Thursday, February 19, 2009

Worst Sports Team Names

Southern Arkansas MuleridersYou'd think the Super Bowl and the end of the football season would have put the talk of sports to rest around here--or at least turned it to basketball--but no, my boys are as fanatical as ever in wanting to discuss every statistic and passing yard.

However, the other day we got into my favorite sports discussion yet--worst team names. We had a great time compiling our favorites and feel free to add to the pot. I'm listing them by category.

I know I missed some obvious ones--the Lakers and Jazz for example--which seem odd and out of place but back when the teams were formed their names made more sense so I left them alone. I would like to know how the Celtics came to have a corner on the market for pronouncing "Celtic" with a /s/ rather than a /k/ sound. How did they happen to leverage that one I ask? It sounds better with a /k/ that's for sure.

Purdue Boilermakers1. Outdated Team Names. If you went to Southern Arkansas University wouldn't you be a little embarrassed to tell people you were the mighty Muleriders? Purdue may be cool and hip down south in Louisiana but calling themselves the Boilermakers really nullifies their edge you know? Though I'll give them credit for making the most of the situation with their logo. It's kind of like naming a team "The Montgomery Milliners" or "The Columbia Coopers."

Pardon my ignorance but it would seem that if you really wanted to strike fear in the opposition you would shy away from things that aren't exactly an economic force anymore or things that got down-sized. If you're looking for a professional mascot that scares people into submission what about the Wall Street Raiders? Or the Lawyers? Now THOSE are scary.

Toronto Raptors2. Extinct Team Names. Speaking of outdated mascots you can't get anymore outdated than the Toronto Raptors--which is of course short for Velociraptors--apparently they're trying to look hip and "with it" by shortening things.

While I can appreciate that a mascot that can rip you open with its saber-like claws and eat you up while you're still wriggling is truly terrifying they're kind of missing the fact that these guys are extinct. As in gone. No longer living or thriving. Pushing up daisies. Deceased. Kind of hard to be a threat on the court when you've been taken out of the game by something as small as natural selection.

Washington Capitals Logo3. Overly Patriotic Team Names. There are a slew of these guys and none of them make much sense. The Washington Senators? Besides the fact that senators really aren't that threatening (unless we're talking Ted Kennedy who is quite horrific) they're not exactly known for being team players now are they? Could you possibly find a mascot less likely to encourage teammates to work well together?

Or what about the Franklin and Marshall College Diplomats? Hmmm . . . diplomats . . . known for peace and negotiation? Not exactly fearsome.

The plain ol' Patriots are okay, just because patriotism brings in images of fighting and strength and intense pride but the Washington Capitals?? Washington Nationals?? What is it with poor, sad little Washington D.C.? It's supposed to be where the greatest minds of the country gather to forge alliances, write policy and find solutions to our problems but apparently they're not quite creative enough to come up with mascots better than these.

Houston Texans4. Uninspired Team Names. Speaking of a lack of creativity, the Houston Texans have become the running joke around here. Good logo, bad team name. Don't you kind of wish you could have seen the list of possible mascots that they had going around before they figured that it didn't matter anyway that they might as well just stick with the "Texans" and play it safe?

Wouldn't want to get too crazy and call themselves the Houston Tornadoes or anything. Or maybe it was just that the Rangers, Astros and Cowboys took all the good names so they gave up hope. Too bad the Oilers moved because that was a sweet name. But whatever the reason, the general implication is that if the team is too lazy to even come up with a good team name then how much of an opposition could they possibly provide on the field?

Montreal CanadiensThe same goes for the Montreal Canadiens. Just in case we forget where Montreal is (though now that I think of it maybe it reflects the QuebeƧois' opinion of our American geographic skills).

I guess it's all about the spelling--if they spell it the French way then it gets in a little dig for all those Francophones in the province. Kind of a little "Ha ha! We may have to submit to living in a country that speaks mostly English but we're going to thumb our nearly-French noses at you by naming our team a French name." It's all politics.

