The illogicality of sports fandom

Illogicality – “the quality of not being reasonable, wise, or practical” per the Cambridge dictionary. A funny example of illogicality is the toilet paper debate. Whether the roll is facing front or back or simply placed on top of something, the tickets back to cleanville work exactly the same way yet people argue. A specific example in sports fandom of illogicality is the re-naming of a certain Canadian Football League team.

Per Wikipedia, “Edmonton played its first series of organized games with the formation of the Alberta Rugby Football Union in 1895. In 1897 the name Esquimaux was adopted. In 1910 the club was officially named the Edmonton Eskimos, with the current incarnation beginning play in 1949.” The name, in a legal sense, died on July 21, 2020 with the following announcement:

Cue the unbridled and unrelenting anger of a part of the fan base that now, like the toilet paper anecdote in the opening paragraph, solemnly believe the Club just won’t work the same.

Why yes, the Football Club did “cave” to pressure to change their name. Why no, Trevor Harris will not forget how to quarterback, James Wilder Jr will not cease to be dynamic coming out of the backfield, Derel Walker will not lose his ability to catch the ball, Sean Whyte will not shank every one of his field goal attempts etc etc. The Grey Cup victories and all the names on the Wall of Honour are not all for naught.

The original name of the Green and Gold will never truly go away within their fan base. Some will stoically always call them their original moniker. Others will use a mix of the old name and new name. Unfortunately the list of new names offered up by the Club are terrib…umm, not well received.

Spend any time on social media and the name Edmonton Elk(s) seems to be the believed leader to become the new name. We’re fighting fight, fight, fight on Elk…yeah that does not roll off the tongue. Leave it to former Edmonton Rush Lacrosse President (okay I might be the only one that refers to him as that) and former long-time Edmonton Football Club Vice President of Communications & Broadcast Dave Jamieson to put a positive spin on the name.

Reasonable, wise and practical – are those adjectives to describe what seems to be the incoming new name of Edmonton Elk? Sure, maybe. Is it unreasonable, unwise and impractical to cling to the former name? Only if you believe the name change will actually affect the play on the field.

If we were not in the middle of a pandemic, it would have been interesting to see how the crowds would have been the first few weeks of the season. Would they have declined because all the threats to cancel season tickets actually happened? Would they have spiked with people paying good money simply to express their displeasure and start chants with the old name? At what point does good football put the whole naming thing on the back burner?

If you spend anytime at 3 Down Nation, you could be convinced we might not even get a season. All the links you need to go down the rabbit hole are housed in this article on their site. Hell it’s an argument all to itself whether it is reasonable, wise, or practical to attend games during a pandemic.

The illogicality of sports fandom. I’ll see most of you at Commonwealth!

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