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Team nicknames / origins


wdm1219inpenna

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I'll do this for MLB, NFL & NBA, possibly NHL too if I feel up to it still...

MLB - New York Yankees (Alliteration, New York is north of the Mason/Dixon line, many northerners are called "Yankees").

Boston Red Sox - (Named due to the color of their socks back in the day. Nothing really regional however about red socks).

Baltimore Orioles - (Maryland's state bird, nickname makes perfect sense)

Tampa Bay Rays - (Glad they dropped the "Devil". Rays refers to the animal the stingray as well as rays of sunshine. This nickname is quite fitting).

Toronto Blue Jays - (I don't know enough about Canada or provinces to know if they have what we have here in the U.S. as far as "state birds". I believe Blue Jays was voted on in a fan contest, but blue jays are far from indigineous to Toronto, Ontario. I guess the blue part is a tie in with the Maple Leafs NHL team.)

Detroit Tigers - (Michigan is the "wolverine" state, so I suppose that's why Tigers was adopted. Also something to do with having had striped socks, but I don't recall if that's accurate.)

Cleveland Indians - (Named in honor of an actual American Indian (Native American) who played for the team in the 1890s. Other than that, the nickname makes no sense. Cleveland Ohio is not the first city I associate indians with.)

Kansas City Royals - (To honor the Negro League's Kansas City Monarchs no doubt, this is why Royals was chosen I believe. Has a nice sound to it, though again I do not associate royalty with the barbecue capital of the United States.)

Chicago White Sox - (See Boston Red Sox)

Minnesota Twins - (To honor the twin cities of Minneapolis & St. Paul. This nickname is outstanding and represents Minnesota very well!)

Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim). (Makes sense, since Los Angeles is Spanish for "The Angels").

Texas Rangers - (Makes perfect sense since it ties into the rich history of Texas).

Oakland Athletics - (Athletics is such a generic team nickname, they could play in any city and have that nickname apply (as was the case in Philly & K.C.).

Seattle Mariners - (Refers to Seattle's seafaring city, and makes excellent sense.)

Philadelphia Phillies - (Quite obvious I'd say).

Washington Nationals - (Washington is the nation's capitol, hence the nickname.)

New York Mets - (Short for Metropolitans, refers to New York City being a metropolitan city, again makes sense).

Florida/Miami Marlins - (Alliteration, fish are associated with beaches, such as the one in Miami.)

Atlanta Braves - (Though I'm sure there were many Native Americans in Georgia, I don't associate that city primarily with them.)

Pittsburgh Pirates - (Alliteration. They allegedly got their nickname due to "pirating" other teams' rosters. Pirates in and of itself makes no sense in Pittsburgh PA. Pirates are sea-bearing sailors, not likely to find many or any travelling on rivers.)

Cincinnati Reds - (Don't associate the city with red per se.)

Milwaukee Brewers - (Milwaukee is a big beer manufacturing city so this nickname is quite appropriate).

St. Louis Cardinals - (Not sure if the cardinal is the state bird of Missouri. From what I recall, a fan commented once on their uniforms and said "What a lovely shade of cardinal" and that's how the team created their nickname.)

Chicago Cubs (Alliteration, but again, I don't associate wild animals such as bears or cubs with a metropolitan city such as Chicago, Illinois).

Houston Astros - (Ties in very nicely with the space program, and the nickname is very appropriate).

Los Angeles Dodgers - (Given the traffic, the illegal immigration problem, and the gang violence that causes others to have to dodge bullets, sadly, this nickname gives me those associations. Back in Brooklyn, the name was given to the fans who would have to dodge out of the way of the many trolleys in the city at the time to get to the games at Ebbets Field).

San Francisco Giants - (Were the New York Giants which made sense, given the size of the city and its buildings. I don't associate San Francisco with giants however.)

San Diego Padres - (The only team nickname in MLB to be comprised of all Spanish names. Refers to the Franciscan Friars of the day who resided in that general area. A most suitable nickname).

Arizona Diamondbacks - (Arizona is desert land, and a diamondback is a snake, so it is a most fitting nickname for the region represented).

Colorado Rockies - (Very glad they went by "Colorado" and not "Denver". A most suiting nickname given the Colorado Rocky Mountain Range.)

NFL

Miami Dolphins - (Florida, fish, dolphins, makes sense)

New England Patriots - (Very fitting nickname, harkening back to the American Revolution).