Pennsylvania State Nittany Lions5. "Huh?" Team Names. Can anyone enlighten me as to what exactly a Nittany Lion is (Penn State)? It appears to me to be suspiciously like the gourmet version of a plain old cougar or panther or something. Or how about a Hoya (Georgetown)? Or even a Sooner (Oklahoma University) or a Hoosier (Indiana University)? I mean I know it's supposed to be a person from Indiana but that really doesn't answer my question.

Georgetown HoyasI guess it sounds slightly cool to have a mascot that nobody comprehends--as if you had this secret lingo that no one in the rest of the country understands--but let's be honest, if the rest of the country doesn't really get what you're trying to say they're just going to snicker. Unless of course you beat them soundly. Then they probably won't snicker. Not likely.

Williams College Ephs6. Impossible Team Names. And taking this a step further are the mascots that came straight from Harry Potter. The University of Vermont Catamounts . . . the Lubbock Christian University Chaparrals . . . the Sarah Lawrence College Gryphons . . . the Williams College Ephs. Anyone know how to pronounce these guys let alone define them? Maybe that's the point. "We're the team that is beyond definition, man. Beyond the boundaries of mere language. You'll never master us."

7. Overly Religious Team Names. While I love the suggestion that if you have a religious mascot you have Divine powers backing you it does make one smile. What if the Oklahoma Baptist College Prophets met the Johnson Bible College Evangels on the court? Who would get the stamp of godly approval? Who would triumph? I'm not sure American Protestantism is prepared to deal with such conundrums.

And then I have to wonder. Why is it that the San Diego Padres can get my "Yea!" while the Eugene Bible College Deacons or the Center College Praying Colonels crack me up? Makes me wonder about when exactly it is that the colonels are praying and if it gets in the way of scoring goals.

University of Idaho Vandals8. Team Names That Are Just Plain Wrong. I'm sorry but the University of Idaho Vandals crossed that fine line between acceptable and the foul side of the law. I'm okay with Bears, Cougars, Hurricanes and threats of violence from random mammals or natural disasters but last time I checked vandalism really wasn't something to be encouraged. What next? The Tarrytown Terrorists? The Sacramento Suicide Bombers? The Carlsbad Carjackers? Or how about the Pasadena Pedophiles? That's got to have the scare market totally dominated.

Really people isn't there a line there somewhere? Nothing says "team spirit" like some good old-fashioned wanton destruction of property.

Yale Elis9."It's All about Me" Team Names . I love it that the Yale Elis decided to name themselves . . . after themselves. Was it Mr. Eli Yale that decided that the mascot should be himself? Or was it one of his progeny? Come on, there HAD to be something better. If nothing else isn't it a little uncomfortable when their stuffed mascot comes out and it's an old guy with glasses? It would be like the United States' bald eagle being replaced by a "Georgie" after George Washington. Feels . . . I dunno . . . rather diva-ish. And silly.

Cincinnati Reds10. Fashionistas. I'm not sure how it happened that colors became mascots. Where along the line did someone say, "Sure a hawk is full of majesty and respect and power but let's stick to the pretty stuff and call ourselves the Cincinnati Reds." Ditto for the Cleveland Browns only it's not so pretty. Maybe it's an Ohio thing--I'm not sure.

Columbia College Koalas11. Sweet Team Names. Oh my lands, there are so many in this category it's hard to name them all. We'll start with the biggies: The Oregon Ducks (or Beavers, take your pick) or the Pittsburg Penguins then move along to the Mary Baldwin Squirrels, the Hampshire College Frogs, the Goucher College Gophers, then finish with the cutest mascot ever which would be the Columbia College Koalas. They receive points not only for the cuddle factor but for alliteration (I don't think inserting the word "fighting" in there really helps the image much. We're still talking cute little fuzzy koala bears here right?)

Maybe these institutions just assume that the adorable factor will help their teams skip along to victory, maybe they think that it's more important to be loved than feared. Who knows? But I have to hand it to them, all they need is a princess or two and maybe if money gets tight they can sell the rights and become a Disney franchise. Oops! Sorry--I guess Oregon already has, judging from their logo.

