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Forgotten History: Name Changes, Logos, Relocation Rumors, etc.

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I'm not exactly sure what to call this as it's a bit different from the Unused Logos/Jersey thread. This is forgotten history about team name changes, logo rumors and relocation that never -- that kind of stuff. I bring this up for a couple of reasons and I'll illustrate my point to hopefully set the tone of the thread.

 

I was researching the late '80s NBA expansion of Miami, Orlando, Minnesota and Charlotte and found a few interesting nuggets in this article.

 

Quote

The Heat's name was changed Wednesday from the Florida Heat to the Miami Heat. The league requested the change because there will be two teams in Florida.

 

Quote

In a dramatic decision, the NBA's Board of Governors voted unanimously Wednesday to award expansion franchises to the Miami Heat and Charlotte (N.C.) Spirit for the 1988-89 season and to the Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves for the 1989-90 season.

 

I knew about the Charlotte Spirit nickname as it wasn't well received, the I found the Florida Heat nickname bit interesting and pretty much forgotten without having to dig pretty far back into news archives to find the reference.

 

Additionally there was The Athletic article yesterday about the Dallas Mavericks aborted rebranding in the late 90s before Mark Cuban bought the team and branded them with their current look.

 

 

I also found a few mentions in other articles of the possibilities of the Spurs moving to Miami to accommodate both Expansion bids in Florida, since the NBA was originally set to expand only by three instead of four teams.

 

Anyways, I'd love to discover more lost history in other sport leagues since basketball is what I know best. What do you have?

 

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Not sure about other sports, but in the NFL we almost had:

 

Oakland Senors in 1960

Jacksonville Oilers in late 80s

Cleveland Tigers

Baltimore Bombers

St. Louis Stallions

Charlotte Panthers

Tampa/St. Pete Buccaneers

Minneapolis/St. Paul Vikings

The Redskins/Raljon Redskins (JKC threatened to remove any affiliation with the city of Washington at one point)

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The Vancouver Grizzlies almost became the Vancouver Mounties.

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1 hour ago, Bluefalcon said:

Not sure about other sports, but in the NFL we almost had:

 

Oakland Senors in 1960

Jacksonville Oilers in late 80s

Cleveland Tigers

Baltimore Bombers

St. Louis Stallions

Charlotte Panthers

Tampa/St. Pete Buccaneers

Minneapolis/St. Paul Vikings

The Redskins/Raljon Redskins (JKC threatened to remove any affiliation with the city of Washington at one point)

Actually IIRC the Carolina NFL expansion team was set to be the Carolina Cougars but they couldnt obtain rights from the old ABA team.

 

And are we sure about the Buccaneers and Vikings twin names?

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The Houston Texans had 5 finalists 

 

- Texans

- Wildcatters

- Bobcats

- Apollos

- Stallions

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The Seahawks almost moved to Los Angeles.

The Rams almost moved to Connecticut. Seriously.

 

And of course the Padres almost moved to Washington, DC.

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Not sure how forgotten it is, but in early 2006, officials from the then Florida Marlins visited Portland for the possibility of a relocation.

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21 minutes ago, DNAsports said:

Not sure how forgotten it is, but in early 2006, officials from the then Florida Marlins visited Portland for the possibility of a relocation.

 

Along with San Antonio, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, Charlotte, and (briefly) Norfolk.

 

There's also the numerous attempts by Charlie O. Finley to move the A's away from Kansas City and his later attempts to dump them onto a new owner outside of Oakland. He explored, in no particular order:

  • Louisville
  • Dallas
  • Atlanta
  • Milwaukee
  • San Diego
  • Seattle
  • Denver
  • New Orleans
  • Phoenix (maybe)

Basically, if a market got a team after 1960, you can best bet that the A's briefly considered moving there. I hate to brag, but I've kind of been chronicling this sort of thing for a year. 

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5 hours ago, neo_prankster said:

The Vancouver Grizzlies almost became the Vancouver Mounties.

 

IIRC, it was the other way around. The Vancouver Mounties had to become Grizzlies rather hastily because a deal couldn’t be done between RCMP and ownership. Another interesting thing is that the Grizzlies name was intended for Toronto. 

 

https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/vancouver-grizzlies-toronto-raptors-logo-origin-may-2019

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8 hours ago, AstroBull21 said:

The Houston Texans had 5 finalists 

 

- Texans

- Wildcatters

- Bobcats

- Apollos

- Stallions


Apollos would have been a unique brand name in sports, and it fits in well with the Rockets and Astros team names. There are so many creative directions they could have gone with a name like that.

If they wanted to go over-the-top with some additional marketing speak, (outside of the obvious Houston/NASA connection), it could have even described it as a nod to the beloved Warren Moon

Texans would have been my 2nd choice from that list. 

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I REALLY wish the Raptors followed through with a name change to the Huskies in 2013. I don't mind the Raptors brand (current or former) but Toronto Huskies is a great identity waiting to happen. It doesn't necessarily need to be blue and white like it was originally, but that would certainly help tie into Toronto sports branding. Missed opportunity.

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When the CFL expanded to the U.S., Baltimore (now Montreal Alouettes) were originally called the CFL Colts.  The NFL got an injunction preventing them from calling themselves Colts, so they were just the CFLers, before being renamed Stallions for their second and last season.

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I think remember when the grizzlies left Vancouver and were moving to Memphis, that they nearly were going to be the Memphis Express (due to FedEx), but the NBA had an issue with the corporate branding at that time (not with sponsorships but having team named after branding)

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3 minutes ago, clr2420 said:

I think remember when the grizzlies left Vancouver and were moving to Memphis, that they nearly were going to be the Memphis Express (due to FedEx), but the NBA had an issue with the corporate branding 

 

BHxyHLg.jpg

 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Ben in LA said:

The Rams almost moved to Connecticut. Seriously.

 

No, they really didn’t. 

 

The governor of Connecticut, embarrassed by the Patriots’ having leveraged a phony Hartford threat to get a new stadium in Foxboro, tried to push his state as a new home for the Rams.  But it was never even considered by Georgia Frontiere, the Rams, or the NFL. 

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I've always been fascinated about the New York (baseball) Giants' intent to move to Minneapolis/St. Paul in 1957. 

 

As the story goes, the Giants' looking to leave the Polo Grounds, had serious discussions with some businessmen from Minneapolis about moving the team there. It was also home to the club's AAA affiliate Minneapolis Millers.

 

As this New York Times story indicates, exactly how serious the Giants were is unclear, and there's some speculation that the club was using Minneapolis as leverage to get a better deal from New York or San Francisco. But there are still some who believe the Giants would have moved to Minnesota had the Dodgers not elected to exit Brooklyn for L.A. The Dodgers really needed the Giants to move west with them to allay concerns from the National League about travel costs of having only one team on the west coast.

 

Anyway, it makes for a lot of interesting what-if scenarios to consider.  

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2 hours ago, M4One said:

When the CFL expanded to the U.S., Baltimore (now Montreal Alouettes) were originally called the CFL Colts.  The NFL got an injunction preventing them from calling themselves Colts, so they were just the CFLers, before being renamed Stallions for their second and last season.

 

Interesting. I always remember seeing the Baltimore CFL logo and just assumed they were always the Stallions. You'd think if they already had a horse logo it shouldn't have been hard to just think of a nickname to go with it. Instead of going a whole season nameless. 

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7 hours ago, Old School Fool said:

This one is a favorite of mine. The Clippers were going to switch to this for the 1992-1993 season.

 

jcGkDcz.png

This makes me miss the Buffalo Braves’ logo and colors even more.  YUCK!

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