New York Jets - (3 major airports in New York City, makes sense)

Buffalo Bills - (Alliterative, also ties in with the Wild West & Buffalo Bill Cody, though that is not who the team was named after if memory serves).

Pittsburgh Steelers - (Pittsburgh PA was, and perhaps still is to a much lesser degree, a steel producing city, so this nickname is rock solid!)

Baltimore Ravens - (Edgar Allan Poe wrote "The Raven", he was from Baltimore. A most suitable nickname to represent Baltimore.)

Cleveland Browns - (Named after Paul Brown. I don't associate the city of Cleveland with the color brown any more than I associate Cincinnati Ohio necessarily with the color red.)

Cincinnati Bengals - (Wanted to keep the C.B. initials perhaps. Cincinnati is noted for their zoo, which I'm sure includes tigers, perhaps bengal tigers at that...)

Houston Texans - (Generic nickname but quite fitting. I'm still mad they didn't go with Apollos instead).

Indianapolis Colts - (Were from Baltimore. Indianapolis 500 racing, colts are horses & horses race ::shrugs::)

Tennessee Titans - (Good alliteration again.)

Jacksonville Jaguars - (More alliteration, though I don't associate jaguars being in Florida.)

San Diego Chargers - (Generic nickname, they were L.A. for a year, and might be again...)

Oakland Raiders - (Raiders are pirates, they are near the bay, so that could fit I suppose).

K.C. Chiefs (Some alliteration. Not sure if K.C. had a big indian population but I suppose they did as it was midwest).

Denver Broncos (Referring to the wild horses that once roamed the west, no doubt including Denver. A very suitable and fitting nickname).

Dallas Cowboys (Texas is associated with cowboys, makes sense).

Philadelphia Eagles - (I always thought this was because our nation was founded in Philadelphia & the eagle was voted on as the national bird, but the team was founded in 1933 during the Great Depression, and there were billboards with eagles on them promoting FDR's campaign, and this was what inspired the team to call themselves the "Eagles" I believe).

Washington Redskins - (Seems odd that the city that spoon feeds us "political correctness" has the most politically incorrect nickname perhaps in all of sport. I again do not associate native americans with our nation's capitol).

New York Giants - (Tall skyscrapers, though yes I know I know, they play in New Jersey, not New York...)

Chicago Bears - (Baseball has Cubs, football players are bigger, hence the name Bears. Makes sense in that context, but again I don't associate bears in Chicago. Denver, yes.)

Minnesota Vikings - (Refers to the Norse inhabitants that settled that area long ago, a most suitable and cool nickname. If only they played outdoors again ::sigh::)

Green Bay Packers - Named in honor of the meat packing industry, a most fitting nickname.

Detroit Lions - (They are bigger than tigers. Wolverine state).

Atlanta Falcons - (Name the team contest I think. I don't necessarily associate falcons with the city of Atlanta)

New Orleans Saints - (Founded on All Saints' Day. New Orleans jazz bands play "When the Saints go marching in", a perfect nickname to me)

Carolina Panthers - (Generic nickname, could work in any city I suppose).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - (nice alliteration, pirate type nickname, Florida team, Florida = water).

St. Louis Rams - (Even when they were the LA or Cleveland Rams, it's a generic nickname to me. Montana Rams makes more sense, I picture rams being mountain dwellers...)

Arizona Cardinals - (Other than Catholic priests of that very high order, are there any actual cardinals in the state of Arizona?)

San Francisco 49ers - (Most suitable, referring to the gold rush of 1849 that took place in San Fran. Makes me wonder why they once had SILVER helmets and not always gold????)

Seattle Seahawks - (Though there's no such thing as a "seahawk", it is a fitting nickname, nice alliteration).

I'll perhaps leave the NBA & NHL to someone else.

Happy Holidays!

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Canucks - logo is a whale, Vancouver is on the Pacific. Fits.

Oilers - heart of oil-producing Alberta. Fits.

Flames - generic. Awesome logo, though.

Wild - referring to the Minnesota wilderness. Semi-generic.

Avalanche - Rocky Mountain theme, perfect for Denver.

Kings - Los Angeles. I guess it fits.

Ducks - Well, the origin comes from the Disney movie, so whatever.

Coyotes - regional animal. Fits.

Sharks - San Francisco Bay. Fits.

Stars - Generic, unless they change their colour scheme to Texas flag colours.

Red Wings - automotive industry. Perfect.

Predators - named after discovery of a sabre-toothed tiger skull in the area. Fits.

