Jeff Hunt, owner of the new Ottawa Canadian Football League franchise has released his list of five finalists for the name of the expansion club for 2014.
They are: Ottawa Nationals, Ottawa RedBlacks, Ottawa Voyageurs, Ottawa Rush, Ottawa Raftsmen
The list is pretty weak, we must admit.
It’s been no secret around the capital that Hunt is a fan of the RedBlacks name, he’s been trumpeting it anytime he’s asked about the name of the club, going on about how it ties to the city’s history of red, black, and white colour schemes for its sports teams, as far back as the Ottawa Silver Seven in the early 1900’s.
The popular theory around town is that Hunt’s choice is being surrounded with lacklustre options to make it prettier-by-comparison. I can believe that.
I did my own little digging around and this is what I found:
Of the five finalists “Rush” was registered as a domain name first with ottawarush.com snatched up by the group way back in November 2011, ottawarush.ca was then secured two months later in January 2012. This shows that Rush was the favourite amongst ownership well before the others were even considered. Following the Rush the other names were registered as domains in the following order: Raftsmen (Jan 19, 2012), Voyageurs (Nov 19, 2012), RedBlacks (Nov 30, 2012), and Nationals (Jan 23, 2013).
Nationals was registered as a domain the same day the finalist names were released, in my opinion it’s just thrown in there to round the list up to five. It was also the name of a former WHA hockey team in the city… Forget it.
Voyageurs is interesting and might just be my favourite of the group. It’s the only name of the five to not have the .ca version of the domain name purchased by the team (it’s owned by a local walking club) but on the flip side the .com version is the only one to point to a GoDaddy starter page and NOT a standard GoDaddy parked domain page. This could show that the club only ever intended to put a website up at this domain. The name is also the only one that really works well in both French and English. There could be something there…
Raftsmen was the second name considered by the club having been registered as a domain over a year ago, it meets the “R” requirement the club was supposedly looking for but not the “Good for French” requirement.
Rush is one of only two finalist names to have been registered as both a trademark with the Canadian government (as of Jan 22/13) and as a domain name (.com and .ca), as mentioned above it was the first name to be considered seriously by the group. It’s a fairly “second-tier” league sounding name with the only other clubs using it being members of the Arena Football League and National Lacrosse League – leagues not traditionally known for anything traditional.
RedBlacks is the favourite among nobody but the owners themselves, which is really all that matters, fans of the Atlanta Thrashers might remember they were holding a name-the-team contest until owner Ted Turner said he liked the name “Thrashers”, that was all she wrote. I like the uniqueness of the name, I like that it’s a throwback to the days of simple names, but I hate the use of camel case… “RedBlacks”? Another example of a naming style only used by minor league teams, not a single team in a major top-tier sports league has used this method. Drop the capital B, go with “Redblacks” and it gets a little more credibility. Like “Rush” the name was registered as a trademark, albeit a month later, with the government. It’s clearly Jeff Hunt’s “new toy” name.
Call me crazy, but I’m going to go with Voyageurs on this one… there’s just something suspicious about how that website is set-up compared to the others.
UPDATE (1/27/13): Due to some overtly obvious fraudulent voting we have looked into the results and found that 119 votes for “Ottawa RedBlacks” were registered by the same user over a period of one hour earlier today. We have removed these 119 votes and other duplicate votes found with other names. The results below reflect the proper vote data and security has been improved to stop future instances of this from happening again.