Here’s the deal. Many months ago, in my youth, I ranked the least intimidating college mascots. Well, it’s time to go pro. But this time, we’re not talking about the worst – we’re talking about the best. No, not the best teams – who cares about that? But the best team names.
Aren’t there enough eagles and tigers already? It’s so easy to name your team after a predatory animal; it’s time to tip our hats to those willing to be a little more creative. Remember, it’s not about whether you win or lose, it’s about merchandising opportunities. Cool mascots, cool logos, cool team names. Now, let’s move some product.
The Top Ten Pro Sports Team Names
11. Columbus Crew - Their team logo is three men in hard hats. Clearly, these guys aren’t messing around. The crew. It just sounds tough. Tough…but original – that’s a recipe for team naming glory.
10. St. Louis Blues - This hockey team owes their moniker to the W.C. Handy song of the same name. And, while it is cool, part of me kind of wishes they had been fans of Right Said Fred, Crash Test Dummies, or Chumbawumba. Then we’d have the St. Louis I’m Too Sexys, the St. Louis Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmms or the St. Louis Tubthumpers.
9. Richmond Kickers - This one’s so good because it’s so bad. This soccer team really gave the minimal effort when coming up with a name. “So, what should our name be? What are we?” “Ummmm, well we kick the ball a lot.” “Done.” I think other leagues should follow suit. Football could have the Houston Tacklers, and the NBA could have the Denver Basketball Players (or, perhaps, the Los Angeles Lockouts).
8. Washington Stealth - How stealthy are they? Well, they’re a team in the National Lacrosse League. That’s pretty stealthy, I mean, I’m pretty sure no one even knows there is a National Lacrosse League.
7. Albuquerque Isotopes - This is an awesome team name for one reason – they’re named after the Springfiled Isotopes, of Simpsons fame. There’s even a statue of Homer and Marge Simpson at their park. Then again, you can hardly go wrong when naming a team that’s going to play in Albuquerque. You’re already set up with a city that is ridiculously enjoyable to write and say. The Albuquerque anythings would probably make this list.
6. New York Knickerbockers - Most people refer to them as the Knicks, which I’ve never understood. Why shorten such a funky name? You guys are knickerbockers, wear the title proudly.
5. New Orleans Voodoo - Sure, Lions and Vikings are intimidating, but these guys can make a doll from your hair and hurt you weeks after the game has ended. My advice…let them win.
4. Anaheim Mighty Ducks - Another team named after an entertainment franchise. Although, technically, they were renamed the Ducks when they were purchased from Disney (yes, Disney created a hockey team as a cross-promotional tool for their Estevez-helmed films), I’ll always call them the Mighty Ducks. Because, when you think about it, what in the world is mightier than a duck?
3. Detroit Waza - At first I thought this Arena Soccer League team was a huge fan of WAZA (the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums). Then I figured they had named themselves for the African trumpet of the same name. But, after some more digging, I learned that waza is a Japanese word meaning, “technique.” The only way to make this team better would be to move them to the Middle East and call them the Gaza Waza.
2. Utah Jazz - Just like me, the Jazz were born in 1974. Unlike me, they moved to Utah when they were five. Even more unlike me, they are not a human being. But, what can I say? What’s cooler than jazz? Even people who have never listened to jazz instinctively understand its hipness. Aliens landing on our planet for the first time and struggling to communicate and understand our way of life could see a jazz club and say, “Oh, bleep, bleep, blork, jazz – cool.”
1. New Orleans Zephyrs - New Orleans is a butt-kicking, team-naming town. When you count the Jazz (who started in New Orleans), this city claims three of the top five spots. I guess it takes a party town to come up with the most enjoyable team names. And how much fun is it to say “zephyr”? It’s one of the best words to say. Zephyr. Zephyr. Zephyr. That and Albuquerque. My dream match-up? The Albuquerque Zephyrs vs. the Gaza Waza. Game of the century, baby.