Blues - named after the famous W. C. Handy song "St. Louis Blues".

Blue Jackets - Civil War reference. Fits.

Blackhawks - 86th Blackhawk Division, WWI.

Leafs - Canada's national emblem.

Canadiens - Habitants de Montreal/Canadiens

Sabres - Even though the name is kind of generic, it was probably a better choice than "Buffalo Buffaloes".

Bruins - No real connection to Massachusetts.

Senators - Obvious.

Flyers - WWI flying aces. Appropriate I think.

Penguins - From the Igloo, where they used to play.

Rangers - Tex Rickard wanted to name them after the baseball club.

Islanders - Long Island.

Devils - the legend of the Jersey Devil

Panthers - the Florida panther

Capitals - obvious

Lightning - frequent thunderstorms in Tampa area

Jets - RCAF

Hurricanes - Carolina is on the Atlantic coast

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Flames - generic. Awesome logo, though.

Rangers - Tex Rickard wanted to name them after the baseball club.

The Flames were named after the burning of Atlanta during the Civil War, kept the name after relocation. The Rangers hockey teams was around almost 50 years before the baseball team.

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Toronto Blue Jays - (I don't know enough about Canada or provinces to know if they have what we have here in the U.S. as far as "state birds". I believe Blue Jays was voted on in a fan contest, but blue jays are far from indigineous to Toronto, Ontario. I guess the blue part is a tie in with the Maple Leafs NHL team.)

Blue jays are native to southern Ontario, Toronto included.

The name was chosen in a name the team contest. Labatt Breweries, then the majority owners, went along with it because their flagship beer brand is known as Labatt Blue.

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I guess

I suppose... I don't recall if that's accurate

I believe.

Not sure... From what I recall...

...if memory serves

::shrugs::

I suppose

Not sure

...I believe

I think.

If you're gonna do this, give us FACTS, not why you THINK the name came to be. Google's a wonderful invention.

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I guess

I suppose... I don't recall if that's accurate

I believe.

Not sure... From what I recall...

...if memory serves

::shrugs::

I suppose

Not sure

...I believe

I think.

If you're gonna do this, give us FACTS, not why you THINK the name came to be. Google's a wonderful invention.

Right, not like we all couldn't have just Googled all of this in the first place. Why not just introduce the topic with a handful of nicknames you think fit or don't, and then anyone interested can follow suit? We've done this before, but anyway...

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Where is it written that a team name has to "make sense?" I have no idea what a Red Wing is supposed to represent. All I know is that it's a cool name. Shouldn't that be all that matters?

James Norris bought the Detroit Falcons in 1932. During his playing days he had played for the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association Hockey Club, one of the sport's first powerhouses. The Montreal AAA team was nicknamed the "Winged Wheelers," and their logo was a wheel and two wings.

Norris decided to homage his old team by adopting the Red Wings name and going with a logo similar to that of the old Montreal AAA team.

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New York Giants (football) - named for the gigantism suffered by the owner. Often mocked as a child as giants were villains in fairy tales, the owner wanted to associate the word "giant" with something good. Sure, the Giants have had their share of problems greatly blown out of proportion by the New York media. But just as the owner carries a stick of butter to help him when he gets stuck in doorways, the Giants find a way to win.

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All according to Wikipedia

Cincinnati Bengals - (Wanted to keep the C.B. initials perhaps. Cincinnati is noted for their zoo, which I'm sure includes tigers, perhaps bengal tigers at that...)

Named after another team originally named the Bengals. Founder Paul Brown named after the old team to "to give it a link with past professional football in Cincinnati"

Indianapolis Colts - (Were from Baltimore. Indianapolis 500 racing, colts are horses & horses race ::shrugs

A team that had traveled the country after beginning as the Dayton Triangles, after the Dallas Texans (NFL) dissolved the team took the teams nickname the "Colts" and the Texans colors are blue and white

Tennessee Titans - (Good alliteration again.)

Originally the Houston/Nashville/Tennessee Oilers, renamed Titans inspired by its nickname "Athens of the South," its full-scale replica of the Parthenon and its number of colleges

Jacksonville Jaguars - (More alliteration, though I don't associate jaguars being in Florida.)

Named right out of the gate

San Diego Chargers - (Generic nickname, they were L.A. for a year, and might be again...)

Naming contest winner

Oakland Raiders - (Raiders are pirates, they are near the bay, so that could fit I suppose).

