Life on the Sub List

The musings of a Twenty-Something substitute teacher, written while baby sitting kids for teachers to lazy to make decent sub plans.

Friday, September 29, 2006

whats in a name part 2

Its gridiron time. Below i take on the NFL naming gods. Enjoy

AFC East

Buffalo Bills – 7
Roots in the old city’s old AFFC team with the same name. I like the historical tones and it is a deviation from the norm in team naming. But it should really have four Ls now after the consecutive super bowl defeats.
NY Jets – 5.5
The Jets used to share a field with the Mets. And if you’ve ever watched a game at Shea on TV you’ll know why they are called the Jets. About every four or five minutes a plane from near by LaGuardia Airport flies over the stadium and I’m sure the noise effected the play QB’s calling in the 60s. But the team doesn’t play at Shea anymore so the name loses luster. Plus THEY PLAY IN JERSEY.
Miami Dolphins - 5.5
Probably the first in the new generation of animal names. I just think if you’re naming a football team after an animal it should be more fierce. A friggin dolphin you gotta be kidding be. Strikes little to no fear in my heart and I’m sure the same goes for opponents now a days. Plus the popular shortening (fish) is lame, not to mention biologically incorrect.
New England Patriots – 9
Local connection, Check! Originality, Check! Cool shortening (Pats), Checks! Simple but effective name. And, I love the use of the a region as geographical identifier, it says to the those lonely folks in Vermont and New Hampshire the Patriots are your team too.

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers – 9
Team was originally named the Pirates when it joined the league in 1933. I assume because it was owned by the same folks as the town’s baseball franchise. In 1941 the switch was made, to reflect the city’s blue collar ethic and as a tribute to many of the teams fans. I love the local appeal and the tribute to fans. Quality name.
Cleveland Browns – 6
At first, a fan contest was conducted to determine the name of the team, with the most popular choice being "Browns" after its first head coach, Paul Brown. Brown was uncomfortable with the idea of having the team named after him, and the second most popular "Panthers" was then selected. However, a semi-pro team was using that name and threatened to sue if the AAFC club used it as well. Thus, Paul Brown reluctantly agreed to use the "Browns" name, but stated publicly that the new team was named after boxing champion Joe Louis who was known as the "Brown Bomber." That’s some rasisct shit. The name has never sat well with me kinda boring, kinda pointless.
Cincinnati Bengals – 3
Ok so many may know that the above mentioned Paul Brown was also involved in the founding of the Bengals. After an angry split with then Cleveland owner Art Modell, Brown looked to start a franchise elsewhere in the OH the ‘Nati was his choice. Legend has it Paulie B wanted to piss of Modell by making his new team look as much like the Browns so he figured he’s just take the brown out of the unis and add black. Orange with black stripes meant tigers to most. But Tigers was already taken by a baseball team north on I-75. At the time the Cincy Zoo’s biggest attraction was white Bengal tiger. Hence the name. Ridculous naming history and make little sense to anyone so I just can’t give it a good score.
Baltimore Ravens – 6.5
Modell moved the Ravens away from Cleveland but the city sued to keep the name browns and won. So they were forced to be creative, and it turned out for the better. Edgar Allen Poe is from Baltimore. He wrote this. Thusly a clever team locally connected name. While I often rail against bird names, but this one is cool.

AFC South

Houston Texans – 1
Straight from the Department of Repetitive Redundancies Division. You’ve got to be kidding me. Its ridiculously uninspired. Not much more I can say.
Indianapolis Colts – 2
Ok so the Colts used to be in Baltimore, a big horse racing town. But this another one of those cases of not taking advantage of a move. Its especially disappointing in that the way the Colts moved was shameful, and they should have left the name behind. How about the Indiana Jacksons?
Jacksonville Jaguars - 3
No idea where this name came from except for the alliteration aspect. I can’t find anything on the meaning behind the actual name. What I don’t like about this animal name is that it is again not indigenous to the region. I understand Gatros was already taken but that would have been so much better. I do like the shortening (jags). Props for the team’s drumline, we need to start one at Paul Brown.
Tennessee Titans – 7.5
The Titans used to be the Houston Oilers when the ownership group moved the team to Tennessee the team held on the Oilers name for two years. Mostly to screw over a potential new team in Houston (mission accomplished). Finally, a committee was from the rename the team. Titans was chosen for its representation of power, strength, leadership and other heroic qualities. Plus its has connection to Nashville’s Greek heritage.

AFC West

Denver Broncos – 7
A animal name with a local nod. Works for me. Side note: team wore originally brown and yellow. Bring it back!!
Kansas City Chiefs – 6
In 1960 the team was stolen by the city of Kasas City from Dallas where they were known as the Texans. The name, "Chiefs" was selected by a fan contest, and is derived from then KC Mayor H. Roe Bartle, who 35 years prior, founded the Native American-based honor society known as The Tribe of Mic-O-Say within the Boy Scouts of America organization, which earned him the nickname, "The Chief." It is said that team ownership actually considered keeping the team name as it was, and playing as the "Kansas City Texans."
Oakland Raiders – 5
Another "name the team" contest was held by a local newspaper, and the winner was the Oakland Señors. After a few weeks of the fledgling team (and its owners) being the butt of local jokes, the owners changed the team's name to the Oakland Raiders, which had finished third in the naming contest. Señors is rediculous but more localy connected I’m on the fense here cause I love the name for what it represents in toughness and grit of the NFL, but it makee no sense.
San Diego Chargers – 5
A result of a name the team contest in which the winner won a trip Acapulco. I’m on the fence here because it’s a cool name but I don’t know its real roots.

