OnWis97

Worst Team Names (Big League)

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Mitch B said:

Unpopular Opinion:  I don't mind that some sports franchises bypass traditional naming conventions in their branding.  

 

The Minnesota Twins makes sense to me, as does the Texas Rangers.

Carolina v. Charlotte, Boston v. New England ... I've lived thru them all and I am fairly indifferent to each.

I think the Golden State Warriors is a unique and cool sounding name.  I fondly miss the California Angels.

I don't really care if Nevada's new hockey team is called Las Vegas or Vegas.

The MLS works fine with some teams using American naming conventions and others choosing European-style monikers.

 

That's just one man's opinion.

 

If there is one name out there that I am not fond of it's the Utah Jazz.  It doesn't sit well with the musician in me, but I've learned from my Utah friends that they love the name of their team as is, and that's good enough for me.

 

The convention of naming a team for a city got started because it is logical, as cities are where populations are densest.  More fundamentally, cities are the natural way in which human beings arrange their societies; we as a species are urban-leaning by our nature.  If the breaking of this convention is to occur, it should be for a good reason.  And very few of the existing examples seem to provide that good reason.

@Hoops McCann said that teams are called "Minnesota" not to avoid the rivalry between Minneapolis and St. Paul but to appeal to the rest of the state.  That sounds OK on its face; but a moment of thinking reveals that teams named for other cities (Boston, New York, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Denver) easily became adopted even by people in rural areas througout the state.  The only time that people in a given state don't gravitate towards a team in one of that state's cities is when there is a closer city in another state, such as the Cardinals fans in southern Illinois.  

It's impossible to imagine that an NFL team called "Minneapolis" would have been rejected by football-loving Minnesotans from the far reaches of the state on the grounds that the team is named for a city.  If the baseball Giants had moved there, as Horace Stoneham had intended before Walter O'Malley awakened him to the possibilities of San Francisco, the Minneapolis Giants would surely have had the same appeal througout the state as the Minnesota Twins do.  Likewise, I would have a hard time being convinced that the Denver Broncos have less of an appeal throughout Colorado than the Colorado Rockies do.  The Broncos are a regional team, despite their being named for a city.  So a Major League Baseball team called the "Denver Rockies" would have done just fine in terms of attracting fans from all over the state.

We also have to be conscious of having become inured to various names, and we should force ourselves to consider these names through fresh eyes.  The name "Texas Rangers" sounds OK because it existed before the team was created.  (By the way, the New York Rangers have that name on account of their founder Tex Rickard; they were "Tex's Rangers".)  So there's no doubt that the name sounds OK; the point is that it's not appropriate for a sports team.  The team should rightfully have been called the "Dallas anything-elses". 

 

In another thread I mentioned that "California Angels" sounds right to me because that's the name I grew up with.  So I am totally inured to that name.  But, as I learnt more about history, it became clear that "L.A. Angels" is the most appropriate name, considering that Los Angeles is the major city in the area where the team plays, and also that that name goes back to the first years of the 20th Century. 

 

The name "Golden State Warriors" is a double-whammy: a state-named team that uses a state nickname.  In a sane world, the idea of using a state nickname would be rejected out of hand.  But "California Warriors" would have been fine if the team had gone through with its plan to be a truly statewide team and to play home games in multiple cities.  Once it settled in Oakland, however, then "Oakland Warriors" it should have been.

The latter-day state names are easier to consider freshly; and most of them fail by a wide margin.  The name "Florida Marlins" flies in the face of the history of baseball in Miami, as the name "Miami Marlins" began in the 1950s.  So the Major League team should never have been "Florida" in the first place.  The name "Florida Panthers" sounds good for the same reason that "Texas Rangers" does, namely, because it existed before the team.  The solution: name the team something else.  (Well, the real solution is: don't have f-ing hockey in f-ing Miami. But that's another issue entirely.)

