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Your 2024 Uni Watch CFL Season Uniform Preview, Part I: East Division

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Good morning, Uni Watchers. I hope everyone had a pleasant Wednesday.

The CFL, or Canadian Football League, kicks of its 2024 season tonight, when the Montreal Allouettes and Winnipeg Blue Bombers will meet for the Season Opener. You can view the full schedule here.

As he has in previous years, our own Wade Heidt has prepared an in-depth uniform preview, divided into the East and West Divisions. Due to its thorough nature, and length, the preview will be broken down into two parts, with Part II to follow later this morning.

There’s a LOT to get to, so I’ll just let Wade take it from here.

• • • • •
2024 Uni Watch CFL Uniform Preview, Part I
by Wade Heidt

It is finally upon us. A time of year I love. You know what time it is! It is time to kick off another season of professional Canadian football!

The Canadian Football League regular season starts June 6. The opening game is the Grey Cup rematch with the Montreal Alouettes visiting the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The nine CFL teams will struggle against each other through the heat of summer into the biting cold breeze
of fall. All hoping for the chance to play in the 111th Grey Cup game in Vancouver on November 17. A chance to raise the storied chalice representing Canadian football supremacy high above their heads.

New Era continues to provide the uniforms. We will take a look at the nine teams. Before we do so, we will review some league-wide matters first.

● Some new health and safety measures. The CFL is permitting players to wear Guardian Caps during games if they wish. The mandatory use of Guardian Caps at training camp and contact practices has been expanded to include defensive backs and receivers. Mouthguard use is now mandatory in-game. Here are the league’s new health and safety measures for 2024 in more detail.

●Practice? Are we talking about practice? Yes, we are! The practice jerseys supplied by New Era now have the team logos on the sleeves for most teams (except Edmonton and Toronto). As well, some teams have side panels on the new practice jerseys.

.● National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada is September 30. Last season, six of the nine teams had Indigenous-themed team logos created by local Indigenous artists. Four of the teams (BC, Edmonton, Calgary, and Winnipeg) wore the logos on their helmets for at least one game. Likely the same will be happening this season around September 30. It would be encouraging to see all nine teams involved this season.

● There were more colour vs. colour games in the CFL last season compared to usual. Including the 2023 Eastern Final. I would expect we could see a sprinkling of colour vs. colour games again this season.

● Similar to the NFL, the CFL is no longer a one-shell league when it comes to helmets starting again this season. There was no official league announcement that I am aware of. However, the ability for a team to now wear a different colour helmet shell became apparent when Saskatchewan unveiled their fourth uniform. More on that later.

With the league matters handled, let’s take a team-by-team look at what is new (or still the same) for the three-down game on the large Canadian field for 2024.

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East Division

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

No uniform changes announced for 2024 for the Ticats. Just mystery and intrigue. Last season, Hamilton introduced a new set of yellow pants with black stripes and a set of black pants with yellow stripes. However, they also wore yellow pants with no stripes and black pants with no stripes during the season too.

The Tiger-Cats didn’t have this situation with their white pants. Wearing only white pants with the black stripes.

Very unconventional and appeared somewhat random when the pants with the stripes or without the stripes would be worn. I reached out to an official for the Tiger-Cats to clarify how this came about and to find out if this will be the case again this season. No reply has been received at time of publication.

Of note, the Tabbies wore solid black pants in their preseason games in 2024. The Made in The Hammer grey alternate uniforms are likely to be back. This regular alternate is like a CFL version of a City Connect uniform to best explain its theme. Nothing wrong with the Tiger-Cats look, but you know I’m still waiting. Still waiting for them to return to yellow helmets the way it should be. I’ve been waiting a long time.

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Montreal Alouettes

No changes to the primary and alternate uniforms announced for the defending Grey Cup champions. We could expect to see some mix-and-match again this season. Last season, the Alouettes wore white pants with their road white and alternate red jerseys. The alternate uniform red pants also looked great when they made an appearance with the road white jersey.

We will see a special “one-of-a-kind” uniform for the Als when they host Edmonton on August 25. Montreal will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of their 1974 Grey Cup win, which occurred against Edmonton. No leaks or uniform release yet, but it is expected to look much like what the Alouettes wore in 1974. We could be seeing the return of their Delta logo with the helmet decal on the front and numbers on the helmet sides.

