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Saturday , 31 July 2021
Image credit: Edmonton Football Team.

MENZIES: Whatever name is picked, fans will be needed at the games

There will be a new name for the Edmonton Football Team. Let’s take a look at the candidates:

  •         Elk,
  •         Evergreens,
  •         Evergolds,
  •         Eclipse,
  •         Elkhounds,
  •         Eagles,
  •         Elements

Like many others, I’m not thrilled by these name options. In fact, I’ve never heard of an Elkhound before.

And let’s face it, there is no easy way to change the team name for one of–well, let’s be honest–the most prestigious Canadian football franchise in the history of the game.

Founded in 1949, Edmonton has 14 Grey Cup championships, three fewer than the Toronto Argonauts who have the most, but also have a 40-odd year headstart.

Edmonton has been a quarterback factory in its history: Jackie Parker, Tom Wilkinson, Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon, Damon Allen, Tracy Ham, Danny McManus, Ricky Ray, Mike Reilly, and so on and so forth.

Edmonton is one of the premier franchises the Canadian Football League can hold onto, and although the removal of the name Eskimos is by no means a death knell for the franchise, you have to wonder if the team will ever play again–new name or not.

CFL commissioner Randy Ambroise said they are “committed” to playing games in 2021.

Of course, the league could not get off the ground in 2020 and it’s been reported that losses range between $60 million to $80 million by not playing.

But unlike the major pro sports, (NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL) the CFL needs fans in the stands when they play. Period. The CFL’s history–and recent history–is fraught with financial struggles, that’s why many teams are community-owned.

Some insiders are suggesting the league will open training camps in mid-summer and be playing by Labour Day, by which time it’s anticipated that significant percentages of the stadiums will be opened.

Will that happen is anyone’s guess.

But the CFL, for all its committing, is really at the mercy of provincial health officials, the same ones who laid out to the National Hockey League that there needed to be strong guidelines in place, and will require six provinces’ permission.

That doesn’t even get into the issue of stadium and fan capacities. And those activities–still–seem a far way off and will depend on how many people can get shots in their arms in Canada.

I truly wonder what the ramifications are for the CFL if there aren’t games again this season. Can the league survive? How can those losses be recovered? Will it require some sort of bailout?

Back to the Edmonton Football Team. I would suggest keeping the EE logo and just calling them the Edmonton Green and Gold.

However, creativity has not been the strong suit of some CFL marketing folks in the past. Ottawa’s team name already has two colours in it (the RedBlacks), Winnipeg has Blue in the name too, and…to hell with it, just go to the tried and true Canadian tradition of naming your football team the Rough Riders.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.