|Based in||Edmonton, Alberta, Canada|
|Home field||Commonwealth Stadium|
|League||Canadian Football League|
|Nickname(s)||Esks, Eskies, The Double-E|
|Head coach||Chris Jones|
|General manager||Ed Hervey|
|Owner(s)||"Community" (shareholder) owned|
|Grey Cup wins||13 (1954, 1955, 1956, 1975
1978, 1979, 1980, 1981
1982, 1987, 1993, 2003,
|Colours||Green and gold
|Mascot(s)||Nanook and Punter|
The Edmonton Eskimos are a professional Canadian football team based in Edmonton, Alberta, competing in the West Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL). The Eskimos play their home games at Commonwealth Stadium and are the third-youngest franchise in the CFL. The Eskimos were founded in 1949, although there were clubs with the name Edmonton Eskimos as early as 1895. The Eskimos are the most successful CFL franchise of the modern era (1954) having won the league's Grey Cup championship thirteen times, second overall only to the Toronto Argonauts who have won sixteen. This includes a three-peat between 1954 and 1956 and an unmatched five consecutive wins between 1978 and 1982, and most recently in 2005.
The Eskimos hold a North American professional sports record by qualifying for the playoffs for 34 consecutive years between 1972 and 2005. Edmonton has had the most regular season division championships in the modern era with 21, with their most recent coming in 2003. The team has a rivalry with the Calgary Stampeders and are one of the three community owned teams currently operating in the CFL.
- Founded: 1949, although other teams named the Edmonton Eskimos existed 1895 to 1923 and 1929 to 1939.
- Formerly known as: Esquimaux 1897 to 1910.
- Helmet design: Yellow background, with a gold "EE" monogram on a green oval.
- Uniform colours: Green, gold, and white.
- Past uniform colours: Blue and white 1938 to 1939, black and yellow 1907 to 1937
- Grey Cup Championships: 13—1954, 1955, 1956, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1993, 2003, 2005
- Western Division championships (regular season): 22—1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003.
- Main rivals: Calgary Stampeders (See Battle of Alberta), Montreal Alouettes (11 meetings in the Grey Cup, once in the East Final).
- 2014 Regular Season Record: 12 wins, 6 losses.
The Edmonton Eskimos Football Club is one of three remaining "community owned" teams in the CFL (owned by local shareholders). This was once the most common type of ownership in the CFL. In 2006 the Ottawa Sun reported that shares cost $10 each, but were not open to the general public and required the approval of the 80 existing shareholders. This contrasts with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, one of the other community owned teams in the CFL, who have offered shares to the public.
Board of Directors
Edmonton Eskimos, Inc., is governed by a Ten-member Board of Directors. The board consists of a chairman, treasurer, secretary six directors and an Alternate Governor. As of 2011[update] the board of directors included Chairman Allan Sawin, Treasurer Bruce Bentley, Secretary John Moquin, Director Diane Brickner, Chris Bruce, Terry O'Flynn, Harold Roozen, William Scott, Brad Sparrow and Alternate Governor Rick LeLacheur. The club's president and CEO is Len Rhodes, he is not currently a member of the 10 member Board of Directors.
Origins of the name
The story of team's name goes back to stories in the press from at least 1903 and possibly as far back as 1892, the first date of a "rugby football" game between Edmonton and Calgary. It is a legacy of the bitter rivalry between the cities of Edmonton and Calgary, the so-called Battle of Alberta. In the early years of sports competition between the cities, the press in each town used colourful nicknames to insult the rival team's home. Edmontonian writers called Calgary "the cow camp", "horse country", or "the little village beside the Bow". Likewise Calgary's responded with insults about Edmonton's northern latitude and frigid weather, calling the city's residents "Esquimeaux" (an archaic spelling of "Eskimos", referring to the indigenous people of the Canadian Arctic, modernly called Inuit). Despite the fact Edmonton is several thousand kilometres south of the Arctic, the name had just enough as historian of Edmonton Tony Cashman explains, the name "had the advantaged of alliteration, neatness, uniqueness, and a certain amount of truth. It stuck". The name remained an unofficial nickname, however until the arrival in Edmonton of American baseball coach and sports promoter William "Deacon" White in 1907. White founded the Edmonton Eskimos baseball team in 1909, the football Eskimos in 1910, and Edmonton Eskimos hockey team in 1911. Of the three, only the football teams' name has survived.
