Walk-Off

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  1. As the home of Sunday night NFL games since 2006, NBC is also "an official partner" of the NFL, yet the NBC-owned Pro Football Talk website has gotten away with making the bare minimum of mentions of the Washington team's nickname for many years now. These days, pretty much the only places in which one will find that nickname mentioned within PFT are in tags for articles and in comments by some readers of the site.
  2. We should keep in mind that Kraken may have its own obstacles to trademarking. A spiced rum produced in Trinidad and Tobago has been sold under the Kraken name for roughly a decade now, the SeaWorld Orlando park includes a Kraken roller coaster, a small-time wrestling promotion company owns "Kraken Legion" as a federally registered trademark in the United States, and ... of probably the greatest importance to any sports team wanting to have Kraken in its name ... an esports company known as Super League Gaming is trying to gain US federal registrations for the name "Vancouver Krakens" and a logo containing said name. (However, a check of the database of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office does not show any attempt by Super League Gaming or any other entity to register a "Vancouver Krakens" trademark in Canada.)
  3. Given the rather anomalous natures of the Colts-Rams trade and especially the Celtics-Buffalo Braves swap (in which the Buffalo team's recipient had a clear-cut desire to own a California-based NBA team, was unable and/or unwilling to move the Celtics out of Boston, and transformed the Buffalo Braves into the San Diego Clippers shortly after that exchange of franchises), I think that a more plausible fate for both Calvin Griffith and the Washington Senators in this universe is if Griffith buys the Minnesota Saints (quite possibly from a person or family going through a high degree of financial distress) and sells the Senators to an Atlanta-based third party, or at least a third party who happens to want to bring an MLB team to Atlanta specifically.
  4. Given Atlanta's roots as a hub of rail transportation, a railroad-themed name might work well for an Atlanta team. Locomotives, Boilers (as in the boiler of a steam locomotive), Railroaders, Engineers, Conductors, and even Crescents (for the Crescent passenger train that has run from New Orleans, through Atlanta, to various points to Atlanta's northeast since 1891) all seem like good choices to me.
  5. @OnWis97, I do not know whether the Royals combined an artificial turf infield with a grass outfield at any spring training facility in or near Fort Myers. However, I do remember the Royals having that particular setup for at least the main field at their spring training site in the late 1980s and early 1990s -- Baseball City Stadium in Haines City, Florida (located along the stretch of Interstate 4 between Tampa and Orlando), which was originally integrated with an amusement park in a short-lived complex called Boardwalk and Baseball. I learned of and saw this unusual configuration solely via television; in 1989, NBC aired a preseason All-Star Softball Game that was played at Baseball City Stadium's main field. Speaking of the late 1980s and early 1990s, ESPN devoted many Sunday evenings in the winter and spring months of those years to live college baseball games, and I have vague memories of at least one college baseball park with synthetic turf in the infield and grass in the outfield hosting at least one of those ESPN-televised games.
  6. The only way that I can see MLB and its teams being legally able to field replacement / strike-breaking / scab players is if the MLBPA were to stage a formal strike. In fact, I wonder if the chief reason why the current mass holdout among MLB players has not turned into a formal strike is a concern that MLB team owners could and would then retaliate by signing a bunch of strike-breaking players to contracts for this year and beyond. Furthermore, I can see a possibility that a prolonged mass holdout by MLB players will provoke the commissioner's office and team owners to take various forms of legal action against those players and/or the MLBPA. Speaking of legal action, the cynic in me wonders if major North American professional team sports leagues' collective reluctance to cancel the remainders of their regular seasons (MLS, NBA, and NHL), their whole regular seasons for this year (CFL, MLB, and NFL), and their respective postseason competitions is the product of a fear of lawsuits by television partners who would then want to recoup the money that they had paid for rights to any and all games that are wiped away from the schedule. By contrast, the lack of any significant TV revenue flowing to summer collegiate leagues in baseball and to minor pro leagues in any sport has seemed to empower such organizations to call off games and even nix whole seasons with relative ease. Finally, I think that we should keep different levels of tolerance of risk in mind when we notice certain sports restarting competition sooner than others. For instance, the broad level of human physical distancing in golf would suggest in a vacuum that golf is better able to endure a pandemic than are most other sports. However, professional golfers tend to come from wealthier backgrounds than do competitors in most other sports -- thus enabling golfers to have both (a) more money that can be saved during a typical economic downturn and, quite possibly, (b) more and better education pertaining to management of money than what the predominantly working-class competitors in such sports as mixed martial arts, boxing, or even stock car racing have seemed to enjoy in their lives -- with the end result being that most professional golfers might be in less (maybe even much less) of a hurry to resume competition than their peers in more danger-laden realms like MMA, boxing, or stock car racing. Also, pro golfers may well be unusually averse to risks to health and safety when compared to most other sports figures; for example, 27 eligible competitors (21 men and six women) boycotted the golf tournaments at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro because of a fear of succumbing to a Zika virus outbreak that had been afflicting people throughout Brazil (both residents and visitors) for several months when the Games began.
