The definitive Edmonton Football Team name ranking

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

I may be 3Down’s designated B.C. Lions writer, but if you slice open my veins, they run Green and Gold.

The Edmonton Football Team is in my blood and my fandom is readily apparently to anyone who might step into my home. Therefore, last week’s announcement of the finalists for the team’s new name and the corresponding fan vote mattered a great deal to me.

Fans have varied and divided opinions on what name should carry the franchise into its next chapter. Some of them are right, most are wrong.

After careful consideration, there is only one way to properly rank the choices for the EE franchise and, like most people, I believe it is my way.

Now that the free agent frenzy is behind us, here is the definitive ranking of the Edmonton Football Team’s possible names.

Left off the list…

It’s worth noting that Edmonton took in fan feedback before and promptly ignored most of their submissions.

Gone from the original top ten names list are Elite, Edge, Express, Extreme, Explorers and Evolution. While the new selections aren’t much better, these options won’t be missed by many.

Two other options axed from the fan submissions have a bit more general support and deserve special mention here.

The Edmonton Empire is a favourite of many, myself included, but while the team spent the past few years positioning this as the natural transition from the old name, they’ve been up front recently about it not being the future of the franchise.

That is a wise decision by team management, no matter how cool the name would be. If you’ve been anywhere near a college campus recently — I happen to live on one — you’ll know any reference to colonialism or the British Empire is highly controversial.

If you don’t want to see another name change in the future, Empire had to go.

There is another group of fans that have become passionate advocates for the Edmonton Energy, referencing Alberta’s top economic sector.

I don’t know what to tell you about this one. If your support for oil and gas is so strong that you think Edmonton Energy is a good football team name and not the third-best cheer team in a straight-to-DVD Bring It On knockoff, then the fumes have gone to your head.

Now on to the contenders…

7. Edmonton Evergolds

What is an evergold? A mining company and a type of Japanese sedge, apparently.

Not exactly riveting subject matter.

There is a reason Edmonton is the Green and Gold, not Gold and Green. Gold is the secondary component, a highlight, not the central focus. You can’t change that by making up a word.

6. Edmonton Elements

Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony.

Probably because they all agreed that Edmonton Elements is a terrible name.

Setting aside that it sounds like it comes from a bad anime, this name is too broad and doesn’t make much sense. There are the classical elements, periodic table of elements and even the elements on top of the stove.

It’s a neat idea to make teams “brave the Edmonton Elements” on paper, but that doesn’t matter if they are calling you the Edmonton Stovetops.

5. Edmonton Eclipse

It’s a shame we are under COVID restrictions because I was really excited to see the Edmonton Eclipse play at my local B-list grunge bar.

This name has about the same gravitas and intimidation factor as a 14-year-old going through a goth phase, but at least it will get the amateur astronomer community fired up.

Naming themselves after a rare and infrequent occurrence would be fodder for competitors and Internet trolls alike. Imagine what Rider Nation would say. I’m betting it would be something like, “Just like an eclipse, Edmonton wins only happen four times a year.”

4. Edmonton Elkhounds

It may surprise you to find out that Elkhounds are in fact a real dog and not a creature from a Game of Thrones prequel.

I would personally like to thank the Edmonton Football Team for forcing me to Google their fluffy faces.

While Elkhounds are known as the Vikings’ dog of choice and a hunter of big game, they do so by barking the animal into a corner and trying not to get gored while their owner shoots it.

That’s a good example of teamwork, but all bark and no bite makes for a bad team name.

3. Edmonton Eagles

Look, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with this name. It’s just been done before.

It’s not just Philadelphia in the NFL, either. Georgia Southern, Boston College, Eastern Michigan, Eastern Washington and North Texas are all Eagles in the NCAA, as are the Premier League’s Crystal Palace and the U.S. National Rugby Team to list just a few.

This makes this a boring, pedestrian choice, perfect for sinking into obscurity. In the digital world, teams want to be easily Google-able. Naming itself the Eagles would leave Edmonton in the back pages of any search engine results.

2. Edmonton Evergreens

Unlike Evergolds, this one makes sense.

Evergreens references the team’s primary colour and a fixture of everyday Alberta life — a tree that can survive even the harshest conditions virtually unchanged.

It’s not fearsome but it’s a strong name with a sense of pride to it. Plants don’t generally make for great names, but Stanford has proved that fans can love a tree. Why can’t we?

1. Edmonton Elk

In the eyes of true football intellectuals, there is only one choice for the Edmonton Football Team.

Elk, otherwise known as a thousand pounds of pure muscle who will use perfect leverage, aggression and a rack of dagger-like antlers to defend their territory and claim their rightful prize.

This name has everything. Closeness to the old one, a meaningful local connection in Elk Island National Park and even a Grey Cup run for the franchise under the same moniker in 1922.

Just think of the merchandise and logo possibilities. The alliterative name is to ensure the iconic double-E logo remains — as it should — but just imagine the existence of secondary logos with the EE formed from antlers or helmets with them on the side.

Forget about tired and problematic old graphics with two helmets smashing together when you are represented by an animal that will literally butt heads or lock horns to the sound of a terrifying elk bugle.

The choice is clear. Let’s make it a reality, Elk Nation!

J.C. Abbott is a University of British Columbia graduate and high school football coach. He covers the CFL, B.C. Lions, CFL Draft and the three-down league's Global initiative.