macalesterscots

Hardest City for Fictional Concept Leagues

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Hey guys, I've always been interested in doing concepts for fictional sports leagues and I have noticed that there are definitely some cities for which assigning a name can be exceedingly difficult.

Like I'm sure many of you do, I try to give my team names some sort of connection with the city (historical, economical, whatever) but for some cities I have major problems.

So my question for discussion is, what cities give you the most trouble when doing a fictional league? I know for me my top three are usually LA, Charlotte, and Toronto.

Would love to hear what everyone else thinks on the subject!

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I'd have to agree with those, but I've also always found Miami difficult. There are names like "Marlins" and "Dolphins" and "Hurricanes" that make sense, but those are already taken, so when creating a team I find Miami hard to find a nickname for.

For me, there are some teams that are just the opposite. There's Seattle, New York, and DC when it comes to that.

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This is difficult, for me it's hard not doing clichés for certain cities. For example; Boston either has to be Irish or American Revolution themed. It's the easiest for Bilingual cities, because you have the help of Google Translate.

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I did have a fictional league many years ago, and can see how it can be difficult to come up with something original. In my case, I definitely "borrowed" nicknames from defunct sports leagues. Had a team in Pittsburgh called the Ironmen, which is an old NBA failed franchise, but IMO, a great name to bring back someday.

Doing research on that specific city should eventually yield something, so I think you're on the right track. Some of the original teams I came up with back in the day included the Phoenix Heat Wave, Atlanta Defenders, New York Empires, Dallas Gunfighters, and the Las Vegas Blackjacks(or Wildcards).

I never had teams in Toronto or Charlotte, and "borrowed" the Express nickname for LA.

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Louisville (no hometown bias) because nobody can decide whether it's located in the South or the Midwest.

Most larger cities have histories and regional tastes that make it a bit easier to figure out names for fictional sports teams, but mid-sized ones can be challenging, especially ones that are located inland and don't have the coastal/nautical themes to fall back on. Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Omaha, Columbus, and Portland (OR) also give me trouble for those reasons.

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Here are some of the names that I have for some of my personal fictional leagues (hockey,football, and baseball). Hawaii Comets, Washington Generals, Ottawa Foxes, Arizona Blaze, Tennessee Tornadoes, Michigan Blizzard, Phoenix Heat, Halifax Snow Caps, and Carolina Flyers are just some of them.

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Orlando, unless you're doing a league where Disney sponsors/owns them I guess. Everyone tries to do the space theme, but the Space Coast is 40+ minutes away. That just leaves you with something to do with Florida's climate...yawn. If you want to be distasteful then the Orlando Bullets could work

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Atlanta for sports other than soccer. There's nothing here you can really name anything after other than a Phoenix. I managed to name my fantasy baseball team the Copperheads however, due to those being a native snake of the southeast.

Another town I think is hard is Richmond. Its just kinda there y'know

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I would love an LA team to do some sort of connection to the La Brea Tar Pits. Dire Wolves and Mammoths could work.

Shameless plug

TarTigersLogoFamily_zps72bcc7b7.png

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I would love an LA team to do some sort of connection to the La Brea Tar Pits. Dire Wolves and Mammoths could work.

Shameless plug

TarTigersLogoFamily_zps72bcc7b7.png

How about Tar Cats? Rolls off the tongue better.

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Des Moines, Iowa (or just Iowa in general) has always given me major problems. "Energy" is used by their D-League team, "Hawkeyes" is used by their college (and "Hawks" is used by Atlanta), "Blackhawks" is used by Chicago, and finding a name that relates to the farming industry without sounding silly isn't easy at all.

It's hard finding anything that sounds good with Salt Lake City and Minneapolis.

For Salt Lake City I prefer to use "Swarm" (because Utah is known as the "Beehive" state). I love the name "Saints" for SLC, because of Utah's high Mormon population, but in an odd twist of fate, New Orleans uses that name.

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Philadelphia is my Achilles heel. Out of my 4 concept leagues with hockey, football, baseball, and basketball, I have a Phantoms and a Quakers for hockey and baseball respectively.

DC has been an issue as well as Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Kansas City... I could go on, as I've had an issue with nearly every big city at some point in time. This is why I created a list of 400+ nicknames to help myself whenever I came across this situation.

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For Salt Lake City, I have used bee names (since Utah is the Beehive State) so, Swarm, Killerbees blah blah blah... once for a football team I used Salt Lake City Valley Cats and I know someone on this very board did an awesome hockey concept with the name Salt Lake City Scorpions.

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I'm currently working on a concept series, and one of my goals was to not use a bee theme for SLC. I think I've succeeded in that regard by working with a magpie theme. I've got everything I need for LA but just can't think of a nickname (considering I lived most of my life there makes it worse), though using a La Brea theme could work well. I am also having some difficulty with cities like Louisville, the big cities of Ohio, Orlando, Tampa, Nashville without explicitly being music themed, OKC, and especially Omaha (all I have so far is a frontier theme that could very well be a placeholder). I think the reason for this is that while I've been travelled to many places in the US, I'm not as familiar with the Midwest or Southeast as I am with the West Coast and Northeast (most of my concepts from those areas familiar to me have more progress than those I am unfamiliar with, as I've already basically finalized Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, and Providence while I'm far along with LA, Seattle, SLC, Boston, and Hartford).

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This reminds me of my days in the 90's playing "Front Page Sports Pro Football" and renaming and recoloring all 30 (at the time) teams.

Some of the one's I can remember. (This was like '94 and I was about 18 at the time so keep that in mind ;) ):

Maine Great Elks

Washington Colonials

New York Empires

Boston Beans

Miami Manatees

Detroit Panthers

Chicago Wind

Sacramento Great Whites ( I don't know...)

Seattle Sasquatch

Denver High (really takes on a new meaning nowadays)

Phoenix Scorpions

Las Vegas Gamblers

Honolulu Islanders

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Des Moines, Iowa (or just Iowa in general) has always given me major problems. "Energy" is used by their D-League team, "Hawkeyes" is used by their college (and "Hawks" is used by Atlanta), "Blackhawks" is used by Chicago, and finding a name that relates to the farming industry without sounding silly isn't easy at all.

Let me help you out...the city pulled its name from the river of the same, which translated from French means "of the monks". An alternate source claims Algonquian roots, particularly the word "Moingona", supposedly from one of the clans indigenous to the area before Europeans showed up on the scene.

(I only know this because I used to live there.)

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Philadelphia is my Achilles heel. Out of my 4 concept leagues with hockey, football, baseball, and basketball, I have a Phantoms and a Quakers for hockey and baseball respectively.

Not to be "that guy", but... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Phantoms

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