Wednesday, 22 July 2020

A Long Overdue Team Name Change

Hello everyone! I'm popping back from my little blogging hiatus due to exciting, breaking news!


After years of criticism about its inappropriate use of an "indigenous-people-as-mascots" team name, the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League finally bowed to pressure yesterday and dropped the name. YAY!

Until then, team management had tried to avoid this result by relying on a series of evasive, intellectually dishonest and increasingly nonsensical rationalizations. Desperately clinging to that insensitive name also simply reinforced the Canadian stereotype of Albertans as a bunch of backward rednecks who can't move with the times, another negative image that we don't need either.

What changed? Taking a page from the playbook of sponsors who forced the Washington NFL team to change its racist name, a couple of Edmonton's sponsors similarly threatened to withdraw financial support. The entire CFL is on the verge of economic disaster right now anyway due to Covid-19 so no team can afford to lose any sponsors. MONEY TALKS, BABY!

A new team name will be chosen in due course. There's no huge rush because it's not clear if there will even be a CFL season this year. But, as always, I am ready, willing and able to offer suggestions, advice and wise counsel on this important matter.


The team does want to keep its "Double E" logo, so that will put some alphabetical limitations on a new name. If we go the wildlife route, there's the following possibilities: eagles, elks, emus, egrets, elephants or eels. The "Edmonton Eagles" is a bit too American, I think (despite most of our players actually being Americans). The "Edmonton Elks" could be a good choice since elks are plentiful and native to Alberta, and can be kinda scary, badass mofos if provoked, which brings a bit of an intimidation factor. The other E-wildlife names are clearly non-starters.

Five years ago on this blog, I advocated the "Edmonton Edge" as a new team name because it sounds modern and, well, edgy. Shut up, it's still my favourite until I hear anything better! I will email the team and offer it to them gratis. I'm sure they'll get right on it. If it gets chosen, remember you read it here first, LOL!

My sister rather waggishly advanced the "Edmonton Enemas" as the new team name, but she's a Saskatchewan Roughriders fan and you know how they are.

I strongly suspect, however, that the new team name will be something like the "Edmonton Energy" in order to remind everyone of Alberta's oil-and-gas based economy. Even though hard times are upon that industry right now, Alberta never gives up hope of reclaiming its powerhouse economic status.

53 comments:

Laurie said...

It’s definitely a long over due change much needed,, I hope your suggestion is chosen, it’s crisp clean and like you said, modern, although I do think they’ll choose something wildlife related , it’s such a beautiful province with so much raw natural beauty, trying to keep the double E lettering does add a challenge but who knows, I have heard someone suggest Edmonton enforcers, I hope you’re enjoying your break. Take care,,

Bob said...

I kinda like the Edge.
Tell Canada I like your suggestion best!

DEZMOND said...

I don't see how Eskimos is offensive? I see Eskimos as the trade mark of your country so the name does not sound offensive to me. It is different with RedSkins, but here I don't get it. I'd love to be a mascot to a team of hot football players LOL

anne marie in philly said...

the elks or the energy seems cool. your sister is a scream. and I see $$$ talks in canada as well as it does down here.

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Lmaoooo
Your sister is genius.
But I'm glad they're changing the name! I'm waiting to see what happens to the teams here in America. It's not going to be easy...

XOXO

Marie Smith said...

Money talks for sure.

LL Cool Joe said...

How about Edmonton Egos or Edmonton Eggheads? Okay maybe not.

Doctor Z said...

WAHOO! That's fantastic news! I second the "Edmonton Edge."

Busy Bee Suz said...

I hope they pick your choice because, well, you are a wise one!!

Furree Katt said...

Yay you're back! I love your suggestion for Edmonton Elks.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I agree that the "E" wildlife choices aren't spectacular, are they? -Jenn

Mike said...

You also have to consider what the sportscasters could do with the name when the team is having a bad season. Like 'Every other team is going over the EDGE'. The Elks would sell more team gear. I can see all the horned hats now. And you know those vuvuzelas at soccer games? They could become elk horns.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19041-what-makes-the-sound-of-vuvuzelas-so-annoying/

Kirk said...

I'm in Cleveland where we have the Indians. The management of that team has expressed a--willingness might be too strong a word, but they say they're open to the possibility of a name change. I'd be fine with that, but I may be in a minority (but then as a member of the LGBTQ, I am anyway.) They already got rid of Chief Wahoo, the buck-toothed cartoon mascot, and, man, was there a hue and cry over that, and you still see the character all over the place, on people's clothing and the like. So I'm expecting a similar hue and cry over a name change, if it ever happens. We'll see. In the meantime, I salute Edmonton.

