Having spent more than a couple hours sifting through lists of ‘E’ words in the last eight months, I can appreciate the challenge facing the Edmonton Football Team. Fans got hit with it when the team announced their list of seven: there really aren’t a lot of good choices.
If you cheer for a different team, you may have asked, why does it have to be an ‘E’ name? I can tell you that while as a fan base we in Edmonton can ultimately handle a name change, if you tried to change the ‘EE’ pattern or the green and gold colour scheme there would be a giant mess.
Fellow 3Down contributor JC Abbott shared his definitive ranking recently. JC and I have a lot of common ground down to being raised as green and gold fans, and our lists are pretty similar with one big difference and a few extra miscellaneous thoughts. I think we capture the Edmonton consensus pretty well.
Let’s get going.
I don’t think anybody was impressed by the whole list. In particular, at least a few of the names merit roughly zero serious consideration.
Tied fourth-seventh: Elements, Eclipse, Evergolds, Elk(s)
There’s some creativity, but no hits. If this were mathematics I would make a comment on ‘infinitesimal differences’ between the four. You’ve got either the weather or the four sidekicks of love, a temporarily hidden sun or moon, and a grassy bush thing. Pass.
‘Elk(s)’ might be the surprising inclusion here to some. Not to others, which leads right into the two main problems with it. First, it seems to be a polarizing option that a lot of Edmonton fans actively dislike, myself included. Sure, it has its champions, but ‘Elk(s)’ is a meme, not a team, and I would prefer quite a bit of indifference from fans on other names to a large amount of resentment with ‘Elk(s)’. I legitimately prefer ‘Edmonton Football Team’ as a full-time name.
Secondly, the widest amount of approval for it seems to come from other fanbases. I don’t know about you but I don’t want Stampeder fans picking my team’s name, and frankly I have some concerns about the validity of the data in Edmonton’s final seven name survey.
‘Elk(s)’ strikes me as the lazy “we couldn’t think of anything better” option and not even a lazy-good one. If we’re lucky these conversations will be short-lived, because there are better choices.
Missed the cut
The two names I was genuinely surprised not to see: Express and Energy.
Personally I didn’t care for ‘Express’, but I knew at least a few people who liked it. There are tangential connections between the city and trains and such, but I find ‘Edmonton Express’ doesn’t roll off the tongue.
Having 630 CHED play-by-play guy Morely Scott test each name by calling a fake play was a great idea. The litmus test I’ve used has been imagining names in the fashion of the announcement every pre-game at Commonwealth Stadium. As the team charges onto the field, “Your….. Edmontonnn Evergoldddsssssss!”
(Linguistics interjection: three syllables usually works best, but some others are fine too. I think when the first syllable is stressed it sounds better.)
My personal favourite has been ‘Energy’, but there’s one big qualification. JC Abbott argued it was foolish to want a team name to have anything to do with Alberta’s history in the energy sector and resource development. I happen to agree completely.
What I wanted was to make it clear from the beginning that ‘Energy’ has to do strictly with the vibes of the city and its people. Something like, “This is Edmonton, This is our Energy.” The green and gold colours would be a perfect match for that theme. But, it seems the organization is going another direction.
For ‘Evergreens’ I find it helps to think, instead of naming a team after a tree, it’s more ‘RedBlack’-y. That is, there’s something of a hidden meaning within the colour. The name has grown on me since the finalists announcement and I don’t mind the thought of endless deep green with associations of strength and hardiness. The downside is I don’t fancy being a tree going up against a lumberjack, although that idea doesn’t stop the Alouettes from trying to beat the Tiger-Cats.
Also, I think we can probably agree that as a plant, a hefty green pine or spruce beats grassy bush thing. I understand the team including both ‘Evergreens’ and ‘Evergolds’ for completeness but the main green accent gold uniform makes it obvious.
Second: (Golden) Eagles
I use ‘(Golden) Eagles’ with the brackets because I would call them the ‘Golden Eagles’ and still use the ‘EE’ logo, but the team seems to prefer calling them the ‘Eagles’ and implying they are golden. Sorry if you have to read that twice.
The best part of ‘(Golden) Eagles’ is you are immediately given the option of designing a gold third-jersey. The team teased us with a fake one last April 1 and got surprisingly good reception. It’s a potential marketing advantage the other names don’t give.
The big drawback is the belief that ‘Eagles’ is overdone. Fair, but at least they have chances to be clever about it.
Truly, I’m not sure why I like ‘Elkhounds’ so much. It’s a name that really came out of nowhere.
— Claire Hanna (@clahanna) February 8, 2021
OK, maybe I have some idea. Anyways, the CFL could use a dog team to square off with the cats, oiseaux, and horses. And ‘Elkhounds’ is a reasonable throwback to the ‘Edmonton Elk’ of 1922 while avoiding the major eye-rolls. Unique without being ridiculous.
Plus, I bet it would help with the quest to attract more young fans. It’s hard to do better than a polar bear, but the mascot almost designs itself, not unlike ‘Golden Eagles’ — we may have found another drawback to ‘Evergreens’ — and perhaps looking at the Edmonton Oilers and Hunter the Lynx offers a guide. Hunter is a pretty new mascot who was initially met with exasperation but pretty quickly that opinion turned, especially with how many kids loved it.
Finally, it can be comfortably shortened to ‘Hounds’ or, if you’re feeling extra Canadian, ‘EHs.’
It took a little while, but I’ve decided I would be happy with any of ‘Evergreens,’ ‘Golden Eagles,’ and ‘Elkhounds.’ Antlered mammal, not so much.