We’ve all seen them on the various sports websites: lists of the best pro sports teams, lists of the worst pro sports teams. If it’s not teams, it’s players: the best fantasy players, the worst clutch players. Lost among all these lists is the fact that if you just read down the names of the pro sports teams, you can learn a lot about the league.
In America, there are four major professional sports: Football, Baseball, Basketball, and Hockey. Hockey dominates the bad names category with such fear-inspiring monikers as “The Senators”, “The Maple Leafs”, and ‘The Ducks”. Senators? Seriously? Ooh, they may legislate me to death. The Maple Leaf may be a source of national pride in Canada, but it does not exactly strike fear in your opponent. And who is scared of a duck? They may as well have called themselves the Anaheim Kittens.
The NFL has it right, for the most part. Giants, Vikings, Buccaneers; these are scary. Bruins, Islanders, Canadians; these are not. Even if you break down the list into categories, the NFL still crushes the NHL in naming. If you’ve got to be named after a bird, go with an Eagle or Falcon. The NBA snuck in with the Hawks, which is another good choice. The NHL chose the duck and the penguin. I’m not sure, but I think that if an eagle came into contact with a duck and a penguin, it would probably eat the duck for breakfast and kill the penguin just for the exercise.
You can also learn a little bit about an area by perusing a list of their pro sports teams across the different leagues. Boston has the Bruins, the Celtics, the Red Sox, and the Patriots – all very old school. Who even knows what a Bruin or a Celtic is anymore?
Florida, by contrast, does not have a long legacy in professional sports. The list of pro sports teams in Florida reflects more modern names; like Rays, Jaguars, Magic, and Marlins. It should be noted that the lone exception is the oldest established team in Florida: the Dolphins. If their name is not unimposing enough, check out their fight song. It sounds like something you’d hear on the old Mickey Mouse Club.
To be fair, most of the good names have been taken, so it is probably getting harder to come up with a good team name. Cowboys, Indians, Raiders, Rams; everything intimidating and powerful has already been used. The WNBA, which has only been around for a few years, is stuck with clunkers like “Dream”, “Sky”, and “Lynx”.
So, if you’re a billionaire with lots of free time looking to start a new franchise, what can you do? I suggest adding an adjective in front of an already-used team name. If you like the name “Raiders”, you can be the Red Raiders. If “Indians” is more your style, go with the Rampaging Indians. Stick with what works: I just can’t see myself rooting for the Albuquerque Puppies.