Leanna said...

I think the Edmonton Enemas could fly. Really! I do.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

finally. even jane fonda was making the tomahawk slash when she lived in atlanta. i was appalled!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ DEZMOND -- The term "Inuit" is the name historically chosen by this indigenous group to describe itself. The term "Eskimo" is widely viewed as a slur (although its etymology and exact meaning is not clear) that has been imposed on them by other indigenous people and French/English colonizers. Use of the term is avoided today when speaking of Inuit people.
Quite apart from that, it is viewed as demeaning to use any indigenous group as a "mascot" for a sports team because doing so is "colonialism" at best and "racist" at worst.
Times have changed since 70 years ago when Edmonton named its football team and I'm glad that it will be moving forward with a new name.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ jaz@octoberfarm -- Yes, I remember seeing that footage of Jane Fonda too and being appalled as well. She was married to Ted Turner at the time, I believe, and wasn't he a team owner or something? But we can all learn better. I'm sure she wouldn't do something like that today!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Laurie -- I can see the "Edmonton Enforcers" being a popular option but for me, it's just a bit too violent. And we all know football is a game of dainty tea cups and raised pinky fingers. Hey, don't expect consistency from me, LOL!

Bathwater said...

Changing a team logo is a big financial cost. I can see why they would want to keep the EE at least.

Parnassus said...

Hello Debra, From your suggestions and the comments, I am favoring the Elks. Since someone mentioned elk hats, do the current fans sport igloo caps? That would be kind of cute, even while stereotyping.

Like Kirk, I am from Cleveland, and realize the long haul that Cleveland is due for in renaming the Indians.
--Jim

jackie said...

Don't even have names for any teams,
That way you dont insult any person, place or thing.
God help us all

Laura said...

I like your suggestion for Edge.

blessings
~*~

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Parnassus (Jim) -- No, no igloo caps. The EE has actually been very careful over the years not to actually use any Inuit human/cultural imagery in its promotions. Although it did have a polar bear mascot at one point but that's not specifically Inuit, of course, just Arctic-related.

Tundra Bunny said...

If the team chooses "Edge" as its new name, I can already hear other teams' fans chanting "Wedgies"...LOL!

My choice for a new moniker would be the Edmonton Eclipse because fans could easily chant "Clippers" and since Alberta's oil & gas economy is on life support, they better switch to solar or sit in their medieval dark age forevermore!

Ol'Buzzard said...

I know that Athabaskans calling someone an Eskimo is meant to be derogatory. In Farley Mowat's book, Lost in the Barrens, he writes that Eskimo was an Indian word that meant eaters of meat; a connotation to cannibalism.

By the way, Lost in the Barrens is an adventure story of two young boys. A great gift for any young boy, to encourage reading.
the Ol'Buzzard

Old Lurker said...

It boggles my mind that these sportsball teams "honoring" other cultures rarely engage in revenue-sharing with those cultures (I think there was one, but I do not remember what it was. The Seminoles? The Cherokees?) But if the football team wishes to project an image of dominance and brutality via a subculture, there are lots of Christian denominations to choose from. The Edmonton Evangelicals? The Edmonton Episcopalians?

There are also plenty of other animal names available. Elk are a bad choice because they are a prey animal. I suggest the Edmonton Earwigs.

Your sister may have been on the right track, though, but I am surprised she did not go all the way and suggest the Edmonton Excrement. If you want a name with more industrial connotations, you might choose the Edmonton Effluvia. Or given who gets to finance the stadium upgrades for this private, for-profit enterprise, how about the Edmonton Embezzlers?

Overall I am glad these sports teams are finally changing their racist names. Those names reflected the standards of their time and perhaps the new names should reflect the standards of ours. Thus in honor of 2020 maybe you should name your sports team the Edmonton Epidemic.

Joanne Noragon said...

Akron Ohio had a similar kerfuffle over its minor league baseball team, now called the Rubber Ducks. I liked the former name, and can't even remember what it was.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Ol'Buzzard -- Well, if we can't give the final word on this to Farley Mowat, who CAN we give it to? Thanks, OB!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Old Lurker -- You raise an excellent point about the total lack of even nominal compensation paid by sports teams to the true owners of their indigenous mascot names. "Entitlement" means not just taking what belongs to another, but taking it for free.