  7. From all that I have read, the many rectangular plastic panels that lined the Astrodome's roof were originally transparent and let in enough sunlight to enable grass to thrive inside the stadium. Unfortunately, that transparency also caused lots of glare that was tough on players' eyes and particularly hampered their ability to track batted balls. A short time after the Astrodome began to be used for baseball games, all of those panels on the roof received a coat of paint. The paint job put an end to sunlight-induced glare inside the Astrodome, but also caused the grass to die from starvation of sunlight, thus necessitating the development of an artificial playing surface for that stadium.
  8. Regarding the White Sox set, as much as I love the creation of a sock shape in the main logo's negative space, I would look for a way to make the "O" in that emblem look more symmetrical and less like a "D". As for the Cubs set, I would have the "UBS" in the main logo be in a font that is much less ornate and has a style that is more compatible with the round sans-serif "C". Also, I would use the same version of the main logo in both the home and away uniforms; as things stand now, it seems that the away uni is utilizing the current real-world Cubs emblem while the home uni features the altered design for that symbol. With that said, I am definitely glad that the bear-with-a-bat has been incorporated into one of those unis. When it comes to both of the Chicago teams, I love how stylish the Home Plate uniforms are; both designs fit those teams' respective histories, cultures, and images quite well. In the meantime, I would try to make the Tradition unis more distinct from one another.
  9. If, in this alternate timeline, (a) Clark Griffith died at more or less the same moment in time as in our history and still left the Washington Senators to his nephew, Calvin Griffith, and (b) Calvin still retained ownership of that team for at least two decades, then I think that the younger Griffith would have been very unwilling either to relocate the Senators to Atlanta at any point in his ownership or to wait until 1966 to move the team anywhere far away from Washington, D.C. Among the things that we have come to learn about Calvin Griffith is that, on at least one occasion, he accused black people -- the predominant residents of the neighborhoods surrounding the Washington Senators' ballpark and, historically, a large percentage of the population of the whole District of Columbia -- of being generally unwilling to attend baseball games regularly, and admitted that he was thrilled that the whole state of Minnesota had presumably only a few thousand black inhabitants when the Senators became the Twins in 1961. Thus, in a world where the Minneapolis-St. Paul area somehow gained an MLB club before the Senators could move to that region, I think that Calvin Griffith would have passed up a city as heavily black as Atlanta -- especially if, just as in our world, the federal government had banned racial discrimination in both employment and public accommodations by the time that Atlanta had an MLB-ready stadium -- in favor of a comparably populous MLB-free area in the United States (or even in Canada) with a much higher ratio of white residents to black residents. Specifically, Buffalo (one of the cities proposed for a team in pro baseball's stillborn Continental League, and a decidedly larger city in the late 1950s and early 1960s than today), Denver (the tentative home of another Continental League club), Toronto (where a third CL team would have played), Montréal (Calvin Griffith's hometown), and even Indianapolis and Seattle all strike me as being far more likely destinations for a Washington Senators team under his particular ownership than Atlanta. Finally, I cannot help but suspect that Calvin Griffith was a hardened enough racist that he would have sought to move the Senators out of Washington, D.C. as soon as possible after he inherited the team, even if Baltimore still did not have its own MLB franchise and even if neither the AL nor the NL had expanded yet. In that case, I think that, in the early 1960s in this parallel universe, each league still adds two teams, the NL still grants a franchise to New York City to fill the void left jointly by the Giants and the Dodgers, and the AL still bestows a franchise upon Houston. However, the NL would have had trouble deciding whether its other planned expansion club for the early Sixties would compete with the Browns for fans in Los Angeles or exploit and avenge the AL's departure from D.C. Meanwhile, the AL would have felt a lot of pressure in the earliest part of the 60s to say no to any bid from Baltimore and instead put a new team in the District before the NL could do so.
