While we've been absorbed in the NHL playoffs during the past two weeks, sports fans and gamblers might have missed the latest big news out of the Canadian Football League.
Edmonton's CFL team will now be known as (drum roll, please)....the Elks.
Okay, scratch the drums – so make that a thundering herd.
The Edmonton Eskimos have been a CFL mainstay since 1949. But times have changed. Over the past few years, the team has dealt with public outcry from Inuit groups and native tribal leaders who insist the old team nickname name is racist. Many sponsors even threatened to withdraw support unless the team made a change.
So, the Edmonton Elks will take the field when the 2021 CFL regular season begins, scheduled on August 5th.
Several North American-based pro and college sports teams have been forced to re-examine their traditions and imagery associated with nicknames. Many have already changed mascots and names.
The Edmonton controversy began to grow a few years ago, which was around the same time the NFL's Washington, D.C. franchise announced it would drop the old name "Redskins" due to mounting pressure. While the pro football team in America's capital continues to consider it options – including reportedly keeping the ultra-generic "Washington Football Team" name – officials in Edmonton acted with more clarity. They even announced they had several suitable names that might fit, including the Evergreens, Elements, Eclipse, Evergolds, Eagles, and Elkhounds.
But it was the Elks which bucked the odds and won out as the official team nickname.
We have to admit, the new logo looks fabulous:
Edmonton is a 14-time Grey Cup champion. After a year off, like all the Canadian-based teams, they're eager to take the field and play football again.
The CFL canceled the entire 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Elks will now join the eight other franchises returning later this summer. There's even some chance that fans will be permitted back at the games, especially at outdoor stadiums. The league's return to action is almost entirely predicated on the approval of public health officials across Canada and governmental permission to allow spectators back into stadiums.
While we're talking about the CFL, why not take a look at the latest futures odds of winning the 2021 Grey Cup. Here's the latest odds from SPREADS.CA The Eskimos have no shot to win the championship, but the Elks are 9-1.
FIND THE LATEST ODDS AT SPREADS.CA, CANADA'S BEST BET