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CFL History: A Look at the Most Successful Teams in the League

If you’re a Canadian football fan, then you’ve certainly heard of the Canadian Football League. The CFL is one of the most competitive football leagues in the world, comfortably surpassed by the NFL, but on terms with the Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson-owned XFL.

In fact, the former professional wrestler was once signed to the Calgary Stampeders, yet he was assigned to their practice squad and never appeared in the CFL. Still, the league’s long and storied history dates all the way back to 1958 and there have been some truly amazing teams that have won championship after championship. The 2023 season will get underway at the start of June, and for those of you that wish to try sports betting in Canada, the online betting site Bodog is already offering outright betting on the competition.

Before the new campaign gets underway, we decided it would be a perfect time to take a look at the three most successful teams throughout CFL history.

Toronto Argonauts

The Argos, as they are affectionately known by their fans, was founded way back in 1873. They have been part of the CFL since its inception and are the oldest professional football team in North America, some 47 years older than the oldest teams currently in the NFL, namely the Arizona Cardinals and the Chicago Bears.

Throughout their storied history, they have won a total of 17 Grey Cups. They are also the reigning champions of Canada after they stopped the Winnipeg Blue Bombers from completing a threepeat last year when they picked up a narrow 24-23 victory in front of 33,000 at the Mosaic Stadium.

The Argos have a long and storied history, and they have had some of Canadian football’s most beloved players pull on that famous uniform over the years. Players like Damon Allen, and Michael “Pinball” Clemons – who is the franchise’s current general manager – defined the storied franchise. Clemons was a brilliant running back in his time, and he is now famously creative with his tactics both on and off the field, transforming the Argos back into a winning machine throughout his current tenure.

Edmonton Eskimos/Elks

The Elks are another powerhouse CFL team that has been around since 1949 when they were originally called the Edmonton Eskimos. They renamed back in 2021 and have won a total of 14 Grey Cups since they joined the league. All of their successes came under their previous name however – with their most recent championship coming in 2015 – and they are still awaiting their maiden title under the name of Elks.

Over the years, the Elks have had an impressive roster. Some of the best players to have ever played for them are Jerome Messam – who became the first non-imported player in 11 years to rush for over 1,000 yards in his debut season – Mike Pringle, Sean Fleming, and Danny McManus.

All of these players found success during their time in Edmonton, even being recognized as NFL stars. Jerome Messam was named a CFL all-star in his maiden campaign with the outfit while Mike Pringle is a seven-time all-star and has picked up three Gold Cups – one of which was won with Edmonton. Fleming is one of the Eskimos’ most loyal servants, featuring for the side for 15 seasons and putting up exemplary field goals throughout his tenure.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Founded way back in 1930, The Blue Bombers joined up with the CFL and haven’t looked back since. Over their 90+ year history, they have become one of the most successful teams in Canadian football history, winning 12 Grey Cups, including two in the last three years. Their fan base has also grown steadily over time and the Blue Bombers are currently the most supported team in the entire league, with an average home attendance of over 28,000 last season.

Many football fans have come to know the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as one of the most iconic teams in CFL history, and with that comes some of the best players to ever play the game. Throughout their time in the game, a number of iconic players have turned out for the Manitoba franchise, from legendary quarterback Matt Nicholas leading to loyal place kicker Troy Westwood.

In recent years, the Blue Bombers have dominated the CFL. They have reached the championship game in each of the last three seasons. They defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats back in 2019 to lift their first Grey Cup in 29 years, before successfully retaining the trophy in 2021 (the 2020 season was cancelled due to global events) with a victory over the same team. Last season, Toronto stopped them from becoming the first team in 40 years to successfully win a trifecta of titles, but they will be aiming to put that right once the new campaign gets underway in June.

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Priyanka Chaudhary
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