Colourful Name Registered for new Ottawa CFL Team

Written By:  •  Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Could’ve been because there was a lot of negative feedback, could’ve been because they really hadn’t made up their mind, or it could all just be a way to throw us off the scent.  Whatever it is, there’s been a new set of registrations at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office for an Ottawa-based pro football team.

On December 28, 2012 a group calling itself “Moonstar Limited”, based out of a P.O. Box in the Kanata area of Ottawa, registered several variations of the name “Ottawa Red Blacks“, including a one word version “Redblacks”, and the French versions “Rougenoirs” et “Rouge Noirs”.  These new registrations are in addition to the name “Ottawa Rush” which was was trademarked in November 2012 by “Capital Gridiron”.

When contacted by the Ottawa Sun, Jeff Hunt, the co-owner of the future Ottawa CFL club set to begin play in 2014, confirmed that they were responsible for registering the name:

“It’s on the short list, we’re going to do some focus groups in a week to test some short listed names.”

Hunt has also previously stated that the colours of the new team would be red, black, and white; an obvious nod to the colour scheme used by the Ottawa CFL teams of the past, the Rough Riders and Renegades.

So I guess using a different business name for the registration was meant to slide this registration past all the Internet detectives out there?

Ottawa CFL logos of the past, Ottawa Rough Riders from the 1950s through 1990s and the Ottawa Renegades of the early 2000s

The Ottawa Red Blacks (or Les Rouge Noirs d’Ottawa) is indeed a unique name but the idea of naming a team after the colours they wear  is nothing new in pro sports…. the St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, and Cincinnati Reds are among several teams originally named after the colours of uniform elements, and the “Rouge Noirs” French version brings up thoughts of Laval’s university football team the Laval Rouge et Or, translating to “Red and Gold”.  Besides, it’ll make for a real colourful matchup whenever they face fellow CFL club the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Former Ottawa Rough Riders star Russ Jackson wasn’t much of a fan of the new possible name when contacted by the Canadian Press:

“The Red Blacks, to me, seems to get you to a soccer situation, I don’t know of a professional North American football club that’s named with just colours but that seems to be the one that’s bouncing around.”

Yes, there’s the Cleveland Browns, but technically they’re named after a person named Brown, not the colour… and legend-has-it that the Cardinals got their name back when their first football jerseys were red hand-me-downs from the University of Chicago’s “Maroons” club.

Anyways, we still have over a year before the new Ottawa team takes the field for the first time, so I doubt this is the last we’ll hear of possible new names – as always, we’ll keep ya posted.

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Chris Creamer

Chris Creamer is the founder of SportsLogos.Net and has been maintaining it since June 1997. You can follow him on Twitter at @sportslogosnet or contact him via email at

  • Just awful. Not a fan.

  • Aaron

    Ottawa Red Blacks! I don’t know. Kind of sounds like New Zealand All Blacks to me.

  • Chris Oglesby

    red blacks? really? of all the R names, that’s the best they could have come up with.

  • Neonix

    Perhaps they are just registering a kind of nickname based on their eventual color, not their name per say. Like when Winnipeg registered the name “Whiteout” for their playoffs events.

  • Nick Riordan

    Is this a reference to a 19th century literary work, The Red and the Black (or, Le Rouge et le Noir) by the French writer Stendhal?

  • Is there significance to the red-black color for Ottawa? Or are they pulling a New Orleans Hornet’s brass move by copywriting names they know they won’t use but just to keep the true decision under raps until they are ready to reveal? Come on, everyone knows an NBA team will not name themselves Mosquitoes or Rougarous

    • John Walsh

      Red, black, and white was originally used by the Ottawa Amateur Athletic Association. The original Senators hockey team adopted the colours and they have been used by every major sports team that has played in the city (Sens, Riders, Renegades, 67’s, Lynx, Rebel, etc.). The combination has become like black and gold in Pittsburgh or bleu, blanc, et rouge in Montreal.

  • That’s terrible. It doesn’t even grow on you

  • John Quincy King

    If they there an “&” between the Red and the Black, I could live with it…

  • “Ottawa Red and Blacks”… I dig it

  • If they’re naming it after the helmet color how about the “Ottawa Blackheads?”

  • Rick Vaile

    I would think with Ottawa being an Algonquin name meaning Traders that it should be the Ottawa Traders.

  • “Red Blacks”, WTF is that supposed to mean? Do I want to see the mascot?

  • If anything, it’s because it’s not too far off from the Laval Rouge et Or which would appeal to the french speaking population of Ottawa and more specifically Gatineau. It doesn’t really have the same ring in english or carry the same weight unless you’re a huge CIS fan. I just don’t see it as a plausible option that would appeal to both english and french speaking football fans in Ottawa. I also hate the name “Ottawa Rush”.

  • Just go with Roguenoirs. Sounds fine. Or just rogues. Rogue riders is also badass

  • Any of those variations is better than “Rush.” Rougenoirs would be interesting, Maybe just Ottawa Noirs?

    • Aaron

      Possibly Rouge Noirs. Although I did see a concept for Ottawa Rougues somewhere.