Edmonton played its first series of organized games with the formation of the Alberta Rugby Football Union in 1895. In 1897 the name Esquimaux was adopted. In 1910 the club was officially named the Edmonton Eskimos. Since 1978 the Eskimos have played their home games in Commonwealth Stadium. They are one of the most successful teams in Canadian football history, having won the Grey Cup more than any other team except the Toronto Argonauts, and being the run-away leader in attendance for many years.
The team holds many impressive records, including five consecutive Grey Cup wins (1978 to 1982), and 34 consecutive years in the playoffs (1972 to 2005), a record no other North American professional team (regardless of sport) has equalled. Former Eskimos have figured prominently in Alberta political life: past players include two former provincial premiers (E. Peter Lougheed and Donald Getty), a former mayor of Edmonton (Bill Smith), and a lieutenant-governor (Norman Kwong).
During the glory years of the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Edmonton Eskimos won five Grey Cup championships in a row. Since Edmonton re-entered the CFL in 1949, only one team has managed to win three in row (Eskimos 1954 to 1956), let alone five. Their achievements were documented in the book, Decade of Excellence, with photographs by Bob Peterson. The Eskimos have also enjoyed great attendance in the stands as they led the league.
The current uniform colours, green and gold, were adopted when the Eskimos received uniforms from the University of Alberta Golden Bears football team, which was dormant due to a lack of competition in 1949. The colours have remained since that time, and the Golden Bears maintain them to this day as well.
Overall, the jersey and colours have remained essentially the same over the years with only minor modifications. In 2001 the Eskimos introduced white pants to be worn with their away jerseys. In the 2005 CFL season all CFL teams switched to a Reebok designed template but the jerseys for the Eskimos stayed much the same. In that same year the Eskimos introduced an alternate jersey for the first time in the franchise's history. Green pants were also introduced at this time and have been worn with their home and away jerseys since then. The alternate gold jersey was last worn in 2007, as they mainly use their green jerseys. Along with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers, they were one of the few teams to alternate the pants and jersey combinations of their uniforms within a season.
The Eskimos had their jerseys remodelled for the 2012 season and brought back the green helmets that were worn for the Labour Day game and rematch in 2008. The green helmets were worn with the away jerseys and marked the first time in franchise history that a helmet other than gold was worn as a regular facet of the uniform. It was also the first time in franchise history that two different helmets were worn for home and away uniforms. The team also stopped alternating pant and jersey combinations during this season, using consistent home and away looks all year long. However, during the following season, on August 24, 2013, the Eskimos returned to the all-green combination of green helmets, jerseys, and pants that had not been worn since 2008.
Wall of Honour
The Eskimos have a policy of honouring the players who have best represented the team on the field. The player's name, number and seasons played with the Eskimos is displayed on the edge of the concrete separating the upper and lower decks of Commonwealth Stadium. The Eskimos keep the number in circulation rather than retire them from use.
Numbers so honoured as of 2014[update]:
- 1 Warren Moon (2001)
- 2 Henry "Gizmo" Williams (2002)
- 11 Sean Fleming (2011)
- 12 Tom Wilkinson (1982)
- 13 Larry Highbaugh (1996)
- 22 Tom Scott (1993)
- 24 Johnny Bright (1983)
- 26 Dave Cutler (1986)
- 27 Don Getty (1992)
- 30 Danny Bass (1992)
- 36 Oscar Kruger (1992)
- 39 Willie Pless (2004)
- 42 Danny Kepley (1987)
- 47 Larry Wruck (2011)
- 51 Frank "Guts" Anderson † (1985)
- 53 Frank Morris (1984)
- 55 Ron Estay (2010)
- 60 Chris Morris (2008)
- 62 Bill Stevenson † (2014)
- 63 Hector Pothier (2014)
- 65 Dave Fennell (1984)
- 66 Roger Nelson (1987)
- 66 John LaGrone (1988)
- 67 Rod Connop (2005)
- 70 Brian Kelly (1989)
- 76 George McGowan (1985)
- 77 Tommy Joe Coffey (1988)
- 91 Jackie Parker (1983)
- 94 Rollie Miles (1983)
- 95 Normie Kwong (1984)
† Honoured posthumously
During each home game fans stand and sing the "Edmonton Eskimos Fight Song" to the tune "Washington and Lee Swing":
- We're cheering fight, fight, fight on Eskimos
- We're marching right, right, right on Eskimos
- We're charging down the field for all to see
- and shouting rah, rah, rah, fight on to victory
- We're fighting on till every game is won
- The Green and Gold is bold and when we're done
- we'll tell the world we're proud of Edmonton
- and the Edmonton Eskimos!
