Halifax — American rapper DMX is leading a group of investors vying to establish a CFL franchise in Halifax for the upcoming football season. The team would be the 10th CFL franchise and include the first team from the Maritimes. Sources close to the negotiations say that it is “all but a done deal” and negotiations are moving swiftly with both sides “eager to get a deal done.”
While DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, has yet to confirm the impending venture personally, a representative for his group of investors has confirmed that Halifax will be awarded the expansion franchise that has already been named the Halifax Ruff Ryders.
Hal Patford, spokesperson for the CFL, said that, “While talks are ongoing, we are excited that the addition of the Halifax Ruff Ryders will truly make the CFL a national league.” When asked about the similarities of the team name with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, or the previous Ottawa franchise that was also called the Rough Riders, Patford explained, “No, this is completely different. For one, Ruff is spelled R-u-f-f and two, Ryders is spelled with a Y so it’s really a non-issue for us.”
Not everyone is happy that the controversial American rapper is leading the group behind the CFL bid. Darryl Tremblay, a self-described die-hard CFL fan, is mildly skeptical about the proposed venture. “I don’t want to dampen everyone’s spirits about this whole thing but we’ve been down this road before with that Middle East group and it didn’t happen. I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Tremblay is, of course, referring to what turned out to be the biggest debacle in CFL history when a scam artist going by the moniker Sheik Yabuti, who claimed to be Arabian royalty, bilked many investors out of hundreds of dollars in the 1980s with a promise of creating a CFL franchise in Grand Manan.
Patford argues that this time it’s different. “We all want this to happen, but we all need to stop putting up roadblocks, drop all the red tape and, as far as all the naysayers go, we need to shut ’em down and let DMX and his group come to Halifax and open up shop instead of saying ‘oh no.’
“As I see it, that’s how the Halifax Ruff Ryders will roll.”
While Halifax anxiously awaits confirmation, the new CFL season is slated to open on Nov. 25, 2018.