An interesting case is New Jersey.  So far, all of the teams that have called themselves "New Jersey" have been located in the New York City area.  So the name "New York" would have been more appropriate for the Nets and the Generals. (Indeed, the Generals intended to use the name "New York" until the Meadowlands people told them they couldn't do so if they wanted to play in Giants Stadium.) 

The Devils took up an existing name, as the Jersey Devil is the name of some imagined beast that is thought to live in the Pine Barrens.  (And the name "Jersey Devils", without the "New", had previously been used by a minor-league hockey team that played in South Jersey.)  However, the use of the state name does nothing to give the Devils a statewide fan base; the rivalry between North Jersey and South Jersey is quite strong, and the Devils are dismissed by the hockey fans of South Jersey, who are firmly within the Flyers' ambit.  So the Devils' act of using the state name has not been successful; they would have been better off identifying explictly with North Jersey by using the locality name "Newark", which is New Jersey's largest city.  This would have been fine even while the team was in the Meadowlands; and that name would be perfect now that the team is actually in Newark.  (Still, I have to admit that the Devils' "NJ" monogram is one of the best logos in all of sports. I will admit that I sometimes lean towards thinking that the beautiful logo justifies the state name in this case.)

 

The use of "Carolina" to appeal to both Carolinas is clever.  But, as with the Denver example above, we need to ask ourselves if teams called "Charlotte" or "Raleigh" would really have been an issue to people in the two-state region of the Carolinas.  I strongly suspect that the region's fans of football and (*giggle*) hockey would have seen Charlotte's NFL team and Raleigh's NHL team as the ones to support.

 

And, this gets us down to the only explicity regional name (as "Carolina" is a regional name that functions as a pseudo-state name) -- New England.  This is another one which requires a fresh look, as most of us have known only that name for the Patriots.  Several people have pointed out 1) that the Red Sox and Celtics have fans throughout New England, and so could the Boston Patriots; and 2) that playing home games a few miles out of town does not put the Patriots in any different category from the teams that play within the city limits.  It was noted earlier that the "New England" branding was a response to the strong Giants fandom in southern Connecticut.  I would suggest that this branding has done nothing to change the allegience to the Giants in the areas of Connecticut that are part of the New York metropolitan area. 


The only circumstance that I can think of in which a state name wouldn't be so bad is "Utah", only because "Salt Lake City" is such a mouthful.  Also, I could imagine using a state name for a small state such as Delaware, Rhode Island, or Hawaii.  (The WFL's team called "The Hawaiians" took an interesting tack.)

So, while there are exceptions to everything, the sensible guideline that teams should be named for cities has very, very few exceptions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've gotten pushback for saying the Rangers should have gone by Dallas Rangers because purporting to represent the entire state of Texas, which already had a National League team, is silly, but apparently, just like the Miami Marlins, there was a minor-league baseball team in the '60s called the Dallas Rangers. It would've sounded fine!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/24/2016 at 0:57 AM, Hoops McCann said:

I'm guessing the Atlantic Schooners would've blown up this thread

Logo was chill though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/24/2016 at 7:58 AM, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

Also, the idea that baseball and football fans in St. Paul would have refused to support Major League Baseball and NFL teams called "Minneapolis" strikes me as unrealistic. Though I have to concede that the football Giants' very real hold on Connecticut was probably a motivation for renaming the Patriots from Boston to New England. (I understand the reasoning; but I don't condone the move.)

 

If you don't live in the Twin Cities, it's hard to appreciate the historical rivalry between the two cities. The two cities have unique identities, and residents of either city have a strong preference for identifying which city they are from.

 

Leading to the Twins arriving, the Minneapolis Millers and St. Paul Saints had a strong baseball rivalry, so naming the team for one city or the other would have alienated a significant portion of their local fan base. This isn't saying all St. Paul residents would be alienated, but even if 30% were, that would be enough to push the savvy business owner to make the name change.

