‘CFL in Halifax’ pitched the idea of calling the football team the Halifax Explosions. (@CFLinHalifax/Twitter)

Proposed ‘Explosions’ name for CFL team in Halifax touches off fiery debate

The name refers to the 1917 explosion in Halifax harbour that killed about 2,000 people

A group supporting a proposed CFL team in Halifax touched off a fiery debate online when it proposed naming the team after one of the country’s greatest maritime disasters.

On Twitter, CFL in Halifax pitched the idea of calling the football team the Halifax Explosions — a reference to the devastating explosion in the Halifax harbour in 1917 that killed about 2,000 people.

A similar name, the Halifax Xplosion, is used by the city’s team in the Maritime Women’s Football League.

CFL in Halifax is a creative group that makes fan art to generate discussion, and clarified Monday afternoon that “We are NOT the same people who are bidding for an official Halifax CFL team. That is a different group of business people.”

CFL in Halifax enthusiastically promoted the Explosion moniker, saying that 100 years ago “a force was unleashed that made this city stronger, bigger, and more united than ever before. Now we channel that force onto the football field as we flatten all that stands in our way.”

It didn’t take long for people to register their rebukes.

“You want to profit off the deaths of 2,000 people? It’s in really poor taste,” said one person, while another tweeted, “I grew up in Dartmouth and this is an absolutely asinine idea.”

Others were more creative with their disapproval.

“The Hiroshima Atoms, the Nagasaki Fallout, The California Embers, the Port-au-Prince Quakes,” wrote thenormalperson. “I hear the CFL is expanding to the U.S. with the New York 9-11s.”

For its part, CFL in Halifax — which is also unaffiliated with the league itself — said it was merely trying to promote a forceful name. It included pictures of a helmet with orange and yellow flames and a logo that looked like an explosive cloud with a skull in the centre.

“The Halifax Explosions team concept is the manifestation of our history and our powerful culture,” it tweeted. “A sign to ur opponents that danger is on its way. And history will be made.”

Halifax was devastated on Dec. 6, 1917, when two ships collided in the city’s harbour and set off an explosion that levelled the city’s north end. It’s estimated that 2,000 people were killed, while another 9,000 were maimed or blinded.

The group has suggested several other names for the proposed team, including the Atlantic Fog, East Coast Kraken, the Halifax Privateers, and the Atlantic Schooners.

The league confirmed in November it has been in talks with a “professional, enthusiastic and impressive” group of prospective owners rallying for a Halifax franchise.

There are still questions over whether the East Coast has the fan base to support a Canadian Football League franchise, if the business community would be interested in sponsoring a team and who would foot the bill for a new Halifax stadium.

Halifax Mayor Mike Savage has said a potential CFL team would be “an exciting opportunity,” but that the municipality would not lead the charge, so as to not put taxpayers at risk over the cost of building a stadium.

The league has said there have been discussions with a group interested in securing a franchise for Halifax, but the talks are preliminary.

The CFL awarded a conditional franchise to Halifax in 1982 — it was named the Atlantic Schooners — but financing for a stadium never came about. The league played regular-season games in Moncton, N.B., in 2010, 2011 and ‘13.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

SUV smashes into deck in Anders

Red Deer RCMP believe driver experienced medical incident

Riggers hosting home tournament this weekend

Riggers looking to round into form heading in playoffs

Westerner Days kicks off this week

Lots to see and do for the whole family

Bucs’ continue to power through AFL

67-0 win over Grand Prairie pushes Bucs’ towards showdown with Ft. Mac

Niek Theelen continues to build his comedian career

Engaging performer is a popular draw across the region

Trudeau’s youth council divided over Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

A letter signed by 16 past and present members was made public today, asking the federal government to reverse course

Hulk Hogan reinstated into wrestling Hall of Fame

Hogan had used racial slurs caught on video when talking about his daughter sleeping with a black man

Storm rips through Central Alberta

Hail pelts region causing damage to farmland, plus communities in Ponoka, Bashaw and Stettler

‘Lava bomb’ through roof of tour boat injures 22 in Hawaii

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers”

Critics claim Trump “defended a tyrant”

Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

B.C. reporter calls out immigration photo on social media as fake news

A Vancouver reporter is calling out a British politician for spreading fake news

Hundreds of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

Out of 1,773 glaciers, 1,353 shrank significantly between 2000 and 2016

Indigenous housing providers worried Liberal proposals could put families on the streets

Indigenous housing providers raise alarms about future of federal funding deals

Most Read