University of Akron Zips12. Funniest Team Name. What is it about using Australian animals for U.S. schools? What is it about Ohio? At any rate, as a finale the award for this one goes to the University of Akron Zips. Just because anyone brave enough to name themselves the Zips is so open-minded, so culturally bold, so enlightened that they deserve something out of it all. Or maybe it's just a case of product placement--remember those shoes from the 70s? Zips? Maybe they're really a Nike subsidiary in disguise.

Updated to add: (giggle) OOPS! It's silly but I always get Tulane and Purdue mixed up. I have no idea why, they're completely unrelated but there it is--my twisted mind for all the world to see!

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Technorati tags: sports, lists

82 comments:

The Source said...

Good list!

It cracks me up that we have the Air Force Academy's Falcons, the US Military Academy's Black Knights...and the US Naval Academy?? They're the goats. I know if I were a knight or a falcon I'd certainly be intimidated by a goat!

Peruby said...

LOL! I am not sure how the Browns came up with their name, either. Yuck.

But in my league (high schools) we have many that have the mascot "Trojans". Really? For high school students? The Trojans?

Then there are the Quakers. Yes, how intimidating is that? Most folks dub them the "Quackers".

Fun reading.

Jolanthe @ No Ordinary Moments said...

Oh my word. You had me (and my hubby) laughing this morning.

Love the 'patriotic' and 'religious' ones. :)

Jolanthe

Anonymous said...

It always drives me crazy to see female teams named the "Lady" whatevers. The Lady Panthers? Scary cats in pearls?

But my all-time favorite team name was at a local (now closed) all-girls high school: The Our Lady Star of the Sea Tunas. The Tunas. Wrong on so many levels.

Marie in Michigan

Joanna said...

"Purdue may be cool and hip down south in Louisiana but calling themselves the Boilermakers really nullifies their edge you know?"
(Purdue in in Indiana.)

Speaking of Indiana, we have lots of great mascots here. You hit a couple of the highlights- The Boilermakers & the Hoosiers- but my favorite is Rose Hulman's "Fighting Engineers", and is represented fr whatever reason by an elephant

High schools here have questionable mascots too: My local high school has the somewhat-dated & not at all threatening "Millers", the high school near where the Indy 500 is run is the "Speedway Sparkplugs", and then (on the way to Purdue, actually) there's the "Frankfort Hot Dogs" Go Hot Dogs! (?)

a Tonggu Momma said...

GREAT LIST! Although I must share a memory now... Purdue University, homecoming weekend in 1992.

The Engineering Honors Society created a mechanized float that had Purdue Pete pounding a huge hammer on the head of the rival mascot. And each time the hammer hit, the rival mascot yelled out, "Ow, stop it Pete! That hurts!" I must have heard that a thousand times that weekend.

It was enough... whenever I see Purdue Pete, I feel fear. Because I really don't want to have "Ow, stop it Pete! That hurts!" running through my brain all day.

imadramamama said...

Don't forget tree nuts as mascots...another Ohio team is The Ohio State Buckeyes.

Ohio team names are horrible...

NorahS said...

Where I went to college we were the Aggies. The logo is a bull but, really?

jacjewelry said...

This is a good one! If I remember correctly, Mount Nittany is a landmark near Penn State. You're right, a Nittany Lion is simply a mountain lion (a puma). I got my picture taken with its statue a few years back, and it's very cute!

When I started college, our mascot was The Colonial... Talk about ancient! Then, the school decided that it was not only outdated, but also not unisex. So, they replaced it with... Bearcats. "What is a bearcat?" we asked. A striped bear? A bow-legged kitty who eats berries? Apparently, bearcats do exist, but we were told it was a mystical animal.

GR said...

The White Sox became the Black Sox after losing (throwing) the series. Anyone who does laundry would be terrified...

Babystepper said...

Here in Oklahoma we have a school system whose mascot is the "Demon Deacons" There's a new category. The overly sacreligious.

My alma mater are the "crusaders" (it's a Christian school) but none of us here like it, because the crusaders weren't exactly known for their moral qualities, for all their church affiliation.

"Sooner" is a term for the people who jumped the gun during the 1889 Oklahoma Land Run. (Which action was illegal, of course) It's still a stupid name, but there's an explanation anyway. Our minor league baseball team was named the "89ers" until just a few years ago because of the same event. They switched to "Red Hawks" for obvious reasons.

