June 11, 2013

Ottawa’s CFL team makes a bad name even worse

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

You’re not going to believe this, but a team that named itself the Ottawa RedBlacks actually compounded the agony of anybody that has to pay attention to them even worse.

They corrected people that were mistakenly calling them the RedBlacks by telling them that the correct was to spell it like this: REDBLACKS.

Yes, it is supposed t be in all caps.

First off, let’s talk about the name itself: REDBLACKS. Those are two colours; not names. Colours are meant to be adjectives, not nouns. And if you want to say the ‘Blacks’ is a noun, then this conversation is headed into a racial territory that I don’t want to be involved in.

It’s alright if you have a colour in your name, like the Chicago White Sox or the Duke Blue Devils, but you can’t just be a colour. The Cleveland Browns aren’t named after a colour, they’re named after a person. The Cincinnati Reds weren’t originally the Reds either, they were the Red Stockings back in the day – and that team was founded more than 120 years ago.

Now, on to this allcaps thing. How ridiculous is that idea? A team named in allcaps? How idiotic is that? The team took enough heat for coming up with the horribly conceived RedBlack tag, now it’s just getting comically worse. Do they mean for every time that it is read in print that should shouted? If anything, as a copy editor and headline writer, it makes me eager for the days where I can openly mock this franchise in 120 point Impact font.

This is the third chance that Ottawa has had to name a CFL and here are the three outcomes:

-The Rough Riders, which made them one of two teams in a league with less than 10 teams to have the same name.

-The Renegades, which was about as uninspired as you can get. And this team only lasted four seasons.

-The REDBLACKS, which is every bit as ridiculous as it looks every time that I write it.

You know what, now that I think about it, maybe this new franchise is just trolling us. What better way to get attention in this Internet age than to do something ridiculous? Come to think about it, this whole naming fiasco has gotten the most mainstream media attention for the CFL since, well, Ricky Williams came north I guess.

So maybe this was a good idea after all, but that novelty is going to wear off very fast and, in the end, we’re going to have a team named the REDBLACKS. Hopefully they have a similar lifespan to the Renegades.

Follow me on Twitter @danbilicki

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