UNITED KINGDOM – As Argo fans around the world we are all well aware of the classic Argos chant. Many of us have participated in a stadium wide “AAAAARRRRR-GGOOOOOOOSS” cheer at the Skydome, and some of us have even shouted it at other stadiums across the CFL. Every once in a while I have even heard the familiar cheer in the parking lots at the Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo. This cheer is many things: classic, simple, loud, and proud. But where did it all start?
For that answer, I had to travel to the United Kingdom. My biggest fear was that I would have nobody to talk to about the Argonauts in the UK or the rest of Europe. Turns out that not only are there Argonauts fans worldwide, but there are also very smart Argonauts fans here! A wise Argonauts fan named Paul has revealed the secrets of Toronto-Argonauts-Chant-History. To figure out where the Argos chant came from, let’s look back to how the Argos were formed. I surveyed a group of athletes and found without a doubt rowers are the toughest and smartest athletes in the world, aside from Toronto Argonauts football players (obviously). Therefore, it only makes sense that the Toronto Argonauts Football Club has some sort of link to rowing. The Toronto Argonauts Football Club that we know and love today was founded in 1873 by the Toronto Argonauts Rowing Club. The Argonauts Rowing Club was founded in 1872 and the jacked & tanned rowers needed something to do during their off season to stay in shape. Argos football was born. The double blue Argo colours are also a salute to the Argonaut Rowing Club. When ARC was founded the two major powerhouses in British rowing were Oxford and Cambridge Universities. ARC adopted Oxford blue and Cambridge blue as their official team colours as a tribute to their respective rowing clubs. When ARC formed the football team the double blue colours came with them.
What does all this rowing discussion have to do with the cheer? That comes from rowdy rowing fans back in England, too. At both Oxford and Cambridge the schools are separated into colleges. Some colleges had their own rowing crews within the Oxford Rowing or Cambridge Rowing clubs. Spectators who lined the banks of the rivers to watch the rowing would cheer their college’s names like LIIIIIN-COOOOOLNNNN, or CHUUUURCH-HIIIIILLLL, or MEEEEEEEERRR-TOOOOONN (former home of Paul the wise Argo fan), etc. This cheering was done in the same cadence that we all recognize when we cheer for the AAAARRRRR-GGOOOOOOOOOS. Keeping the dream and tradition alive, the Argonaut Rowing Club used the AAAARRRRRR-GGOOOOOOS chant when cheering for their crews and continued that cheer at the Football Club.
And today the AAAARRRRRRR-GGGOOOOSSSS chant is internationally recognized by fans of the double blue. Whether in Canada, the United States, Europe, or other parts of the world everybody recognizes a good cheer when they hear one. Many smart and wonderful people across the globe are cheering loudly for the AARRRRR-GGOOOOOOOS no matter how far away from Skydome they are!