Current coaching staff
Edmonton Eskimos Staff
Special Teams Coaches
Strength and Conditioning
- Annis Stukus (1949–1952)
- Frank Filchock (1952)
- Darrell Royal (1953)
- Pop Ivy (1954–1957)
- Sam Lyle (1958)
- Eagle Keys (1959–1963)
- Neill Armstrong (1964–1969)
- Ray Jauch (1970–1977)
- Hugh Campbell (1977–1982)
- Pete Kettela (1983)
- Jackie Parker (1983–1987)
- Joe Faragalli (1987–1990)
- Ron Lancaster (1991–1997)
- Kay Stephenson (1998)
- Don Matthews (1999–2000)
- Tom Higgins (2001–2004)
- Danny Maciocia (2005–2008)
- Richie Hall (2009–2010)
- Kavis Reed (2011–2013)
- Chris Jones (2014–present)
CFL awards and trophies
- 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1960, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1993, 1996, 2002, 2003
- Dave Fennell (DT): 1978, 1982
- Tom Wilkinson (QB): 1978
- Warren Moon (QB): 1980, 1982
- Dale Potter (LB): 1980
- Damon Allen (QB): 1987, 1993
- Stewart Hill (DE): 1987
- Jason Tucker (WR): 2003
- Ricky Ray (QB): 2005
- Garry Lefebvre (DB): 1973
- Dave Cutler (K): 1975
- Angelo Santucci (RB): 1978
- Dale Potter (LB): 1980
- Neil Lumsden (RB): 1981
- Dave Fennell (DT): 1982
- Milson Jones (RB): 1987
- Sean Fleming (P/K): 1993
- Mike Maurer (FB): 2005
- Billy Vessels (RB): 1953
- Jackie Parker (QB/RB): 1957, 1958, 1960
- Johnny Bright (RB): 1959
- George McGowan (WR): 1973
- Tom Wilkinson (QB): 1974
- Warren Moon (QB): 1983
- Tracy Ham (QB): 1989
- Danny Kepley (LB): 1977, 1980, 1981
- Dave Fennell (DT): 1978
- James Parker (LB): 1982
- Danny Bass (LB): 1989
- Willie Pless (LB): 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
- Elfrid Payton (DE): 2002
- J. C. Sherritt (LB): 2012
- Edmonton Eskimos all time records and statistics
- Canadian Football Hall of Fame
- Canadian football
- Comparison of Canadian and American football
- List of Canadian Football League seasons
- Hall, Vicki (October 15, 2006). "Eskimos left out in cold". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- CFL.ca Staff (November 11, 2010). "By the Numbers: Playoffs???!!!". Canadian Football League. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
- Seskus, Tony (2007-09-01). "Community ownership a port in CFL's storms". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2014-05-12.
- Canoe inc. "Local ownership 'fraught with uncertainty'". canoe.ca. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- "Board of Directors - Edmonton Eskimos". Edmonton Eskimos. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- "Eskimos". Edmonton Eskimos. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- "Profile: Len Rhodes - Edmonton Eskimos". Edmonton Eskimos. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- Official website
- Official Facebook Page
- Official Twitter Account
- Watch Football Story, a 1953 National Film Board of Canada documentary about the Edmonton Eskimos