Sports: The CFL Needs To Look At Putting A Franchise In Portland Oregon

By on October 10, 2011

By David Murray : The CFL is a great league but it has made an error that I cannot figure out? Why have they not expanded to Portland Oregon? This city would be a great rival for our B.C. Lions![Click On Image For Full Story]

In 1992 the Calgary Stampeders and Toronto Argos played in front of a sold out crowd in Portland in exhibition play!

A team in Portland would be a great fit for the C.F.L. . They have a 32,500 seat stadium. PGE Park. They have filled it to capacity for an exhibition game in 1992 , a game between the Calgary Stampeders and the Toronto Argos.
Why the C.F.L. elected to go to Sacremento for their first expansion and then to venture into markets like Las Vegas and Memphis made no sense. Who was doing the business case for the league back then?
Portland is a great sports town, after all they tried their best to help out the Vancouver Grizzlies N.B.A. team when they first got started by letting them win their first two games against them. A lot of people don’t remember “Big Country” and the boys started the season off 2-0.
They had a great W.H.L. franchise with the Portland Buckeroos. I remember the Connie Madagan and Jerry Foley fights when they played the Vancouver Canucks.

Portland Buckeroos

The Western Hockey League franchise the Portland Winter Hawks and the N.B.A. surviving in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle and Vancouver having lost their teams, prove that Portland is a big-time sports town!
I think the C.F.L. needs to expand. It needs to bring Winnipeg back into the West Division. It needs to go back to Ottawa. With a franchise in Halifax, London or Quebec city.
Alignment would look like this
In the West
In the East
London-Quebec City
I feel that Portland has got “true” football fans. They of course have the Oregon “Ducks” not that far away.
The Oregon State “Beavers” are a little further down I-5.

1969 Portland Loggers of the Continental Football League



People in Portland love their football. It wasn’t their fault leagues like the C.F.L. (Continental Football League) , the WFL (World Football League) and the USFL (United States Football League) folded.
Portland was one of the shining stars of each of their leagues they played in.


In 1969 , getting a franchise when the Orange County “Ramblers” folded and despite having a 3-9 season, the Portland Loggers of the C.F.L. actually had a successful season at the turnstile. They played their first game against the Las Vegas “Cowboys” and lost 34-7 but won their first game Aug.24th at home against the Fort Worth “Braves” 17-10.
The star of that C.F.L. team was Rhome Nixon (he was the Player of the Year in the League). He played 6 games with the B.C. Lions and had 11 catches in 1970.

Former B.C. Lion Rhome Nixon


Rhome Nixon

The big (6 foot five inches) tight end out of Southern joined the BC Lions in 1970 and had 11 catches in 6 games for the Lions. After being out of the CFL in 1971, Nixon returned in 1972 with Ottawa and played four seasons for the Rough Riders. Nixon’s best season was 1974 when he was third in the East in receptions with 54, behind only Tony Gabriel and Johnny Rodgers, to earn East All-Star honours. After his release by Ottawa, late in the 1975 season, Nixon signed with the Montreal Alouettes, but did not play any regular season games.

Games Played and Receiving Team

Year GP Rec Yds Avg Long TD
BC 1970 6 11 271 24.6 52 1
OTT 1972 10 25 347 13.9 28 0
OTT 1973 10 38 493 13 46 6
OTT 1974 16 54 951 17.6 68 7
OTT 1975 15 27 452 16.7 64 3

The Portland Storm came into being in 1973, they were lead by former Toronto Argo quarterback Greg Barton and ex-B.C. Lion and Hudson Bay High School Star (Portland Oregon) Jim Evenson. They went through a name change in 1975 and were called the Portland Thunder.

Portland Thunder WFL

Portland Thunder player WFL

The Portland Storm in 1973 despite having a 7-12-1 season, again were great at bringing out the fans!


The U.S.F.L. (United States Football League came to Portland in 1985) And in spite of a 6-12 record saw their season attendance at 19,919.
The United States has a law that it cannot have an only “Canadian” player content rule. This would guarantee a successful team right away. This would be of course if they followed the model of the old C.F.L. franchise in Baltimore. Hire an experienced head coach like they did with Don Mathews, and get a proven C.F.L. quarterback that can run and use the 110 yard field like they did with Tracy Ham.
Darien Durant would be a good fit for a franchise like that. Maybe as a coachJohn Hufnagel all-american at (Penn State) would be a good fit for that position.

CFL in Portland ?

If I was looking for a place for the C.F.L. to invest in right now , Portland should be on the radar!


David Murray – Is the Editor of the Pitt Meadows Today

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