Let me begin with: I love Canadian football. Not 4-down American football, but good old 3-down Canadian football, where if you miss a field goal but get it through the endzone, you still get a point. It’s an exciting game where a team can come back from a 20-point deficit with 2 minutes on the clock.

I was a season ticket holder for the Renegades. A Southsider, because the NORTH SIDE SUCKS! I sat in a great section, where I got to know my season ticket neighbours: Narcisse, Narcisse’s friend, Narcisse’s other friend and quatrevingt dix sept est, to name a few. I survived Mardi Gras beads and the last Grey Cup in Ottawa.

And so, I was extremely excited when OSEG’s deal with the city went through, the old south side stands were imploded and the new stands slowly started to rise from the ground. I cycle past at least once a week and smile bigger each time.

When rumours started about the the team name, I hoped they were just that: rumours  or a way to test the waters for a new team name. But today, I went to the Ernst & Young Centre (coincidentally built to take off the flak for less convention space with the new football stadium).

And no, it wasn’t rumours. The best Jeff Hunt could come up with was the RedBlacks or Rouge et Noir. I heard a lot of boos around me when the finally announced it. I couldn’t clap. I just couldn’t. It’s bad enough we’re not going to have a winning team for a few years, but is this really the best we could do?

Then they brought out Tony Gabriel and Russ Jackson. I remember watching Tony Gabriel in Ottawa’s last Grey Cup appearance. Making a deal with my father to have a beer for every point Ottawa scored. I wasn’t even of age, and he didn’t understand Canadian football. I think he only knew we were 20-point underdogs. By half time, I wasn’t even close to drinking the beers I was owed. And Ottawa looked like they could beat the Edmonton Eskimos. And then they called offensive pass interference on Gabriel. He even talked about today.

So when Tony Gabriel said he was behind the name, I warmed to it a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he got paid to say it and had his lines scripted for him. But one thing he said made me rethink my position for a little while. The AllBlacks are the world’s best rugby team. So maybe RedBlacks aren’t that bad.

But no, it’s just too stupid a name for me. So I won’t be buying any merchandise with me season tickets. After all, I could wear any red and black sports shirt. As they pointed out during the unveiling, there is a long history of red and black for sports teams. So why would I buy anything to support the team? Nope,  I’ll wear black pants or a skirt and a red top.

And then as we were walking back to the car, and I started thinking about the “saw blade” around the R in the logo, it dawned on me. Will some pissed off fan be made enought  to show up with a saw blade to throw into the crowd. You know, maybe when the Saskatchewan team comes to town.

Here’s my message to Jeff hunt: I WILL NOT BUY YOUR MERCHANDISE! And I will hold you to the free secure bicycle parking we were promised….

 

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