  • Riley Larocque

    how about the Rideaus? The new stadium is on the Rideau canal which has been important to Ottawa , you get the r name, Its bilingual

    How about it?

    • Nigel Crosse

      Sheer genius!

    • Jay Boyle

      I like ingmar66’s comment about the meaning of Rideau meaning curtain in French and the possibility of being the Canadian counterpart to the Steel Curtain of the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s. A mascot could be a Canadian sailor man.

      I thought about the Red Riders, but there was a Canadian band named Red Rider and the members probably wouldn’t allow it as a name. Also, I thought about Red Ryders, as in the comic strip Red Ryder, which ran from 1938-1964. However, I have a feeling that the mascot, a Red Ryder would carry a Red Ryder BB gun that Ralphie (Played by Peter Billingsley) wanted and the fans would probably tell the mascot “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out”.

      I would like to suggest RHINOS as the team nickname because the name rhinoceros and rhinos are spelled the same in English and French (with the French version having a few accent marks). Along with red (rouge), black (noir), and white (blanc), I would add gold (or) because I liked the gold helmets with the Rough Rider (Maybe US President Theodore Roosevelt) and either silver (argent) or gray/grey (gris) as another color. If they went with the black and red colors, I’d go with the black helmets.

      However, maybe Ottawa could consider having Purple (violet) as a team color because no current CFL team has this color.

    • Jay Boyle

      Also, kudos (thumbs up) to Riley Larocque as well as ingmar66 on the Rideaus name. The mascot could be the Ice Hogs hedgehogs mascots that are used during Winterlude (Bal de Niege). The logo could be an Ice Hog in a football uniform with the helmet and the jersey having a letter “R” on them with the Canadian Maple Leaf behind him or the Ice Hog with the Rideau Canal and the Peace Tower in the background.

  • I like it. It feels a little like the New Zealand All Blacks.

    Maybe they will make their own Haka

  • I like it. It feels a little like the New Zealand All Blacks.

    Maybe they will make their own Haka

  • Kyle Thompson

    I don’t think it feels at all like the All Blacks 🙁
    Disappointed in the name, but I’ll give it a (small) chance to grow on me.
    Would’ve preferred the Rivermen.

  • Doug

    Why is it that everyone seems to hate every name that every new team comes up with? Red Blacks? It’s a little strange but it’s unique. I like it. It’s original. Go with it!

  • Bleuet

    Red Blacks?

    Their money, their choice.

    Rideaus is an absolute winner. How in the world they can’t understand?

  • A McDonald

    I suggest Red Riders
    (Red and Black sounds like a Les Miz song)

  • I definitely would prefer the Rivermen as well, but I don’t hate this name either.

  • Sean Carter

    how about Ottawa Rogues for Ottawa team name,I have to agree with lot people that Ottawa Red Blacks would be odd name Canadian football team,I think owners of Ottawa CFL team need to rethink this idea of theirs

    • Damon Selman

      I like Rogues, but with a double meaning. In English pronounce it like Rogues (as in criminal or rebellious) but give them the unofficial nickname of Rouge (in French) ala Reds (Liverpool FC), Redbirds (Cardinals), Rosaneri (AC Milan), etc.

  • John

    No. Just no. Red Blacks? Really? Did you go to an elementary school to get that name?

    Honestly, my choice would be the “Ottawa Rapids”. Yes I know it was the name of an Ottawa baseball team for, around, a year. But:

    A) The Ottawa River has rapids
    B) Has the “R”
    C) Rapid is something you want a football player to be

  • John

    Or, as a joke, how about the Parliamentarians? That has a wonderful ring to it.

  • TorontoTom

    wet backs 😛

  • PDR

    FYI Chris – owner Jeff Hunt says the name will be announced in early Feb 2013.

  • Drew

    Wow….of all the good meaningful names it could be. No wonder football in Ottawa folded up a few times and probably a third. I have played football and also am a fan of CFL ball. I really like highlanders, bootleggers and so many more. Hopefully the public will get out and put there ideas and great creativity on the table.

  • ingmar66

    Rideau also means curtain, think about the Steel Curtain of the ’70’s. Rideaus is just fine!

  • Daryl

    Why not the Ottawa Rush??? Maybe they can use Geddy Lee’s face on their helmet? If not that, then how about the owl from the “Fly By Night” album cover?? lol

  • Eugene

    OK,,it is actually growing on me. Really don’t care what the name is. I want to be sitting 10 rows up in the South Stands on a warm Friday night in August with a cold beer and a 10 point lead over anybody. I have faith in the team, but will be so sad to see the City council find a way to ruin it.

    • Aaron

      Just don’t let the Gleibermans go anywhere near this franchise and the Ottawa (insert name here) will be in it for the long haul.

  • Jay Boyle

    What about either the Ottawa Rogues (used red and black plus grey), the Ottawa Regals, or the Ottawa Royals (both symbolize Canada is a member of the British Commonwealth and that the Queen is the royal ruler of Canada).

  • Mountie

    Just call them the Ottawa Reds or Rouges, drop the blacks part. It doesn’t make any sense!