‘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

Ferry connecting Port Hardy and Bella Coola expected to set sail this summer

Its first in-service route will sail in central coast waters on May 18, 2019.

BC Parks Student Ranger Program accepting applications for 2019 season

12 crews of four student rangers will work in regions throughout the province including Bella Coola.

Over $650,00 given to rural communities thanks to Rural Dividends

Five communities, including Williams Lake, are receiving $10,000 for project grants

Pregnant Cariboo firefighter tries to save own house from blaze

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Road report for Highway 20

Fog patches and slippery sections; Drive BC

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, expenses

Speaker Darryl Plecas’ report details ‘flagrant overspending’

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

“Ocean Falls – After the Whistle” now available at Kopas Store

Over the course of its life over seventy thousand people lived in Ocean Falls

Woman offers luxury Alberta home for just $25 and a flair for the written word

Alla Wagner ran into health problems, which forced her to list the 5,000-square-foot estate at market value

Most Read