Oct 4, 2023
The 1973 Ottawa Rough Riders celebrated the 50th anniversary of their Grey Cup victory at half time at the Redblacks home game at TD Place on July 28th. Many of the festivities were photographed by Donn Smith and Gerry Organ provided comments to describe them (both members of the 1973 Champs). All of Donn’s pictures are available on the CFLOAA website under ‘Events’ (https://www.cfloaa.com/1973-50th-reunion).
The first event of the celebration was an interview conducted by OSEG with Dan Dever, Bob McKeown and Gerry on July 26th. They discussed the history of the team, their own football backgrounds and their memories of the championship season.
On the Thursday night, the team gathered for dinner at Big Daddy’s Bistro. Big Daddy’s is co-owned by Markus Kosmos, son of the late Mark Kosmos who was a member of the 1973 team.
The event was sponsored by the CFLOAA and by Ken and Arthur Loeb, sons of the 1973 team owner, the late David Loeb. The Loeb brothers sat with Gerry and his wife, Lore, and regaled them with their memories of the championship days.
Gerry described the event’s after dinner stories as ‘hilarious at times and borderline to say the least!’.
On Friday, a luncheon was held at the Hometown Sports Grill to honour the 1973 team. Other CFL Ottawa Alumni members and some fans attended as well as Redblack management who provided the players and their families with their replica Rough Rider jerseys and a Redblack’s ball cap plus tickets for the game. Pizza was enjoyed by everyone. CFLOAA President Jeff Avery welcomed everyone to the luncheon.
The team was honoured at the Redblacks vs. Tiger Cats game (after a lightening delay). The game itself was entertaining, but sadly, the home team found a way to lose late in the game. The half time reunion celebration went well with family members and friends joining the 1973 Grey Cup champions introductions at centre field.
Courtney Huestis, representing the Redblacks (OSEG), did a wonderful job of pulling so many details together and making the on the field and off the field transition rather seamless. Thanks Courtney!
To top things off, Sheilagh, Bob McKeown’s devoted spouse, invited the team to their house on the Quebec side overlooking Kingsmere Lake. Again, many Donn Smith photos to enjoy. This visit turned out to be a perfect conclusion to an exciting week of celebrating the 50th Anniversary of a great ‘CUP’ WIN over rival Edmonton.
Liam McKeown, Bob’s son, put together a great retrospective of the 1973 team through a sequence of player photos and action shots. It’s available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/pVEuz9rJpc4?si=ciExbvBNEnkO5VNz.
Co-captains the late Moe Racine (holding the Grey Cup) and the late Wayne Giardino.
The 1973 Grey Cup Champion Ottawa Rough Riders.