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Our proposed name for Ottawa’s new CFL team

By Laurent Robillard-Cardinal on January 23, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, we heard that the OSEG is contemplating the name Red Blacks for Ottawa’s future CFL team. However, it doesn’t look like residents support the proposition.

A recent Ottawa Citizen Internet survey asked readers if Ottawa Red Blacks is a good name for the city’s new CFL team? An overwhelming majority, 91%, disapproved. Over 3,700 participated in the survey. The Ottawa Sun also solicited its readership to see what they thought of the potential name. Similar results from the Citizen’s questionnaire emerged, with 82% disliking it. Roughly 1,800 surfers voted.

I have my own suggestion for OSEG, that it consider the name Red Pines for their future CFL team. Many great team names in pro sports are historically and culturally rich, like the Montréal Canadiens, Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers and more. Red pines along with white pines were the major export during the Ottawa River timber trade in the 1800’s when it was still called Bytown. Both pines were abundant near the river. Ottawa and Gatineau benefited from the trade attracting numerous workers and settlers.

Considering both sides of the river is important since the future franchise needs to include Quebecers to maximize their pool of fans. In recent years, football has gained quite a bit in popularity in Québec. Besides, the translation works: Les Pins Rouges d’Ottawa.

The name Red Pines also answers Jeff Hunt’s wish for the name to start with an ‘R’ – it’s a question of tradition. With this name the squad could also don red uniforms, a colour used by many former and active Ottawa teams – the Senators, the 67’s, the Renegades and Capital City Football Club.

As for the symbolism of the name, red pines are strong and tall. Because of their deep and widespread roots, they can stand firm against strong winds, representative of an ideal defensive line. Furthermore, they grow and thrive in many types of terrain including, sandy and rocky. This sense of resiliency also translates well to the gridiron.

For those feeling Red Pines isn’t a good name for a football team because trees are immobile, what about J. R. R. Tolkien’s Ents? These large giant trees, from Lord of the Rings, marched to Isengard and successfully destroyed Saruman’s army production facilities during the Last March of the Ents. If that doesn’t have you convinced, Jeff Hunt, then I don’t know what will. 

Let us know what you think of the name Red Pines in our comments section. Got a better name? Let us know!