Shutdown Corner

New Ottawa CFL ‘REDBLACKS’ franchise asks that you write their nickname in ALL CAPS

Andrew Bucholtz
Shutdown Corner

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The Ottawa CFL team wants media outlets to CAPITALIZE their name.

Fresh off their official name-unveiling ceremony Saturday, the Ottawa Rouge et Noir (or RedBlacks for those who prefer less-than-grammatical English) have got themselves into another controversy. The RedBlacks name's been unpopular enough, with many fervently criticizing it since it first popped up in January (this could easily turn into Canada's version of the Washington Redskins controversy), and the official unveiling of the name Saturday created plenty of further Internet mockery (including this superb "Ottawa Rod Blacks" logo), but that had largely died down by Monday morning.

The franchise apparently stuck their foot right back into the sarcastic fire of the web, though, reportedly sending out a note requesting that media spell their name with ALL CAPS. That produced the expected Internet reaction, from CFL media, CFL fans and even some other sports types who wanted to join on the MOCKERY:

Why's this such a punchline? Well, beyond the obvious silliness of adding further ungrammatical elements to RedBlacks, ALLCAPS has long been associated with shouting and trolling on the web. Thus, this has gone over about as well as Dan Gilbert's repeated use of Comic Sans. Media are under no obligation to comply with these kinds of dictates, too, so the Rouge et Noir (or their more silly name!) are just SHOUTING into the Internet ether and making themselves a more obvious joke. This might be the easiest and most widespread CFL punchline since two separate teams (one in Ottawa!) drafted dead players. The organization's unveiling ceremony Saturday was impressive, and they've made smart football hires, but they might want to work on this whole being a punchline thing. So far, it's like the Ministry Of Silly Naming Decisions...

Andrew Bucholtz is the main man behind Yahoo's CFL blog, The 55-Yard Line. He has not yet demanded that we spell his name in all-caps, but that could change at any given time...

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