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Ottawa Redblacks

Sometimes history in the CFL can be confusing. As per the CFL Guide and Record Book, the league recognizes all three Ottawa clubs that played in the CFL or the league’s predecessors as a single entity dating back to 1876. Two intervals of non-participation from 1997-2001 and 2006-2013 are recognized. This includes the Rough Riders, Renegades, and Redblacks.

Simply put, the Redblacks started play in 2014 and the team does have a 10th anniversary logo this season. A good anniversary logo with the cross axes that ties in with the lumberjack identity associated with the team.

You may wonder why we showed just photos of the road uniform and the alternate for Ottawa. The Redblacks kept their home uniform intact while changing only their road uniform and introduced their alternate in 2021. Now it is time for a new home uniform to grace the field in 2024!

The uniform has a modern look influenced by the classic past look of the Rough Riders. The notched R logo on the jersey sleeves and helmet is not accompanied by the sawblade in the background.

The new helmet is similar to the popular alternate helmets worn in 2022 and 2023. The R is slightly smaller and the striping width is different for white and red stripes. This is a nod to the Rough Riders helmet worn during glory days of winning Grey Cups in the 1960s and 1970s. The helmet will only be worn with the home uniform. Ottawa will continue to wear the original Redblacks helmet with no stripes and primary logo with sawblade on the road and with the alternates.

The jersey is keeping the notched number font and features striping on the shoulders. The pants are solid black and the socks are black. This uniform is an upgrade to the busy old home look. I love that the helmet is a Redblacks’ take on the Rough Riders helmet I remember as a youngster. The big plus with the pants is there is no longer the R-Nation wordmark on the side. The big minus with the pants is they are solid black and worn with black socks. Would have rather had striping on the pants rather than the yoga pants look I don’t like. White pants would have been a good option and an even further nod to the old Rough Riders’ look.

The Redblacks continue to have an inconsistent look between home and road uniforms. No worries. I’m happy because the home look was in dire need of a redesign and we got it. I think Ice Cube was happy with the new look too!

Ottawa released a home uniform schedule that lets us know the red alternates will be worn three times.

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Toronto Argonauts

The Argos did a big uniform overhaul at the start of last season so not much news out of Toronto. Part way through the 2023 season Toronto introduced the darker Oxford blue pants as an option. The Oxford blue pants appear to have become a favourite for the Double Blue and are being worn most prominently since late last season. They were worn with the Cambridge blue jerseys during preseason media shoots and they wore them during the preseason games in 2024.

Expect to see a lot of mix-and-match again this season from the Boatmen with multiple pant and sock sets. It seems only a matter of time one would think until an Oxford blue alternate jersey is added.

• • • • •
Thanks, Wade!

We’ll be back with Part II later today.

 

 
  
 

Guess the Game from the Uniform


Based on the suggestion of long-time reader/contributor Jimmy Corcoran, we’ve introduced a new “game” on Uni Watch, which is similar to the popular “Guess the Game from the Scoreboard” (GTGFTS), only this one asked readers to identify the game based on the uniforms worn by teams.

Like GTGFTS, readers will be asked to guess the date, location and final score of the game from the clues provided in the photo. Sometimes the game should be somewhat easy to ascertain, while in other instances, it might be quite difficult. There will usually be a visual clue (something odd or unique to one or both of the uniforms) that will make a positive identification of one and only one game possible. Other times, there may be something significant about the game in question, like the last time a particular uniform was ever worn (one of Jimmy’s original suggestions). It’s up to YOU to figure out the game and date.

Today’s GTGFTU comes from Braden Jurie.

Good luck and please post your guess/answer in the comments below.

 

 

Uni Tweet of the Day

Yes, there is such a thing as too much red…

 

And finally...

…that’s it for the early lede. Big BIG thanks once again to Wade for this fantastic CFL uni preview.

Part II will run shortly, and I should have at least one more article today as well, so be sure to keep checking back.

Everyone have a good Thursday and I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

Peace,

PH

Comments (6)

    Had a bit of a debate the other day about Guardian Caps and whether any players would actually wear them on the field this year (both CFL and NFL). My view was that safety is such a concern of players, that I’d think there would be at least a few, but others dismissed it as players would be be too swayed by peer pressure.

