CFL Pass

Ottawa Redblacks host odd sports fan tradition

What if I told you that there’s a city in Canada that anticipated the return of professional football after a nine-year absence so that the fans could yell at one another? That an expansion team was born with a rivalry in place? That even local politicos have no fear of alienating half a fanbase on game day?

Apologies for the derivative opener, but the CFL.ca production “Northside Southside” runs like an excellent “30 for 30” short in its encapsulation of one of the world’s strangest sports fan rituals. As the name implies, the 13½-minute short features Ottawa’s utterly unique in-stadium rivalry which pits the posher and more reserved fans sitting in the northern area of seats against the raucous southsiders.
Repeat after them: “Northside sucks! Northside sucks!” (image courtesy CFL.ca)

Repeat after them: “Northside sucks! Northside sucks!” (image courtesy CFL.ca)

Filmed from prior to the 2014 CFL season with footage running through the Ottawa Redblacks’ inaugural home game at the remodeled TD Place Stadium, the film takes a lighthearted look at the not-so-serious rivalry (after all, ultimately north and south back the Redblacks – and before them, the Renegades and Rough Riders) with chuckles and vintage video aplenty.

In fact, CFLpass might even argue that the final minutes devoted to the home opener, as exciting and satisfying as these clips may be, is necessary save for the occasional interspersing of the characteristic “North Side/South Side sucks.”

Good show, CFL.ca Productions … and if you think CFLpass’ll wrap this article in the fashion of the short film, i.e. by taunting either side, you’re nuts.