The Toronto Argonauts are a football team. In 1873 members of Toronto's Argonaut Rowing Club formed a rugby team, choosing as their colours the double blue of the English universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
The Toronto Argonauts are a football team. In 1873 members of Toronto's Argonaut Rowing Club formed a rugby team, choosing as their colours the double blue of the English universities of Oxford and Cambridge. They lost to University of Toronto in their first Grey Cup appearance (1911), winning their first Grey Cup against the same club in 1914. Led by the great all-round athlete Lionel Conacher, they defeated the Edmonton Eskimos in the first East-West Grey Cup (1921). Prior to World War II, the Argonauts won 3 Grey Cups in the 1930s (1933, 1937 and 1938). During the immediate post-WW2 era, the Argonauts clung stubbornly to the concept of an all-Canadian team and were successful. They won 5 more national championships in the ensuing 19 years (1945, 1946, 1947, 1950 and 1952), with such distinguished Canadian players as Joe Krol. Quarterback Joe Theismann took them to a 1971 championship loss to Calgary Stampeders, and under coach Bob O'Billovich they lost to the Edmonton Eskimos in the 1982 Grey Cup game.
The team ended 31 years of frustration with a victory in 1983 over the BC Lions; it lost in the Grey Cup game in 1984 and in a classic contest in 1987. In 1959 they moved from Varsity Stadium to Canadian National Exhibition Stadium, and then to the SkyDome in 1989. In 1991, the Argos were purchased by Wayne Gretzky, Los Angeles Kings owner Bruce McNall and comedian John Candy. They immediately lured Heisman Trophy winner Raghib "the Rocket" Ismail to play in Toronto. That year Ismail led the team to its 12th Grey Cup championship, over Calgary. Ownership of the team passed to Labatts and then to TSN.
The team continued to be successful Grey Cup contenders in the late 1990s. In 1996 the Argonauts acquired outstanding quarterback Doug Flutie and went on to defeat Edmonton 43-37 in the Grey Cup. In 1997 the team enjoyed their second straight 15-3 regular season record and a 47-23 landslide over Saskatchewan in the Grey Cup. One of the best teams in CFL history, they led the league in 22 of 25 defensive categories, and in 20 of 35 offensive categories. Mike "Pinball" Clemons set a record with 3840 all-purpose yards, as did Doug Flutie with a record 47 touchdown passes. The 1998 team lost several of its best players to the NFL, including Flutie, who went on to shine with the Buffalo Bills.
Although the team faced a series of losing streaks and management changes at the turn of the century, it emerged victorious in the 2004 season, winning the Grey Cup against the BC Lions 27-19. The team was not a contender for the Grey Cup again until 2012, when the Argonauts were the victor in the 100th Grey Cup championship, defeating the Calgary Stampeders 35-22.
The Toronto Argonauts play their home games at SkyDome, a domed stadium that seats 53 595. Team colours are navy, teal and grey.