‘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

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Social media influencers promote Fernie

MountainGirls, The Lady Alliance founders stop in Fernie on western Canada RV tour

Elk Valley mine deaths prompt safety initiatives

Teck produces educational video, introduces new procedures after contractor drowns at Fording River

Fernie SAR rescues stranded snowmobiler; buried skier

Skiers caught in Mt. Fernie avalanche; snowmobiler spends night in backcountry after breakdown

Elk Valley RCMP issues 40 traffic tickets in 21 days

Logging truck driver fined after trailer wheels catch alight

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

GALLERY: Fernie Ghostriders get their home game mojo back

Riders post 6-1 win over Columbia Valley Rockies; prepare for playoffs

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Most Read