  10. Third baseman Eddie Matthews played his MLB rookie season with the Braves in 1952, the team's final year in Boston. Matthews kept playing for the Braves from 1953 through 1965, when they called Milwaukee home, and in 1966, the club's first year in Atlanta, before the Braves organization traded him to the Houston Astros. He ended up being the only person who played for the Braves in all three of the metropolitan areas where they have been based.
  11. The Denver Broncos' Von Miller has tested positive for COVID-19.
  12. An indigenous group's territory, huh? I guess that Dana White would then be able to save both the money needed to buy an island and the time that would have to be spent in finding a country or colony that is willing to be very lenient toward activities on a private island within its boundaries.
  13. Here is what seems to be the initial aftermath of that discussion: https://ballparkdigest.com/2020/04/04/trump-pro-sports-should-resume-in-august-september/
  14. I wonder how long it will be before we see masks with the Cubs' royal blue pinstripes.
  15. To me -- and to use examples from within the NFL's history -- a move of the Panthers from Charlotte proper to a nearby locale in South Carolina would be most comparable to first the Giants and then the Jets leaving not only the City of New York, but also the State of New York, to play in the northeast corner of New Jersey.
  16. Yesterday, the USL organization announced that its top two leagues are on hiatus until at least the middle of May. https://soccerstadiumdigest.com/2020/03/usl-championship-league-one-hiatuses-extended/ Today, Major League Soccer revealed that it will do more or less the same thing. https://soccerstadiumdigest.com/2020/03/mls-suspension-extended-to-align-with-cdc-guidelines/
  17. Regardless of whenever or wherever the World Series is played this year, or even whether or not the World Series will be able to be played at all this year, Major League Baseball's commissioner revealed a few hours ago that we will need to wait more than two months ... at the least ... for a return to a semblance of normalcy in MLB: https://ballparkdigest.com/2020/03/16/its-official-dont-look-for-mlb-until-memorial-day/
  18. Beware the Ides of March indeed.
  19. Furthering the argument for "Six" as an ice hockey team's nickname is the fact that Indianapolis has a professional men's soccer team known as Indy Eleven (with, it seems, no "the" in that name). With that in mind, the presence of the word "Kickers" in the names of some soccer teams (mostly in Germany, with the United States a close second) has me wondering if an NHL team in Seattle or elsewhere could get by with "Shooters" as a nickname.
  20. The International Hockey League, during more or less its last decade of existence, had many clubs that lacked affiliations with NHL teams. Is the AHL of today just as willing to let the Wolves or any of its other teams play without a tie-up with an NHL club?
  21. @M4One, I am definitely among those who think that, over at least the last thirty-five years, the NBA has had smarter leadership than the NHL. Within CCSLC, I do not seem to be alone in this regard, given how "OITGDNHL" has been a common set of initials in NHL-related posts around here. As for how that relates to corporate sponsorship of team nicknames and the prospect of Seattle's new NHL club being saddled with a sponsored nickname, a part of me suspects that had the Canucks, instead of the Grizzlies, been the team that Michael Heisley moved from Vancouver to Memphis almost nineteen years ago, Gary Bettman would have been both dumb enough and greedy enough to be more willing than David Stern was, or even Adam "Sponsor Logos on the Fronts of Jerseys" Silver might be, to allow an agreement for Heisley and any partners of his to receive tens of millions of dollars from FedEx to change the Canucks' nickname to the Express or practically any other moniker that FedEx desired for the team.
  22. Unless I am mistaken, @monkeypower, a hypothesis and a conclusion are not always and do not have to be the same thing, and I have intended all of my speculation about why a Seattle NHL team would consider Renegades as a nickname to be a hypothesis above all else. It is certainly not a theory, which requires observable and demonstrable proof that a hypothesis does not need.
