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Team and League History

July 11, 1988
Canadian Football League commissioner Doug Mitchell indicates in an interview that the league may consider dropping its unique rules and expand into the United States.

Mitchell said the league will form a long-term planning committee that would study the prospect of expanding into such cities as Birmingham, Baltimore, Oakland, St. Louis, Jacksonville, Memphis, Portland, Sacramento, and New York.

     Canadian Football League logo
Mitchell believes that a new league could be organized by someone within the next four years and would like to see the CFL move into those cities first.

CFL rules such as a wider field, twelve players to a side, three downs to make a first down, and the "rouge" which is a single point for balls downed in the end zone, make some wonder if the league would be accepted by American fans. Jerry Sklar, former president and general manager of the defunct United States Football League's Birmingham Stallions, is one of those people. "I think Birmingham is a good football town. I don't know if CFL football would be acceptable here, but I do know that American football is very acceptable here. If they want to expand into the US, they are going to have to change a number of their rules to Americanize their game to make it as popular as it needs to be to be successful."

In Canada, the game of football developed through rugby associations organized in each province. In 1884, the Canadian Rugby Football Union was created as the sport's governing body. By 1890, the game was played in each province and it's from this organization that the Canadian Football League developed. 

Melvin Miller, director of the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board, said the city would welcome the CFL. "Its a pretty stable league. Our ultimate goal would be something with the National Football League, but certainly the CFL is not bad."

November 1993
The Sacramento Gold Miners become the first American team to play in the history of the CFL.

November 1994
The CFL adds three more American teams, the Baltimore Stallions, the Shreveport Pirates, and the Las Vegas Posse.

January 11, 1995
  Owner Art Williams
The CFL announces that Birmingham has been awarded one of the league's two expansion franchises for 1995. Memphis will receive the other expansion franchise.

The Birmingham franchise will be owned by insurance magnate A. L. "Art" Williams. Williams, also a published author and motivational speaker, made his fortune in selling term life insurance through his own business before selling it to Primerica Corporation in 1989. Williams also holds a Master's Degree in education from Auburn.

The Las Vegas franchise has folded and the Sacramento franchise is considering a move to another city.

March 14, 1995
At a press conference, Williams announces the local team will be named the Birmingham Barracudas.

The name was chosen from a list of more than 400. Cougars, Bearcats, Bandits, Steel, and Magicians were also considered.

Williams said the choice was based on reputation of the tropical fish, not geography. "It's an animal that's vicious and mean. No other team in pro sports is called the Barracudas. We've even copyrighted the name to protect it. What we had to do is look for reasons not to use the name. My wife and I went through the dictionary front to back and back to front looking for possibilities. When we finally began going through copyright searches, Barracudas really stood out."

Team colors were also announced; blue, teal, black, and white. Helmets will feature the word 'Cudas.

In league news, the CFL has approved the Sacramento Goldminers relocation to Texas and they will become the San Antonio Texans.

The Ottawa Rough Riders filed for bankruptcy today. A judge will decide if the team will be sold to Chicago businessman Horn Chen. The judge will decide if the sale is in the best interests of the team's 300 unsecured creditors, who are owed $1.4 million. The CFL says if the sale is not approved and completed by Thursday, the Rough Riders will be disbanded.

May 23, 1995
Jack Pardee is named the Birmingham Barracudas head coach.

Pardee is unique among coaches; he is the only person who has been a coach in the NCAA's Division 1-A level, the National Football League, the United States Football League, the World Football League, and now the Canadian Football League.  
Photograph   Photograph   Photograph   Photograph
World Football League
Florida Blazers
  National Football League
Chicago Bears
Washington Redskins
  United States Football League
Houston Gamblers
University of Houston
During his college years, Pardee played for Paul "Bear" Bryant at Texas A&M. Pardee and Gene Stallings were survivors of Bryant's famed Junction preseason camp in 1954.