 

Each major pro team subsequent the Twins had a chance to go by Minneapolis or St. Paul, but not one has dared to test the local rivalry. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Mingjai said:

 

If you don't live in the Twin Cities, it's hard to appreciate the historical rivalry between the two cities. The two cities have unique identities, and residents of either city have a strong preference for identifying which city they are from.

 

Leading to the Twins arriving, the Minneapolis Millers and St. Paul Saints had a strong baseball rivalry, so naming the team for one city or the other would have alienated a significant portion of their local fan base. This isn't saying all St. Paul residents would be alienated, but even if 30% were, that would be enough to push the savvy business owner to make the name change.

 

Each major pro team subsequent the Twins had a chance to go by Minneapolis or St. Paul, but not one has dared to test the local rivalry. 

building off of this, is why I believe that the Los Angeles Angels should always use Anaheim in their branding and naming.

 

Anaheim and Los angeles are in the same boat as the twin cities, and Anaheim is the city that the Angles play in.

 

I agree with the generality of teams should use the city name, and that is the exact reason why(like the ducks do), the name for the Angels should be Anaheim Angels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, DiePerske said:

Anaheim and Los angeles are in the same boat as the twin cities

 

They most certainly are not.

 

Back to the Cities, I believe Minneapolis was more the Norwegian Lutheran side and St. Paul the German Catholic side, hence the old rivalry. I think Minneapolis also saw itself as more of a "western" city like Kansas City and St. Paul more like Milwaukee or Chicago, so that, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, the admiral said:

 

They most certainly are not.

 

Back to the Cities, I believe Minneapolis was more the Norwegian Lutheran side and St. Paul the German Catholic side, hence the old rivalry. I think Minneapolis also saw itself as more of a "western" city like Kansas City and St. Paul more like Milwaukee or Chicago, so that, too.

they point i was trying to make, is that Anaheim is a sizeable enough size that is right next o an even bigger city, and that their population is bigger than some three sport cities(see pittsburgh), have a county to themselves, and have the right to have the name of their city on their teams, not the city right next to it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just my two cents

NBA: I have never been too fond of the pelicans name since the day it was announced

NHL: to me coyotes never had a good ring to it same with predators.I am glad that the coyotes made Arizona their location name sounds better imo

MLB: really hate the rays. Devil rays sounded really cool and had a fun identity rather than their current boring one

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/23/2016 at 11:29 PM, chuckymack said:

How has no one mentioned the Buffalo Bills or the Cleveland Browns? Like, what the hell is a Brown or a Bill?

 

I know they've been that way forever-- and I get that they were named after people-- but that doesn't make the names magically sensible.

OK  I have to get this off myback , but when did we become so technical about how we name sport teams??  It's been said that we loads of information available at our fingertips, but yet we constantly ask for more, nor do we use the tools that are at our disposal. It seems to me people nowadays, really have a need a reason about certain topics, no matter the genre. Can't we just names team and be done with it?

 For sports team names, you have the Geographical/Regional name then the team nickname.

 

As for my choices for bad team names:

MLB: Rays, A's, Nationals and Phillies

NBA: Pelicans, Nets, Knicks

MLS: Any team named City, United, or FC. Can't anyone come up with a decent  nickname??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/23/2016 at 10:55 PM, the admiral said:

 

It's also used for two teams that play about 125 miles from each other.

Good call!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Angels remained themselves California because at the time they were the only AL team in the state.  They should be the Anaheim Angels IMHO, and that's how I refer to them to this day.

 

Stingrays would've been better than Devil Rays.

 

I have no problem with a team having a state name...then again, I hope the Warriors stay Golden State.

 

Mighty Ducks of Anaheim was stupid; I would've been satisfied with Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

 

Colorado Rockies sounds better than Denver Rockies because they play in the shadow of the COLORADO ROCKIES.

 

Singular names are cool.  Colorado Avalanches doesn't sound right, and Stanford Cardinals would make you think their mascot is the bird instead of the color.  Miami Heats?  Minnesota Wilds?  Orlando Magics?  Nah, son...although Minnesota Wildlife sounds cool to me.

