year-Lee stands as a beacon for aspiring Canadian running backs. Read more about Orville here...


In the last season in the existence of the Ottawa Rough Riders there weren't many uplifting moments. The team's very existence was in question for much of the year. The team that included the likes of quarterback David Archer (pictured), kicker Wayne Lammle and linebacker Lamar McGriggs did give the long-suffering faithful one glowing memory in that last season. On a late summer evening facing the powerful Montreal Alouettes the Rough Riders responded with a strong performance in front of 28,451 fans at Frank Clair Stadium to stun the visiting Alouettes 17-6. The team did ultimately fold at the end of the 1996 season but the response from the crowd on that night confirmed the nation's capital as a football town. A Canadian Football League team can definitely thrive in Ottawa.


Greg Marshall has made a name for himself as one of the most respected Defensive Coordinators in the Canadian Football League. A constant candidate for a head coaching position, Marshall had an outstanding 9 season career with the Ottawa Rough Riders as a Defensive End. A Massachusetts native Greg Marshall was a 7th round pick of the Baltimore Colts in 1978. Greg arrived in Ottawa in 1980 and made a named for himself patrolling the defensive line in the Nation's capital. In 1983, with 15.5 sacks Greg was named the leagues top defensive player. He followed that up with a career high 16.5 sacks in 1984. A four time Eastern All-Star the mustached Marshall has now gone on to mentor future defensive greats for a number of CFL teams. Currently with the Hamilton Tiger Cats Marshall should one day be a CFL head coach, you can find out more on Greg as a player here...


Rudy Philips was a terrific Offensive Lineman in the CFL for 8 seasons in the 1980's. He joined the team the Ottawa Rough Riders for the last six games of the '81 season and played in the Grey Cup final against Edmonton, then spent three more years in Ottawa. Following the clubs disappointing 26-23 loss to Edmonton Rudy would spend 3 more seasons with Ottawa. Philips was named the leagues Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman in 1982 and 1983. In '85, he tried the NFL again but was cut by Buffalo. He returned to the CFL in '86, in Edmonton, where he was named All-Canadian for a third time. He also played on Edmonton's '87 Grey Cup champions. Rudy was elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2009. read more about Rudy here...


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a successful relief appearance in the 1988 Grey Cup with Edmonton Damon Allen signed with the Ottawa Roughriders to rejuvenate the franchise. Allen's tenure in Ottawa was tumultuous. While he posted arguably the greatest statistical seasons of his career Allen's stay was not without it's controversy. Read more here...


The most recognizable Ottawa Rough Rider of all time is Russ Jackson. In addition Jackson is the most successful Canadian born player in league history. Jackson graduated from McMaster in 1958 and spent his entire 11 year career with the Rough Riders capturing 3 Grey Cup titles and leaving the field of play as a champion leading Ottawa to the 1969 Grey Cup. Read more about Russ here...


Tony Gabriel was the face of the Ottawa Rough Riders in the 1970's. A four time Most Outstanding Canadian and 1978 Most Outstanding Player Gabriel joined Ottawa from Hamilton in 1975. The Syracuse product was a dominant force in the tight end era of the Canadian Football League. The Burlington native was at the centre of the most defining moment in Ottawa Rough Rider history; simply "The Catch". Read more about the incredible Tony Gabriel here...


Art Schlichter was drafted 4th overall by the Baltimore Colts in 1982. Schlichter was a star collegiate quarterback at Ohio State and was in the top 10 in Heisman voting three seasons. Art had a serious gambling problem and was suspended by the NFL for the 1983 season, he resurfaced in 1984 but by 1986 was out of the NFL for good. He came to Ottawa in 1988 with a 6 figure contract and a $10k signing bonus but it would be a short season, after just a half season Art was out of the Canadian league. An incredible talent with a tragic addiction, Art is another in a long list of big name talent who did not pan out in the CFL. Read more about Art here...


In the last Grey Cup game the Ottawa Rough Riders ever participated in they were led by a rookie quarterback from Oklahoma who guided the team to a 20-1 halftime lead. The quarterback was J.C.Watts. Although Ottawa would go on to lose that Grey Cup in 1981 26-23 to Edmonton the memories of that game and J.C. live on for Rough Rider fans. Watts was an intelligent, athletic pivot who kept fans excited and his team competitive over his 4-1/2 years as the Rough Rider quarterback. Read more about J.C. here...


Lawrence Tynes is a Super Bowl champion with the New York Giants. The Scottish born kicker clinched the NFC championship for the Giants and after an upset victory over New England his Giants are kings of the NFL. CFL fans know Tynes from his 2 seasons as a dominant kicker with the now defunct Ottawa Renegades. Now with all the attention and kudos of a Super Bowl champion Tynes does not forget the great opportunity the CFL afforded him. Read more here...


Rick Cassata did not have a superstar career as a CFL quarterback. He was cool, calm, effective and a Grey Cup champion in 1973. Rick stepped in for injured starter Jerry Keeling and delivered a terrific cup winning performance for the Rough Riders. Cassata a New York native who attended Syracuse University was instrumental in Ottawa's 6th Grey Cup championship.  He spent most of 7 seasons in the CFL as a back-up but is always remembered for his Grey Cup winning performance for Ottawa in 1973. read more about Rick here...


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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