In 1957, Pardee joined the NFL's Los Angeles Rams as a linebacker and played for fifteen years. A battle with cancer forced Pardee to miss the 1965 NFL season. During that time, he was an assistant to Stallings at Texas A&M. Pardee got his first job in the professional in 1973 an assistant with the NFL's Washington Redskins. His first head coaching job came in 1974, when he was hired to coach the WFL's Florida Blazers. Pardee took that team to the World Bowl in 1974 where the Blazers lost to the Birmingham Americans. In 1975, Pardee was the youngest head coach in the NFL when the Chicago Bears hired him and he served in that role for three years. From 1978 to 1980, Pardee was head coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins. In 1981, he was the defensive coordinator for the NFL's San Diego Chargers. In 1982, Pardee took a break from coaching and worked at Runnels Mud Company as their vice president of marketing. The upstart USFL came calling in 1984, and Pardee was head coach of the Houston Gamblers for two years. In 1986 he served as a scout with the NFL's Green Bay Packers. In 1987, he went to the University of Houston as their head coach for three years. Pardee was the head coach of the NFL's Houston Oilers from 1990 to 1994.

"I'm not here as a stepping stone to somewhere else. What I plan on doing is spending the rest of my coaching career here," Pardee said.

June 1995

Canadian Football League logo 1995                           
Canadian Football League                            
xxx   xxx   xxx   xxx   xxx   xxx
  Baltimore Stallions logo   Birmingham Barracudas logo   British Columbia Lions logo   Calgary Stampeders logo   Edmonton Eskimos logo  
  Baltimore Stallions
  Birmingham Barracudas   British Columbia Lions   Calgary Stampeders   Edmonton Eskimos  
  Hamilton Tiger-Cats logo   Memphis Mad Dogs logo   Ottawa Rough Riders logo   San Antonio Texans logo   Saskatchewan Roughriders logo  
  Hamilton Tiger-Cats   Memphis Mad Dogs   Ottawa Rough Riders   San Antonio Texans   Saskatchewan Roughriders  
  Shreveport Pirates logo   Toronto Argonauts logo   Winnipeg Blue Bombers logo          
  Shreveport Pirates   Toronto Argonauts   Winnipeg Blue Bombers          

Canadian Football League
  British Columbia Lions   Baltimore Stallions
  Calgary Stampeders   Birmingham Barracudas  
  Edmonton Eskimos   Memphis Mad Dogs
  Hamilton Tiger-Cats   San Antonio Texans
  Ottawa Rough Riders   Shreveport Pirates
  Saskatchewan Roughriders    
  Toronto Argonauts  
  Winnipeg Blue Bombers  

In 1996, the Baltimore franchise moved to Montreal to become the Alouettes, but due to financial hardships the remaining American-based franchises folded, effectively ending the CFL's American experiment.

The Canadian Football League has continued to play, but has not ventured into the United States again.
Baltimore Stallions logoBaltimore Stallions logo               Birmingham Barracudas logo               British Columbia Lions logo

Calgary Stampeders logo               Edmonton Eskimos logoEdmonton Eskimos logo               Hamilton Tiger-Cats logo  Hamilton Tiger-Cats logo

Memphis Mad Dogs logo               Ottawa Rough Riders logoOttawa Rough Riders logo               San Antonio Texans logoSan Antonio Texans logo

Saskatchewan Roughriders logoSaskatchewan Roughriders logo               Shreveport Pirates logo  Shreveport Pirates logo               Toronto Argonauts logo  Toronto Argonauts logo