NFC East

NY Giants – 1
Essentially as proof that I’m not playing favorites here. A result of a shared ownership with the New York Baseball Giants. I take a few issues with this name: A.) THEY PLAY IN JERSEY B.) The “G-Men” is really annoying especially from Chris Berman C.) Why double up on a name that really means nothing D.) THEY PLAY IN JERSEY
Dallas Cowboys – 8.5
No complaints here well thought out has nice ring and a solid local connection. Only looses points for the presumptuous designation of “America’s Team”
Washington Redskins – -2
They used to play in Boston and were owned by the same folks as the baseball Braves, thus the roots of the name. Regardless, the team that plays in our Nation’s capital playing our Nation’s most popular sport. Has the most racist name ever. Redskins is worst than braves, Indians, and the like because of direct relationship to skin color. Plus that dude on the helmet is ridiculous. Negative points for not taking advantage of the move.
Philadelphia Eagles – 7
A bird name with legit local connections. But not fear factor here. I know eagles can wreck shit up for some reason I’m not afraid of them.

NFC North

Chicago Bears – 3
Directly inspired by the city’s baseball franchise which also has no history that’s known to me. So I can’t give it a legit score. But the animal reference here is classic enough to endure.
Detroit Lions – 3
Did not find much out about the origin of the teams name but did find it interesting the franchise used to play in Portsmouth, OH where they were called the Spartans. They took on the name Lions when they moved to Detroit during the Depression so I can only assume it was to honor the Tigers in some way. Again no lions roaming Motown. LAME.
Green Bay Packers – 8
The oldest team name in the NFL. Named for the teams first sponsor the Indian Packing Company who gave $500 to the non-profit team for the purchase of uniforms. Great history and strong sense of history here and therefore there is a good local connection.
Minnesota Vikings -7
The real first white folks to hit these rocky shores, the Norse sailors settled in what is today Minnesota. So the lutefisk eating folks deserve some props names wise. But do they really deserve those hideous new unis.

NFC South

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 6
The NFL loves those name the team contests. This one is in honor of a local Pirate Festival. It’d be like Cincinnati having franchise named the Tallstacks or the Circleville Pumpkins. A little ridiculous but I’m sure there is an actual chance real pirates docked in Tampa so I give them some credit.
New Orleans Saints – 8.5
A city close to my heart. The religious marginalization saves it from being a straight 10. The city’s got a huge catholic heritage of course and there’s the song. It works real well. Side note: the arena team’s name is the VooDoo so I guess the religious thing is evened out by that.
Atlanta Falcons – 4
Guess what lets play NAME THAT TEAM. I’m sorry but leaving it to the fans has yet to turn out all that great. The name Falcons was inspired by a school teacher from Georgia who won a contest in 1965, she wrote "The falcon is proud and dignified, with courage and fight. It is deadly and has a great sporting tradition.” Some points for giving it to a teacher but enough with the birds for crying out loud.
Carolina Panthers – 7
Interestingly enough the city of Charlotte were the Panthers play has a cat fetish. The city’s rail system is known as the CATS (Charlotte Area Transit System) the NBA team the Bobcats and an old ABA team was known as the Cougars. I’m feelin it for some reason. Its an odd tradtion but it works for me and I love the use of Carolina incumbusing both states.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals – 3
The franchise started in Chicago and the St. Louis and now Phoenix. And kept the cards name all the way through. But witched it to Arizona not Phoenix in ’94. I like the more general geographical portion. But the bird name makes no sense still.
San Francisco 49ers – 10
Its got it all originality, local connection, shortening (9ers), really can’t think of anything better except maybe this (second from the bottom). I love all of those BASEktball team names.
Seattle Seahawks – 5
NAME THAT TEAM again. With little to no originality the Emerald City fails here. I’m sorry I’m not afraid of birds. All for god sakes Cheney hunts them how dangerous can they be. And birds that hang out by water are less intimating its like they never evolved enough to move in land and live in tress like birds are supposed to.
St. Louis Rams – 4
Another itinerate team with no real identity. Started in Cleveland and then LA. I can’t really dig this name to much cause it has no real connection to the city. I do like the tough football image the animal it invokes.


  • At 11:44 AM, Blogger PEPI said…

    THe connection

    "The Jaguars range, which once spanned from the southern states of the USA down to the tip of South America, now centres on the north and central parts of the South American continent."

    Pluss there is the nifty aliteration

  • At 11:44 AM, Blogger PEPI said…

    THe connection

    "The Jaguars range, which once spanned from the southern states of the USA down to the tip of South America, now centres on the north and central parts of the South American continent."

    Pluss there is the nifty aliteration


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