September 13, 2007

The top 10 worst sports team names: ... because marketing departments like a challenge .

posted by mr_crash_davis to general at 09:40 AM - 42 comments

The mascot for the Hooker, Oklahoma High School is the Horny Toads. That always made me laugh.

posted by hawkguy at 10:26 AM on September 13

The Butte Pirates? I hope the school motto is something along the lines of, "We'll plunder your booty!"

posted by apoch at 10:32 AM on September 13

Years ago one of the towns near my home town was the Cherryvale Fighting Cherries. They have since changed it. LOL

posted by scottypup at 10:47 AM on September 13

How about the Upper Iowa University (good old Up U) Peacocks? Go Peacocks, scratch 'em, beak 'em, rah! rah! rah!

posted by Darcy at 10:54 AM on September 13

I don't think anybody will ever beat the Knights from Fulton Unity Christian (High School). Fulton Unity Christian Knights, bet we could come up with some great fight songs using those initials!

posted by FSCCA6 at 11:03 AM on September 13

Nothing against Stanford ... they're just the most prominent team with the annoying "singular" nickname. Ignorant. It's not "singular". It's not the bird it's the color. Harvard Crimson, Stanford Cardinal, Dartmouth Big Green, Cornell Big Red, and so on.

posted by psmealey at 11:26 AM on September 13

If all teams were to adopt the LA Angels of Anaheim model the author forgot to mention my beloved Detroit Pistons of Auburn Hills. While I understand the logic behind moving stadiums to adjoining cities from a gate revenue standpoint, even if it is 24.7 miles from the northern border of Detroit as in the Palace of Auburn Hills, it has always seemed silly to retain the originating city name. Of course playing against the Auburn Hills Pistons just doesn't have the same ring as Detroit - you know, the Detroit full of unruly, out-of-work auto employees who beat Indiana players mercilessly - to warrant TV dollars or the respect of teams who are so huge that they represent entire states or nicknames of states. Anyhow thats my somewhat related to the topic rant. As for worst nicknames - and I assume this is tongue in cheek given it comes from a prominent design school - are the Nads and Balls of the Rhode Island School of Design. Then again, maybe those are the best ever.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 11:45 AM on September 13

My additions: Los Angeles Lakers: same as the Jazz. Should've changed the name moving from Minnesota Philadelphia Phillies & Washington Capitals: same as the Texans. Just lazy. Detroit Red Wings: Not particularly bad until you realise it has a double meaning which isn't too pleasant.

posted by Ricardo at 11:53 AM on September 13

I was always partial to Young Boys Berne. Wait, that came out wrong. The Young Boys are not helped by playing in Wankdorf Stadium.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:21 PM on September 13

Can there be a more special feeling than sitting in the stands wearing your "Proud Parent of a Butte Pirate" shirt? Damn, that's wrong on so many levels, not the least of which is Butte's not being even remotely close to a body of water, upon which a pirate might make a living. And Ricardo, I think the more unpleasant meaning for Red Wings kind of stemmed from the team and/or the shoe brand being part of the public vernacular. Can't really change it just because a slang term developed from it.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:25 PM on September 13

New additions: Hawaii Rainbows: The javelin thrower does well due to the javelin being designed to match his throwing style. Utah Utes: ...Ah, the two what? Uh... uh, what was that word? Bowling Green Falcons: Why would Bowling University choose a Green Falcon for a mascot (it's a joke) Brigham Young Cougars: "Young Cougar" is the funniest oxymoron ever ... (see Bowling Green)

posted by Ricardo at 12:25 PM on September 13

psmealey: I have the same problem with listing the Maple Leafs... Last time we checked, the plural of "leaf" was "leaves." Pretty sure it's pluralized that way intentionally. Hmm, where in Canada would you find a single notable maple leaf? Ricardo: what's the double meaning in Red Wings? You calling us commies?

posted by lawn_wrangler at 12:33 PM on September 13

I would recommend looking it up on a source like "Urban" so nobody has to embarrass themselves.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:39 PM on September 13

