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Can-Am League's Worcester team...

Brian in Boston

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... has registered www.worcestertornados.com as a domain name.

Hmmm... Worcester Tornados, huh? I can't say that I find the name too "thrilling". Should the identity be adopted, it will be interesting to see how those people who remember Worcester's run-in with a deadly tornado in 1953 (1,100 people injured and 94 killed, including 60 on Worcester's North Side) react to the name.

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Not a pleasant part of Worcester's history.

Then again, Miami is the Hurricanes, and countless people have been harmed or killed by hurricanes in the Miami area. Same thing for Carolina.

They should be the Worcester Twisters!

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One of my suggestions was Worcester Whirlwinds.

I knew that those folks who wouldn't find it offensive to reference the 1953 disaster would probably assume that was what I was going for with the name. I also expected that team management - should they adopt the Whirlwinds identity - would undoubtedly opt to have a depiction of a tornado play an integral part in the club's logo. That said, I meant it primarily as a reference to championship cyclist Marshal "Major" Taylor, nicknamed the "Worcester Whirlwind" after settling in the city. Taylor was one of the first African Americans to capture an international championship in any sport.

As for the comparison to the use of Hurricanes as a nickname in Miami and Carolina, I think that you make a valid point. However, given the unique nature of the 1953 storm's deadliness in Worcester weather annals, it may well be that Worcester area residents regard it with much more rancor than they would if deadly storms were a "way of life" in the region.

As I said, it will be interesting to see what public reaction will be if the team is indeed named the Tornados. Maybe part of the reason that word leaked out in the Worcester Telegraph and Gazette is that team management wanted to guage what reaction would be before committing to the name? In other words, maybe the so-called "leak" was an "inside job".

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Yeah, but Worcester Twisters rhymes! Can't say that about too many other teams.

I like the Whirlwinds reference, but the name itself might be too out-of-use nowadays. It sounds a little too much "old school" for a catchy name for a team that would like to market itself well.

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Rockets would have worked great with the reference to Goddard. As far as the industrial side, I really don't know anything about that part of Worcester's history.

Even Polar Bears would have been a good nickname, with the Polar beverage company and the bear from the Worcester Science Center.

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Worcester was once one of the world's leading centers for the manufacture of wire. I suggested Worcester Wire Kings with that in mind. Worcester was also the center of the American Valentine's Day Greeting Card industry for many years. I didn't offer up any suggestions along those lines. However, I did also suggest...

Worcester Whirlwinds - as mentioned earlier in this thread.

Worcester Rockets, Worcester Rocketeers and Worcester Blast - all paying homage to Goddard and the several local companies that have played a role in space exploration.

Worcester Nine - a retro name offered up as a tribute to Ernest Thayer, author of the poem Casey at the Bat. Thayer was raised and educated in Worcester.

Worcester Perfectos - another retro name, this one commemorating the fact that the first documented perfect game was pitched in Worcester.

Worcester Independents - commemorating the fact that the first reading of the Declaration of Independence in Massachusetts took place in Worcester. The franchise is also an independent minor-league team.

Worcester Minutemen - the term "minute men" was first coined at the Worcester County Courthouse.

Worcester Wonderboys and Worcester Wonders - drawing inspiration from the name of Roy Hobbs' bat in The Natural.

And a couple of "typically goofy minor-league" suggestions - the Worcester Wildebeest and the Worcester Wombats. No local significance whatsoever. :P

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I think that, if the "Chicago Fire" (250 dead), the "San Jose Earthquakes" (over 1000 dead), and the "Hawaii Tsunamis" (160 dead) can be names of teams, then pretty much anything can.

The Hawaii Tsunamis began play in the USISL (now the USL) in 1994, or 48 years after the 1946 disaster which inspired the name. The San Jose Earthquakes began play in the NASL in 1974, or 68 years after its namesake event in 1906. If the Worcester Tornados begin play in 2005, that would be 52 years after that event. Pretty comparable, I'd say.

So, it would seem that, given enough time, large natural disasters or accidents can actually enter into the shared local identity, and thus become legitimate names.

This apparantly does not hold for acts of intentional violence, however. The XFL backed off its original plan to call its Birmingham team the Birmingham Blast because that name unwittingly referenced a 1963 Klan bombing. Probably no amound of time will make that a palatable mainstream name.

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It's official! The Worcester Tornadoes were introduced today, and here is their logo:


Interesting color scheme, I could not find any info on the designer.

looks more like yarn than it does a tornado, but for some reason, i still think it's a decent logo.

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