Winnipeg Blue Bombers logo  Winnipeg Blue Bombers logo

Champions of the
Canadian Football League
Year Team Year Team Year Team
  1958     Winnipeg Blue Bombers   1988     Winnipeg Blue Bombers (6th)   2018     Calgary Stampeders (7th)
1959   Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2nd)   1989   Saskatchewan Roughriders (2nd)   2019   Winnipeg Blue Bombers (8th)  
1960   Ottawa Rough Riders 1990   Winnipeg Blue Bombers (7th) 2020   Season cancelled: COVID-19
1961   Winnipeg Blue Bombers (3rd) 1991   Toronto Argonauts (2nd) 2021   Winnipeg Blue Bombers (9th)
1962   Winnipeg Blue Bombers (4th) 1992   Calgary Stampeders (2nd) 2022   Toronto Argonauts (8th)
1963   Hamilton Tiger-Cats 1993   Edmonton Eskimos (8th) 2023   Montreal Allouettes (7th)
1964   BC Lions 1994   BC Lions (3rd)     
1965   Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2nd) 1995   Baltimore Stallions     
1966   Saskatchewan Roughriders 1996   Toronto Argonauts (3rd)   
1967   Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3rd) 1997   Toronto Argonauts (4th)     
1968   Ottawa Rough Riders (2nd) 1998   Calgary Stampeders (3rd)     
1969   Ottawa Rough Riders (3rd) 1999   Hamilton Tiger-Cats (6th)     
1970   Montreal Alouettes 2000   BC Lions (4th)     
1971   Calvary Stampeders 2001   Calgary Stampeders (4th)     
1972   Hamilton Tiger-Cats (4th) 2002   Montreal Alouettes (4th)     
1973   Ottawa Rough Riders (4th) 2003   Edmonton Eskimos (9th)     
1974   Montreal Alouettes (2nd) 2004   Toronto Argonauts (5th)     
1975   Edmonton Eskimos 2005   Edmonton Eskimos (10th)     
1976   Ottawa Rough Riders (5th) 2006   BC Lions (5th)     
1977   Montreal Alouettes (3rd) 2007   Saskatchewan Roughriders (3rd)     
  1978     Edmonton Eskimos (2nd) 2008   Calgary Stampeders (5th)     
  1979     Edmonton Eskimos (3rd) 2009   Montreal Alouettes (5th)     
1980   Edmonton Eskimos (4th) 2010   Montreal Alouettes (6th)     
1981   Edmonton Eskimos (5th) 2011   BC Lions (6th)     
1982   Edmonton Eskimos (6th) 2012   Toronto Argonauts (6th)     
1983   Toronto Argonauts 2013   Saskatchewan Roughriders (4th)     
1984   Winnipeg Blue Bombers (5th) 2014   Calgary Stampeders (6th)     
1985   BC Lions (2nd) 2015   Edmonton Eskimos (11th)     
1986   Hamilton Tiger-Cats (5th) 2016   Ottawa Redblacks     
1987   Edmonton Eskimos (7th) 2017   Toronto Argonauts (7th)     
           Years local team participated

Canadian Football League logo Teams of the                        
Canadian Football League                         
xxx   xxx   xxx   xxx   xxx   xxx
  Baltimore Stallions logo   Birmingham Barracudas logo   British Columbia Lions logo   Calgary Stampeders logo   Edmonton Elks logo  
  Baltimore Stallions
1994 to 1995
  Birmingham Barracudas
   British Columbia Lions
1958 to 2023
  Calgary Stampeders
1958 to 2023
  Edmonton Elks
2021 to 2023
  Edmonton Eskimos logo   Hamilton Tiger-Cats logo   Las Vegas Posse logo   Memphis Mad Dogs logo   Montreal Alouettes logo  
  Edmonton Eskimos
1958 to 2019
  Hamilton Tiger-Cats
1958 to 2023
  Las Vegas Posse
  Memphis Mad Dogs
  Montreal Alouettes
1958 to 2023
  Montreal Concordes logo   Ottawa RedBlacks logo   Ottawa Renegades logo   Ottawa Rough Riders logo   Sacramento Gold Miners logo  
   Montreal Concordes
1982 to 1985
  Ottawa RedBlacks
2014 to 2023
  Ottawa Renegades
2002 to 2005
  Ottawa Rough Riders
1958 to 1996
  Sacramento Gold Miners
1993 to 1994
  San Antonio Texans logo   Saskatchewan Roughriders logo   Shreveport Pirates logo   Toronto Argonauts logo   Winnipeg Blue Bombers logo  
  San Antonio Texans
  Saskatchewan Roughriders
1958 to 2023
  Shreveport Pirates
1994 to 1995
  Toronto Argonauts
1958 to 2023
  Winnipeg Blue Bombers
1958 to 2023
Contact Gene Crowley
Last update: November 19, 2023