 

If Cincinnati Reds is okay, then so is Cleveland Browns.  Hell, Cincinnati Red and Cleveland Brown in the tradition of Stanford would be okay...but then the meaning of the name would change.  As in St. Louis Blues.

 

I don't mind Vegas Golden Knights either.  Just my two cents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Ben in LA said:

Singular names are cool.  Minnesota Wilds?  Nah, son...although Minnesota Wildlife sounds cool to me.

 

 

 

Minnesota Wildlings? 

 

Tormund-and-wildlings-official-1140x759.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Putting locations other than the main city's name is fine. Variety is good. Protecting the sanctity of the "CITY NAME PLURAL NOUNS" naming convention is not a battle worth fighting. If you speak in hushed tones about how much better the Patriots would be if they were the Boston Patriots because Boston is a CITY and not a REGION, then you're being kind of silly. We're talking about sports teams. They can represent themselves and their area however they please—imagined rules and uniformist fantasies be damned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Time for a little geography lesson.. Foxborough is APPROXIMATELY half way between Boston and Providence; so rather than have the team be called the Boston or Providence Patriots, they went with a regional name, New England.

 

Carolina Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes: Again Charlotte is close to the state line of both North and South Carolina. Yes, they could have been callled the Charlotte Panthers. but the owner wanted to include both states in the team's name. Same with the Hurricanes, the arena is located between Raleigh - Durham; not to mention they use to play in Greensboro Coliseum close to Winston-Salem. so it's only fitting that they're called Carolina.

 

And I have to disagree that IF and only IF the team can use the state name if they're the only team in the state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Los Angeles Angels > Anaheim Angels because LA is the city of Angels. Their is MOST CERTAINLY precedent for a team playing in a different city than the one in their name. California Angels is terrible because there are FOUR OTHER TEAMS IN THE STATE FFS

 

Edit: They all beat Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 10000000000000 times over, however.

Edited by FlyEaglesFly76

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/26/2016 at 9:55 PM, The Six said:

Putting locations other than the main city's name is fine. Variety is good. Protecting the sanctity of the "CITY NAME PLURAL NOUNS" naming convention is not a battle worth fighting. If you speak in hushed tones about how much better the Patriots would be if they were the Boston Patriots because Boston is a CITY and not a REGION, then you're being kind of silly. We're talking about sports teams. They can represent themselves and their area however they please—imagined rules and uniformist fantasies be damned.

Well said six...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

referring back to the OP, i have to say i really like 99% of those names. im a fan of singular names as it refers to the team as a whole and breaks conventional naming. i think if you need a metaphor for something or a team name, an animal is almost always a great way to go. but it doesnt have to be that direction every time.

 

one of my favorite team names in sports is the Orlando Magic. it touches on the cities most recognizable cultural "thing" (which is Disney, not just the Magic Kingdom) without sounding like a sponsorship; like say, the Mighty Ducks (maybe that ones a little unfair, but you get the gist im sure)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, BrandMooreArt said:

referring back to the OP, i have to say i really like 99% of those names. im a fan of singular names as it refers to the team as a whole and breaks conventional naming. i think if you need a metaphor for something or a team name, an animal is almost always a great way to go. but it doesnt have to be that direction every time.

 

one of my favorite team names in sports is the Orlando Magic. it touches on the cities most recognizable cultural "thing" (which is Disney, not just the Magic Kingdom) without sounding like a sponsorship; like say, the Mighty Ducks (maybe that ones a little unfair, but you get the gist im sure)

I think in a lot of cases, the singular name thing works. I have no rhyme or reason for liking and disliking the different names but I like Magic, Lightning, Heat, and Thunder and Avalanche, but I dislike Wild and I'm not crazy about Jazz. Maybe because that was team name specific to New Orleans and should have been changed when they moved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Utah Jazz do not sponsor the Salt Lake City Jazz Festival.  This is an unforgivable sin.

 

They are the worst.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.