Saturday, 15 December 2012

Why I Chose Rebels

Tomorrow is the final day for people to submit names for the new CFL franchise in Ottawa. As anyone who has read me in the past knows, I want the team's name to be Rough Riders. I won't go into why it is ridiculous that it can't be, but I know it won't be so I had to come up with an alternative.

I want the team name to feature an 'R' just because it should. The classic white 'R' on the black helmet is still one of the coolest minimalist helmets in football. So I tried to come up with a name that incorporated the 'R' and had some historical significance. Then it hit me:


(Before anyone says anything, I am aware that The Rebel was the name of the short-lived NLL franchise in Ottawa.)

I think Rebels is a good name and fits in well with the two previous names, Rough Riders and Renegades, while also keeping the 'R' intact. And aside from it being kind of a cool-sounding name, it hits on the historical significance I mentioned earlier. And while I admit that this piece of history has almost nothing to do with Ottawa, it is an important event that is often overlooked when discussing Canadian history. I am of course referring to the Upper and Lower Canadian Rebellions of 1837.

People don't come here to read about Canadian history, so I won't go into all the details – if you do want to learn about it, I suggest hitting up the Wikipedia entry as it is actually very good – but the rebellions were significant in making Canada, well, Canada. The rebellions led to the Act of Union, the Act of Union united Upper and Lower Canada into one political entity and recommended responsible government, and those two things played a significant role in Confederation. That is a very simplistic synopsis, but it covers the basics. If you want to learn more about each, click the links. You can also leave a comment here (or on Twitter) and I'll be happy to discuss it or recommend stuff to read. (In case anyone didn't know, I'm a GIGANTIC Canadian history nerd.)

And while the rebellions happened nowhere near Ottawa, I still think the name is appropriate. I view Ottawa as almost the epicentre of all that is Canadian history and I think the team, needing to use a name that isn't Rough Riders or Renegades, would do well to choose a name that hits on something important in Canada's history.

Rebels hits on everything I would like the new Ottawa franchise to incorporate in their name. Obviously, this name won't be universally accepted (though I doubt it will be as reviled as Ottawa Rush), but I think this is a pretty decent choice and one I think a lot of people would get behind should it ultimately be chosen as the team name.

One thing is for certain: Ottawa Rebels has got my vote.

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