‘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

Port Alberni workers to honour Day of Mourning on April 28

Annual event honours workers who lost their lives on the job

Tseshaht First Nation athlete honoured with provincial sports award

Rain Thomas competes in three different sports

Alberni Valley firefighters pass the boot for Muscular Dystrophy

Annual fundraiser started in 1967 with Port Alberni Fire Department

Cougars spotted in Sproat Lake neighbourhoods

ACRD director warns residents to keep children, pets close

Who are the Frozen Franklins? Find out at the Alberni Valley Museum

The museum and Echoes in the Ice exhibit are open April 20 during Easter weekend

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Man’s body found in popular Cowichan Valley hiking area

Police say death not suspicious after discovery in Stoney Hill area overlooking Saltspring Island

Multiple sailing waits as BC Ferries deals with Easter Monday traffic

89 extra sailings had been added to the long weekend schedule

Vancouver Island-based company provides glass alternatives to plastic straws

Enviro Glass Straws now producing more than 60,000 staws each year

Ex-mayor of northern village claims its drivers are overpaying ICBC $1,800 a year

Darcy Repen says data shows Telkwa households are being ripped off for car insurance

Deadly synthetic drug found in Kamloops that puts users in ‘zombielike’ state

Interior Health warning says substance causes ‘speedy, trippy-like symptoms’ and hallucinations

Trudeau to be portrayed on ‘Simpsons’ episode

Toronto journalist who’s posted videos of himself doing impressions of the PM voiced him for the show

Elizabeth May’s wedding dress a ‘walk through a garden’ on Earth Day

Green Party leader set to get married in Victoria

Most Read