Hutto Hippos is one of my favorites.

posted by wsellis at 12:52 PM on September 13

lawn_wrangler: I believe a person can find a single, notable maple leaf and that would be the one of the Canadian national flag. Or Mike Holmes. Ooh, wait, maybe it's Les Stroud.

posted by NoMich at 12:52 PM on September 13

Come to think of it, The Lawn Wranglers would be a great team name. They would have to be a suburban school though. The West Bloomfield High Lawn Wranglers. Yeah, that's pretty good. /I'm bored

posted by NoMich at 01:18 PM on September 13

I could see Bowling Green being the Lawn Wranglers.

posted by hawkguy at 01:47 PM on September 13

Works a lot better than the West Bloomfield NoMich's. Or the West Bloomfield Ying Yang Mafia. Although the West Bloomfield Wing Wang's has a nice ring to it.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:17 PM on September 13

psmealey: I have the same problem with listing the Maple Leafs... Last time we checked, the plural of "leaf" was "leaves." Pretty sure it's pluralized that way intentionally. While leaves is the "normal" plural of leaf, according to, leafs is a less commonly used, but perfectly acceptable substitute. Hmm, where in Canada would you find a single notable maple leaf 1. Wherever Red Kelly is standing. 2. On the arm patch of any Canadian Soldier.

posted by tommytrump at 02:20 PM on September 13

What's wrong with the Phoenix Suns? I've always liked that name. If "Sun" can't be associated with Arizona, then we've got a problem. I also agree with Ricardo above about the Los Angeles Lakers being the same as the Utah Jazz. Teams that relocate and are too stupid to change their nickname should be fined big-time until they manage to change it.

posted by dyams at 02:32 PM on September 13

In the WNBA, where the teams' names are all of more recent vintage than the rest y'all are talking about, the singular team name is pretty common -- Detroit Shock, Seattle Storm, Connecticut Sun, Indiana Fever, Chicago Sky, etc. But then you have the Washington Mystics, the LA Sparks, the Houston Comets, Sacramento Monarchs, etc. And what about the Lynx? Is Lynx singular or plural, anyway?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:52 PM on September 13

Apparently both. Of course, the pluaral form of lynx can also be lynxes.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:12 PM on September 13

I think Washington was going for something organic but naming yourself after a potato wouldn't do. The Chief just shows that the native Americans grew them first.

posted by lpaulson at 04:04 PM on September 13

I, for one, am completely offended by the insensitivity displayed by Notre Dame and their mascot. I DO NOT engage in fisticuffs with my hands in that position.

posted by THX-1138 at 04:10 PM on September 13

Much like THX, I'm offended by the fighting position of the Irishman. Normally my hands flail wildly while I scream obscenities at all those who have wronged me, including the bartender, my father, and god. Then I break down crying in the corner until I pass out in the fetal position with my thumb in my mouth. But then I'm only half Irish.

posted by tahoemoj at 04:54 PM on September 13

Full Irish are the same except we capitilize God. Otherwise we get a ruler across the wrist.

posted by THX-1138 at 05:01 PM on September 13

Nothing against Stanford ... they're just the most prominent team with the annoying "singular" nickname. Ignorant. It's not "singular". It's not the bird it's the color. Harvard Crimson, Stanford Cardinal, Dartmouth Big Green, Cornell Big Red, and so on. Like Crimson-as-a-color is so much better? Oh yeah, the school's in California so being overtly aggressive is discouraged. (Note: I live about five miles from the Crimson campus.)

posted by billsaysthis at 07:39 PM on September 13

Matchups I'd love to see: USC Trojans vs Butte Pirates NE Patriots vs Cincinnati Reds and a rematch between that Duck and the Cougar Really for league-wide stupid nicknames check out Japanese Baseball that features Ham fighters, Carp, Swallows and Buffaloes (I didn't realize that Japan had the Buffalo population of say Colorado)

