A moment in history: Oct. 25, 1954

A moment in history: Oct. 25, 1954

· The Pulse

On this day in 1954, Edmonton's professional football team had notched another win on its way to its first Grey Cup victory.

The predecessors of the team dated all the way back to 1892, when a challenge from Calgary got Edmonton's back up and a team was formed. By 1895, a mix of players from Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan won the first Alberta Rugby Football Championship.

In 1908, the team became known as the Esquimaux, which was revised to Eskimos in 1910. They made it to the Grey Cup in 1921 and 1922 but lost both times and faded in and out of existence until the club was resurrected for good in 1949.

The 1954 season got off to a rough start with two consecutive losses, but the team never lost two in a row again, winding up with an 11-5 record and first place in the West.

"Jackie Parker, the dynamic Eskimo halfback, wasn't the whole show Saturday at Clarke Stadium, but he was close," reads the caption from a photo montage from a 24-19 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Parker excelled on both sides of the ball, and he played on a team of other future Hall-of-Famers, including Rollie Miles, Normie Kwong, and Johnny Bright.

Edmonton went on the face the Montreal Alouettes in the 1954 Grey Cup. The Esks were considered the underdogs, but as the clock ticked down in the fourth quarter at Varsity Stadium in Toronto, Parker recovered a fumble and ran the ball all the way down the field for a touchdown. Edmonton won 26-25.

It was the start of Edmonton's first football dynasty, as the team would win again in 1955 and 1956. That streak would be exceeded in 1978, the start of a five-year run as Grey Cup champions. They won the CFL's top prize a few more times in the ensuing decades, but their last Grey Cup was in 2015, their last winning season was in 2017, and this season has ended with a 4-14 record.

The team was renamed the Elks in 2021 due to the untenable nature of the previous name; the new moniker is a throwback to one they sported in 1922.

This is based on a clipping found on Vintage Edmonton, a daily look at Edmonton's history from armchair archivist @revRecluse — follow @VintageEdmonton for daily ephemera.