Naming contest loser, oddly enough. Originally was going to be named Senors then after ridicule became "Raiders"

K.C. Chiefs (Some alliteration. Not sure if K.C. had a big indian population but I suppose they did as it was midwest)

Originally the Dallas Texans (AFL), naming contest winner

Washington Redskins - (Seems odd that the city that spoon feeds us "political correctness" has the most politically incorrect nickname perhaps in all of sport. I again do not associate native americans with our nation's capitol).

Established in Boston as the Braves, inspired by its baseball co-tenant, rechristened as "Redskins" to honor fallen coach

Chicago Bears - (Baseball has Cubs, football players are bigger, hence the name Bears. Makes sense in that context, but again I don't associate bears in Chicago. Denver, yes.)

Was a co-tenant with the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field and played there as recent as 1970. The name was inspired by Cubs.

Detroit Lions - (They are bigger than tigers. Wolverine state).

Renamed Detroit Lions as nod to Tigers baseball. Lions are seen as monarch of the animal kingdom hence they will be the monarchs of the NFL, formerly the Portsmouth Spartans

Carolina Panthers - (Generic nickname, could work in any city I suppose).

Seems to have been named out of the gate

St. Louis Rams - (Even when they were the LA or Cleveland Rams, it's a generic nickname to me. Montana Rams makes more sense, I picture rams being mountain dwellers...)

Just named out of the gate

Arizona Cardinals - (Other than Catholic priests of that very high order, are there any actual cardinals in the state of Arizona?)

Named after uniform. Owner bought old University of Chicago Maroon jerseys when commented its color the owner said "it's not maroon, its cardinal red" the name stuck

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From Wikipedia: "[bruins founder Charles F.] Adams enlisted [General Manager Art] Ross to come up with a nickname that would portray an untamed animal display speed, agility and cunning. Ross came up with "Bruins", an Old English word used for brown bears (from the Dutch 'bruin' meaning brown) in classic folk-tales. The team's bearlike nickname also went along with the team's original uniform colors of brown and yellow..."

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From what I recall the "Flyers" name had no basis in local aviation, it was determined by the board that it just "sounded cool" and they went with it.

I could be wrong, but that's basically what I remember hearing.

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The story of the Penguins being named so because of the "Igloo" is mostly true, although if I remember correctly I read that it wasn't the #1 choice in a fan vote, but rather one of the top choices, and was also the idea of the wife of one of the guys who was part of the original ownership group, which played some role in it getting the first choice. That, and the alliteration. Apparently she also wanted them to wear plain black-and-white uniforms.

The Steelers were named after the Pirates until Art Ross took over and named them after the Steel industry.

The Pirates were the Alleghenies after Allegheny County/River/City (the north side, where their original stadium Exposition Park (as well as Three Rivers Stadium and PNC Park) was, was once its own city, "Allegheny City"), until like mentioned earlier, they were accused of "Pirating" a Phillies player and the name stuck.

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Two CFL teams:

Hamilton Tiger-Cats: Initially known simply as the Hamilton Foot Ball Club when it was formed in 1869. Their original colours were Orange and Black. Three years later in 1872 their team colours had earned them the nickname Tigers. When World War II broke out, the Tigers had to suspend operations for the duration of the war. A Hamilton based military team was formed to take their place, but the Tigers refused to allow the new team to use the name and colours (which at this time was now yellow (gold) and black), so the new team decided to keep the feline motif and called themselves the Wildcats, but wearing white and red. After the war ended, the Tigers resumed operation while the Wildcats continued to play. Since the market was too small to support two teams a merger was done, combining the name of both teams creating the Tiger-Cats and adding the colour white, representing the Wildcats.

Toronto Argonauts: Club formed by the Argonaut Rowing Club of Toronto which of course was named after the Argonauts of Jason and the Argonauts of Greek lore.

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From what I recall the "Flyers" name had no basis in local aviation, it was determined by the board that it just "sounded cool" and they went with it.

I could be wrong, but that's basically what I remember hearing.

And that's how it should be done.

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I'll do this for MLB, NFL & NBA, possibly NHL too if I feel up to it still...

Atlanta Falcons - (Name the team contest I think. I don't necessarily associate falcons with the city of Atlanta)

You should. From this site:

===

In past years, our web cam has shown a (peregrine falcon) nest on the 51st-floor balcony of a downtown Atlanta office building. Because of the need for equipment upgrades, the camera has been disabled for 2011. Our hope is to re-establish the behind-the-scenes look at Georgia’s highest-flying falcons in 2012.

===

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