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Thread: EE Diaspora

  1. #1
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    Ask EE Diaspora

    So, no more “Edmonton Eskimos”.

    EE fans, like me, who no longer live in Edmonton. What do you think about the impending name change?

    I have not shared on this until now. Been struggling to understand how I felt about it, and what that might mean to me … and to others like me.

    Yes, the name change was overdue. While I had never though of the name “Eskimos” as pejorative, and only as one of admiration for the indigenous peoples of the north – I do appreciate that I have never been north of Lac La Biche and that there is a universe there of which I know nothing. Also, how would I feel if a colonial term for my ethnicity and/or religious affiliation were part of some distant team’s name?

    A lifelong Eskimos fan, for me the Team was part of the glue patching together my family of origin. It was the one of the very few places where all five of us kids, and my parents, were united in our enthusiasm.

    I clearly remember running around the front yard in the late 1950s with my brothers – and each one of us wanting to be Jackie Parker. My older brothers trying to bamboozle me by saying I ought to be Don Getty because he was “…really better”.

    My Father had been a high school quarterback in Edmonton, and he was always a keen football fan – but especially an impassioned fan of the Edmonton Eskimo’s. He had grown up in Edmonton, and returned with his bride (my mother) to live there after WWII. I can still recall his anger, and bitter disappointment, when the Team was beaten in the 1960 Grey Cup. One night, in the early 1960s, he took me to see my idol Jackie Parker play at Clarke Stadium. I can still see the opposite grandstand seemingly sparkle, as every other second there was a tiny flash of light when someone over there lit a cigarette. Time does change – everything.

    Previously I have twice wondered whether I would continue to be a fan of the EE. I have not lived in Edmonton since 1980. In 1990, after university in Guelph for five years followed by working in the US for five years (thus, being out of touch with Canadian Football) I moved back to Canada to take up a job in Rider country - where I subsequently lived and worked until 2014. Then, in 2014, I retired and moved to Ottawa just as the Redblacks were starting up. Each time, 1990 and 2014, I wondered which team I would cheer for, the home team (my new home) or the visiting Eskimos. Each time when game time rolled around, there was no question – EE all the way. I never became a Rider fan, but even more of an Eskimo fan (largely due to this website). Despite having season tickets for the Redblacks, I remain a passionate Eskimo fan.

    Now, 2020 however, I am again uncertain. I do not live in Edmonton, have not lived there for the last 40 years, and no longer do I visit.

    Whatever team represents Edmonton next year… it will not be the Team of Parker, Moon, Ray and Reilly, it will be something else. Will they still be my team?

    I do not see wearing my Moon1 jersey again and certainly not, as I had been, at TD Place when the visiting Eskimos are playing the Redblacks. That legendary franchise and those iconic Teams are gone with the Eskimo name – on their way to becoming a curious anachronism.

    Whatever team comes from Edmonton to Ottawa in future, will it be my team?
    As of today, I honestly do not know.

    My response will probably depend upon how the name is selected (better be based on fan suggestions, and not corporate or BOG generated), what name is chosen (unique, inspiring, related to Edmonton/Alberta) and how the transition is rolled out. I do not, however, expect much good news. With the brief exception of the 2015 Grey Cup year, the EE organization has been pretty bleak since Hugh Campbell left in 2006 – the franchise seemingly out of touch with the fan base and common sense.

    Does the Edmonton Football Club need me as a fan? Absolutely not. I haven’t been at a game at Commonwealth in probably ten years. At best, every other year I might purchase on line one or two pieces of fan gear from the Team Store at Commonwealth. I am hardly worth a second thought from the EE Football Club.

    It is a time for fresh fans.

    Time does change – everything.
    Last edited by Moon1; 10-22-2020 at 05:32 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: EE Diaspora

    I will say to this that when I think of Ottawa football I don't think of it as just the Redblacks and a six year history. I think of it as a continuation of the Rough Riders through the Renegades and Redblacks and as a city team with 10 Grey Cup victories in their history.
    BIDEN for CHINA

  3. #3
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    Re: EE Diaspora

    Whatever CFL team ends up playing at Commonwealth wearing the EE on their helmet I'll always be a fan of. Just as I'll always hate the team that wears a white horse or a green "S" on their helmet when they play here.

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