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 08:40 PM on September 13

They aren't "Ham Fighters". They are the "Nippon-Ham" Fighters.

posted by avogadro at 09:09 PM on September 13

They aren't "Ham Fighters" Nippon Ham is a meat and fish packing company. The Carp in Japan is a symbol of virility. Carp flags are flown on Boys' Day by families who have male children. The Swallows are sponsored by a dairy company that makes a lactic acid drink, thus the "swallow". My ex-wife used to work for a hotel in the Kintetsu chain, the sponsor of the Buffalos. This Buffalo is not the Bison of the American plains, but is the animal we commonly call the water buffalo. It is considered a strong animal with great endurance. My son's alma mater calls its teams the Purple Panthers of Nashua High School, (South), Nashua, NH. Panthers is not bad by itself, but purple? It comes from a former coach who was a Holy Cross alumnus, and who insisted on the color purple before he would take the job.

posted by Howard_T at 10:27 PM on September 13

Wow, thanks Howard. That's great background on the Japanese team names. We gripe a lot over here about corporate sponsorship of stadiums and the like, but there has been so little corporate influence in the naming of MLB teams, even the more recent expansion teams. One of the high schools in the town in which I grew up had the nickname "Spartans," which I always felt implied that their sports teams had no equipment at all and played on a barren dirt field.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 10:48 PM on September 13

God damn it. The Toronto Maple Leafs are not named for the leaf of the maple tree. They are named for the symbol of Canada, known as the Maple Leaf, and which as a symbol is a singular and very proper noun. A row of Canadian flags are not maple leaves, they are multiple incarnations of The Maple Leaf. Hence, Maple Leafs. So forget about the tree. It's not about the tree. I suspect I'm going to be explaining that for the rest of my goddamned life.

posted by chicobangs at 06:30 AM on September 14

kyrilmitch: Matchups I'd love to see: This was already posted on spofi some time back, but it's worth a reprise here. "This match is over!" (now write your trojans vs. butte pirates matchup in the same style. I dare ya, I double dare ya!)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:11 AM on September 14

Topeka, Kansas has high schools of both Trojan, (Topeka High) and Seaman Academy. Therefore every year we have to suffer through headlines in the Capitol Journal of "Seaman Breaks Through Trojan Defense." It's like they think it's some kind of inside joke.

posted by hawkguy at 08:57 AM on September 14

Fantastic link lbb.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:38 PM on September 14

I suspect I'm going to be explaining that for the rest of my goddamned life. Don't give up the fight, brutha! /flashes TML gang sign

posted by grum@work at 09:36 PM on September 14

The Washington Redskins definitely earn their number one ranking. Not only is it the most racist name in sports by far, but they do not play in Washington. They are really the Raljon/Landover 'Skins. They actually renamed a part of Landover, MD that the stadium is on Raljon, after Jack Kent Cookes sons, Ralph and John. I think they may have changed the name back to Landover after Cooke passed away and John Cooke got robbed of the team. It will probably soon be renamed Snyderville or Smallville, but that is just speculation at this point.

posted by urall cloolis at 10:39 PM on September 14

grum, please, I've never asked this before and I may never again, but -- do all Leaf fans a favor. Bookmark my comment and share it far and wide.

posted by chicobangs at 02:01 AM on September 15

Wait, so why did they stop using the tree?

posted by yerfatma at 10:00 AM on September 15

Are you guys saying that it's not about the tree? Cause it looks like maple leaves to me. (sorry chico)

posted by THX-1138 at 12:14 AM on September 16

So where does that leaf Red's Ox? Is the plural Red's Oxs? I'm just oxen. And while we're at it, let's put this to rest right here -- should an individual member of the Red Sox be a Red Sock?

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 10:34 AM on September 16

Aww man, they didn't even mention the Macon Whoopie. Ugh, just thinking about that name makes me die a little bit inside. AGNP

posted by AaronGNP at 04:09 PM on September 17

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.