Thread: 2018 CFL Season
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Old Posted Jan 8, 2018, 4:14 PM
elly63 elly63 is offline
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POLL: What's in a name for an Atlantic CFL team?
FRANCIS CAMPBELL The Chronicle Herald January 7, 2018

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part nine of a series on the latest attempt to bring a CFL team to Halifax.

PART 1: CFL in Halifax: A gamble with lots of field to cover
PART 2: Stadium talks dominates CFL expansion discussion
PART 3: Halifax CFL franchise would make football a coast-to-coast sports, says commissioner
PART 4: Would Halifax support pro football?
PART 5: Roughriders show that CFL fan support can be province-wide
PART 6: Retired CFL pros want to see Halifax team
PART 7: Could a public-private partnership secure a CFL stadium?
PART 8: Stadium will make or break Halifax’s CFL bid

The Atlantic Schooners’ 23-year undefeated record could soon be in jeopardy.

The Schooners were granted a conditional Canadian Football League expansion franchise in May 1982. The franchise ownership group, Maritime Professional Football Club Ltd., was unable to attract the financial backing necessary to build a stadium in Dartmouth to host the team that was tentatively scheduled to begin play in 1984.

The franchise application was withdrawn.

In recent years, a Schooners group has held Grey Cup parties during the annual championship game weekend and promoted the trademarked logo with an Undefeated Since 1984 slogan.

The trademark was registered again in early December by a trio of businessmen who are making another bid to bring the CFL to Halifax. When the recently registered Maritime Football Ltd., fronted by Anthony LeBlanc, Gary Drummond and Bruce Bowser, reclaimed the Schooners trademark, it spawned the impression that a successful bid this time around would revamp the Schooners’ name.

“I'm getting lots and lots of feedback on that topic,” LeBlanc, the former president and CEO of the Arizona Coyotes of the National Hockey League, said earlier this month. “Obviously the Schooners is one that's come up a lot.”

LeBlanc said the Schooners trademark was secured for safety reasons in the event that the new team would want to use it, but “this is by no means a confirmation that this will be the name.”

“Personally, I would like to go out and do a name-the-team contest and get people engaged when possibly we do the season-ticket launch. There are a lot of great possible names that have been thrown our way. One thing in particular, it will be a branded Atlantic franchise. I think that is critically important that everyone in the Atlantic provinces feels that this is their team.”

Some aren’t convinced that the sentimental value of the Schooners name is enough to earn a logo on the jersey for an active team.

“I don’t think we can go back to the Schooners,” said Rick Rivers, a retired high school phys-ed teacher and fervent football fan who has long been involved with the game in this province as a coach, clinician and administrator.

“You want some alliteration there,” Rivers said. “I’d go with the Maritime Mariners, something definitely with an Atlantic flavour, but I really don’t want to see a fish in the logo. When I took over as president of Football Nova Scotia, we had a fish on its tail and it looked like hell with a football under its chin.”

The mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality also recommended requesting public input, adding that a wide range of options and opinions would likely be offered.

“The names that are getting bounced around are the Schooners, because we had the Atlantic Schooners 30 some years ago and the Atlantics because of the Atlantic nature of the team,” Mike Savage said. “People have mentioned the Explosion. I’d have to think about that, whether it’s disrespectful of the people who died in the Explosion. I’m not 100 per cent sure that that's the appropriate name but I heard people talk about it.”

Darren Fisher, the MP for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour and a big supporter of the CFL concept, said the Schooners name is ingrained in people’s psyche.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say I’ve always loved the name the Schooners, but if you’d ask me anytime over the last 20 years what the team name would be, I always figured it would be the Schooners,” Fisher said.

He would like to see a name-the-team contest incorporate fans and residents from the entire Atlantic region.

“I think a contest is the best way to go and to have the public have ownership of the team name by coming up with suggestions and having a nice contest and offer a season ticket to the person who comes up with the name. When Ithink of a de facto team, I think of the Schooners. I’m not sure that’s as reflective of Atlantic Canada as it would need to be if the team is going to draw from the entire Atlantic region.”

Terry Baker, the retired two-time CFL scoring leader who lives in Bridgewater and owns a business in Lunenburg, said the Atlantic Schooners name made a lot of sense at the time.

“I like the idea of the Atlantic or Maritime,” said Baker, a former punter and placekicker who grew up in Truro. “Saskatchewan is Saskatchewan, whereas other teams are Winnipeg, Calgary — city names because they can sustain it based on the size of their cities. I don’t think Halifax can sustain it based on the size of the city. I don’t know if it would be the smartest thing to do to make the team name strictly Halifax because that might deter others from coming, getting behind the team and wanting to be part of the football (event) in this area.”

Ultimately, it will be up to the people who sign the cheques, Baker said.

“Who am I to say. The people who are going to put millions of dollars into trying to get this off the design board, they would basically be able to call it whatever they want. They are the ones putting out the money.”
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