I see I must ensure that you and my sister never, ever meet and team up to co-create a Supervillain of Sarcasm that even the Avengers would not be able to take down, LOL!

Lady M said...

Elephants, Egos, Epics, Erections, Explosion - could any of those work?

Rosemary said...

These important considerations are now being applied to so many injustices around the world.
I like the sound of Edmonton Elks - it runs off the tongue easily and reflects Canada too.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Lady M -- Oh, I bet ALL the players would want to be called "the Erections!"

e said...

My Edmontonian neighbors and I were discussing this just last week. I told them of your suggestion, Edmonton Edge, and they thought it was pretty cool. I hope your name wins out!

This N That said...

I like the Edge!! Perfect!!..Are you really back??I guess time will tell..

brewella deville said...

Seattle just named their hockey team Seattle Kraken, which takes the cake for all team names anywhere, in any sport. Perhaps Edmonton can drop the alliteration and branch out into mythology? Any Canadian crypto biologists have suggestions?

Moving with Mitchell said...

Can’t elieve it’s taken these team so long. But happy for the progress. I have a friend named Mary Worth and she looks just like the comic strip character!

Ur-spo said...

I too forget why Eskimo is not good but I know enough to know folks I respect tell me it should not be used, so I do not.

Adam said...

Happening at the same time as the Washington Redskins too.

Travel said...

Welcome back! We missed you. I like Edge, copyright it and demand a Million if they use it.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Edmonton Energy sounds too industrial complex-y.
I like Elks. Edmonton Elephants doesn't have a good ring to it, and Eagles is too American - as you say.
Nonetheless, this is exciting news. Thank you for sharing.
I hope you're enjoying your hiatus.

Liz Hinds said...

Welcome back! Elks I think. That's the best.

JACKIESUE said...

I suggested Washington's new team name be Washington Wankers..or Washington Wussie's...but i doubt if that will fly..
i think Edmonton's new name should be the mosquesto's..
I was in Canada..them fuckers like to carried me back to Oregon...vicious.mean and terrifying.
have fun..gotta run..time to pet the boys..

Rain said...

As a Habs fan back in the day, I'd have probably voted for the Enemas lol..

mshatch said...

I like your name!

Magaly Guerrero said...

I like the Edmonton Edge, too. It sounds, um, sharp and it fits. Although, the Edmonton Enemas might make any opposing team crap their pants with fear *cough*.

Hena Tayeb said...

The Washington team is still brainstorming names as well..

Mildred Ratched said...

The Edmonton Edge sounds great, but the Edmonton Enemas made me spit my Coke all over my laptop and some came out my nose. I guess it was a nose enema. Thank you so much! I was thinking maybe the Edmonton Episiotomies. A logo for it might be a little hard to do or not...:)

pam nash said...

I vote for Edmonton Eels. Everyone is scared of eels!!

Fundy Blue said...

Great news! About time. How about the Edmonton Earwigs? I was terrorized by earwigs as a kid because I believed they could crawl in your ears and reach your brain. Even worse, the females could and lay eggs in your brain and the babies would eat it! I think that's scary and definitely intimidating.

Guillaume said...

From what I remember Eskimo means something like "eater of raw fish". So I suggest to change the name to: "Edmonton's Sushi Eaters". With a sushi as a symbol.

Cynthia said...

Glad you are back. Living in the neighborhood of the Washington team, we've followed the story with interest over many years. Never thought it would happen. They're going to be called the "Washington Football Team" until they come up with something better. The reason I thought it would never happen is that the owner ruthlessly cut down a bunch of trees near his mega-dollar mansion because they blocked his view of the river. Oh, boo hoo. That says a lot about where that man was coming from.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

When I was a kid I always enjoyed playing sports but I have never been a huge fan of watching them. If I do it tends towards tennis where there is intense one-on-one hard fought action with no time outs and breaks for television commercials so that a one hour game takes two and a half hours to play. But I digress! I wholeheartedly support the decision of the Edmonton Football team to change the name, and especially the fact that they did not have to be dragged kicking and screaming to do it.

My Grama's Soul said...

Hi Debra.....popped over here to see what you are up to. Hysterical as usual. You always brighten my day. Don't know why you couldn't comment on why post. Still trying to figure this blogging thing out! ha ha

Jo