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Ottawa RedBlacks announce mascot will be named Big Joe Mufferaw

The Ottawa RedBlacks' lumberjack mascot finally has a name.

The CFL expansion team announced Friday its mascot will go by the handle of "Big Joe Mufferaw."

The RedBlacks received a number of online suggestions from fans, most of whom wanted the CFL club's mascot named after late Ottawa storyteller Bernie Bedore's character.

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"Our fans spoke and we listened," said Jeff Hunt, the president of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, which owns the RedBlacks. "We heard that fans loved the look of our mascot and hundreds said he had to be Big Joe Mufferaw.

"We like that name too because it reminds us of our city's past and fits so well into the branding of our football team."

Hunt said he connected with Bedore's family about using the name.

Bedore wrote several books aimed at youngsters that illustrated the tall-tale lumberjacking exploits of Big Joe Mufferaw.

"We're delighted to continue dad's legacy through a new series of books for kids," said Judy Bedore, the late storyteller's daughter. "This initiative will bring Big Joe Mufferaw and the history of the lumber industry in our region into the hearts and minds of a new generation of young people for years to come."

Big Joe Mufferaw was also immortalized in a famous song from Canadian country-folk legend Stompin' Tom Connors.

The RedBlacks will kick off their inaugural season July 3 in Winnipeg, with their first home game scheduled for July 18 versus Toronto.

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