    Interesting to hear how others view the direction of travel?

    From a uni-perspective, the aesthetic of the guardian caps will look brutal, but I think it will improve over time, and the safety of the players has to be of the most importance (see helmets in hockey, halo in F1…).

    I’ve given up all hope that the mono-unis were a fad and are going away……..

    I’ve given up all hope that the mono-unis were a fad and are going away……..

    That is also the first and ONLY time (so far) that the Seahawks wore all green uniforms on the road.

    That new Ottawa home uni needs white/red/white stripes on those black pants. If really want a throwback look, they should wear it with red socks.

    I don’t know which game the GTGFTU pic is from, but that is by far the ugliest match-up I can ever remember.

    Agree with Jeff Stark. They’re going to keep foisting this crap on us because they think it’s cutting-edge or something. It’s not. It’s just terrible.

    Here’s my ranking of the 11 uniforms shown. I just used white jersey, dark jersey, and mono for the descriptors since I don’t know how the CFL determines what team is in white or dark.

    1. Toronto white jersey
    2. Hamilton dark jersey
    3. Montreal mono red
    4. Toronto dark jersey
    5. Hamilton white jersey
    6. Montreal white jersey
    7. Montreal dark jersey
    8. Ottawa dark jersey
    9. Ottawa white jersey
    10. Hamilton mono gray
    11. Ottawa mono black

    # 10 & 11 were very easy chooses. The Ottawa mono black might be the worst uniform I’ve ever seen. Ottawa is definitely the worst looking team in the Division. Since The West Division has the best uniforms (IMO) in the league I’m sure Ottawa would be in last place for the entire CFL.

    Can’t bring myself to attempt to research the GTGFTU this time for fear of having to see more photos of that nasty uni matchup. Ugh.

    Shows the Texans can wear all red while the Titans wear light blue jersey and dark blue pant. The NFL needs more color vs color games.

    The Houston Texans’ new uniforms aren’t so bad. I just think the number font is too large. And the H-Town blue unis looks weird with the H-Town blue being an accent color; they should really let go of the Columbia blue.

    The number font is the best part! Don’t shrink it!

    The following comment does not reflect the views of Uni Watch management and the Editor in Chief:
    I can’t wait to see the Texans on the field this season!

    Excellent Colin. Can’t wait to get the CUUW rolling! Canadian University Uni Watch that is!

    Wade, you’re my North-of-the-Border uni-analyzing hero! I love your contributions to the site, and this could be held up as Exhibit Number 1 as to why. Great knowledge of the subject, great analysis, and crisp, informative writing Great job!

    This isn’t as much about the uniforms as much as the CFL East in general: I know there was talk of an expansion team in Halifax or somewhat in that part of the country. Any news on the progress of that? Living in Southern California we don’t get any real coverage of the CFL. Thanx.

    Hey Kevin. The ongoing saga of the Atlantic Schooners.

    link

    link

    There’s been recent neutral site regular season games in the Maritimes (Touchdown Atlantic) . 7 regular season games since 2010. Last year’s game was in Halifax.

    There seems to be a lack of interest in getting a proper stadium in place. Need local government on board and a group with the will and the funds to drive the boat.

    However, this doesn’t stop the Atlantic Schooners (Maritime CFL fans) from hosting their team parties at a Grey Cup. The Schooners have been undefeated since 1984!

    link

    Wade, I’m with you. Still waiting for the Ti-Cats to go back to yellow helmets!
    BUT, since it’s not a one-shell league, keep The Hammer alternate as is. Wear the yellow helmet with the regular unis and you’ve got a top notch set.

    Back a decade ago for a brief period, many teams had specific home and road helmets that were different colour. I didn’t like it but would not have minded Hamilton doing this so that we could get the yellow helmet. Drove me crazy that Hamilton was not one of the teams. We last saw the yellow helmets with 2010 throwbacks but we need it for primary uniform. Their traditional look (from prior to 1986). The way it should be.

    Great article, well written and researched but somehow the CFL teams look like European gridiron amateur teams: must be the ads and the lack of really bold (expensive to execute) designs. New Era uniforms somehow look like they come from a mail order catalog. Toronto and Hamilton are my most liked among these but even they do not pull it off completely.

Comments are closed.