  23. I admit that my hypothesis is a tremendous leap of logic. Here, then, is how I arrived at this opinion: The updating of the registration of the seattlerengades.com domain came more than fourteen months after the NHL awarded the franchise to the Seattle Hockey Partners group. Maybe others have seen and/or heard differently, but I do not recall having encountered any serious or even casual discussion of Renegades as a likely nickname for the team. So, with such a seemingly unexpected move in the branding process at such a presumably late date in the building of a franchise scheduled to start play in 2021, I cannot help but wonder if the culprit is something as bold (at best) and as unseemly (at worst) as a corporate sponsor's acquisition of the right to name the team. If I remember correctly, Seattle Hockey Partners teased that the team's name would be revealed around the time of this year's NHL All-Star Weekend. That weekend has since come and gone, SHP has still not unveiled a confirmed name for the team, and the seattlerenegades.com domain's registration was updated nearly three weeks after this year's NHL All-Star Game was played. Hmmm ... With presumably little (if any) input accepted from the general public, Bill Foley went ahead and gave his Las Vegas-based NHL club a nickname that is a rather obvious homage to the educational institution where he earned his bachelor's degree. By that standard, something as outrageous as letting a corporate sponsor name a team for the "right" price might not be such a surprising act in the NHL. As for why I suspect that Jeep in particular would pay a sports team based in Seattle to be nicknamed the Renegades, (a) Jeep has spent much of its history tailoring its vehicles to people who go (or at least want to go) on adventures in the outdoors regularly, (b) Seattle and its surrounding areas seem like a region full of outdoors-minded and/or adventure-craving people, and (c) I am personally not aware of any other current product that is sold under the Renegade brand name and is as prominent in the overall marketplace as the Jeep Renegade SUV. Besides, the Jeep line of vehicles has an infamously long history of being built by a string of companies who, at best, were unlucky and, at worst, doomed themselves by making multiple idiotic business decisions.
  24. Here is an unnerving thought: How likely is it that the Seattle NHL club's owners are thinking of branding their team as the Seattle Renegades only because they have a standing offer from a prospective corporate sponsor to pay many millions of dollars to have the team go by that particular name? One company that might be very willing to pay a professional sports team to be nicknamed the Renegades is the Jeep division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which sells a subcompact crossover sport utility vehicle under the Renegade name in the United States, Canada, and many other countries around the world. Such a scenario, whether or not any of us likes it, has some historical precedent. In 1994, the then-independent Chrysler Corporation (who had bought the previous builder of Jeep vehicles six years earlier) garnered deals for naming rights to two lower-tier pro sports teams -- the International Hockey League's Detroit Vipers (who played until the IHL's demise in 2001) and the Continental Indoor Soccer League's Detroit Neon (who played for three seasons before making a deal with General Motors to become the Detroit Safari for what proved to be that club's (and the CISL's) final season). I can see it now ... "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Jeep Arena in Seattle, Washington ... the home of your ... Seattle ... Renegades!" The arena's goal horn blares for a few seconds. Then, large doors at one end of the rink are opened, and a Jeep Renegade painted in the home team's colors is driven slowly onto the ice. The home team's players skate behind and then around the Renegade SUV ... all while the X Ambassadors song "Renegades" (which Jeep itself utilized in at least one US commercial for the first model year of the vehicle) plays over the arena's loudspeakers. Regardless of what merits Renegades may or may not have in a vacuum as a nickname for a Seattle-based NHL team, a reliance on any separately owned corporate sponsor for the brand identity of a team playing in both a league of the NHL's stature and a city of Seattle's stature would reek of not only greed, but also a lack of self-respect and, maybe worst of all, a lack of creativity. To me, at least, the basic message behind such branding would be "All of the good names that we can think of are already taken, are available but have been used before and therefore are damaged goods in our opinion, or are too politically incorrect, so let's let some big corporation name our team just about anything they want as long as they can give us enough money."
  25. The forward-facing logo concept looks like an attempt to turn the emblem of the gone-but-not-forgotten Hartford Whalers into a wildcat's head.