Jordan (MamaBlogga) said...

Joanna's right—Purdue = Indiana. Thinking of Tulane, maybe?

Also, there are historical reasons for the keltic/seltic difference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pronunciation_of_Celtic#Pronunciation

Heather said...

These were so funny. Minnesota does the cute name...and the color name...the Golden Gophers. Awww.

Stephanie said...

Hey quit picking on the Ohio teams!

I think the Browns were named for one of the original players. I'm sure Tim could elaborate. He comes from a family of die hard Cleveland fans.

As for Akron and Cincinnati, I have no explanation.

Anonymous said...

I have to mention that my high school mascot was a unicorn... yes, the fightin' unicorns were fierce and I'm not making it up go look at New Braunfels High School in Texas.

Janelle said...

Great post! I love it! I have a beef with your Ohio observations, though. As a point of history, the Reds used to be the Cincinnati Red Stockings (kind like Red Sox), but it was eventually shortened to just the Reds. Not that having the Stockings on the end was any better.

But really, you pick on the Reds and not on the Buckeyes? They're named after a nut, for goodness' sake!

The Browns' name annoys me too, but that's mostly because I live in Cleveland, and all Fall, all I hear about are "the Brownies." THEY'RE NOT DESSERT, PEOPLE!!

Scribbit said...

(giggle) OOPS! It's silly but I always get Tulane and Purdue mixed up. I have no idea why, they're completely unrelated but there it is--my twisted mind for all the world to see!

Stacy said...

My favorite are mascots named for food! The Scottsdale Community College Artichokes are very frightening.

Maddy said...

I am so glad to say that I didn't know any of those [don't deport me yet!] However, I think that's why I find so many American names [first names] make me blink as they're also the names of famous [and I mean famous, because even I've heard of them] football teams. Every time I hear the name 'Chelsea" I see blue!

But by far the best American mascot I've come across is the Banana Slug for US Santa Cruz, now that's what I call a true mascot.
Cheers

Scribbit said...

Babystepper: That's good to know and changes things a bit with the Sooners I suppose. I quite like mascots that have historical reference--like the 49rs or something--though to have a team mascot that represents someone who in essence cheated and didn't play by the rules kind of opens up a whole new category doesn't it?

Marla Taviano said...

Looks like you've already been corrected on the Purdue thing. :)

I'd never heard of the Fighting Koalas. Koalas sleep 22 hours a day. And when they're not sleeping, they chew on eucalyptus leaves really, really slowly.

Amber M. said...

As always, LOVED your Thursday list. Can't wait to share it with Tony.

But I am still proud to be a "Cornhusker."

Seriously. Especially when we're winning.:-)

Scribbit said...

Amber--I thought about the Cornhuskers but since they're an actual person and not the thing itself (i.e. Cornhusk-ER v. Cornhusk) I let them alone. I was having too much fun picking on Ohio :)

Melanie J said...

Sometimes I entertain myself with thinking about what I would do if I ever bought a pro- or semi-pro sports team and had to name it. It's really hard to think of names that are cool that aren't being used. If I were more awake, I'd leave ideas I've come up, but they're not exciting. It's stuff like, The Cobras. Er...yeah. Most of the tough stuff is gone already.

Scribbit said...

Quakers? Goats? Tunas? Unicorns? Banana Slugs? Oh the pain! :)

NGS said...

Ohhh...I sense that this list could incite some serious anger. Watch out for the trolls defending their beloved mascots!!

Laura Moffitt said...

Moving to Ohio and dealing with all the 'fans' here has been humorous because they have the worst team names. Browns? So gross and they made it worse by adding orange!!! Who names a tea after a coaches name especially one that is so...boring! Besides Mr. Brown is sure regretting the decision now since they SUCK!

Carrie said...

The Buffalo Bills drive me nuts- because their mascot is a buffalo- so shouldn't they be the Buffalo Buffaloes? :)

Also, funniest mascot ever- a high school we played in Freeport, IL, their mascot was the Freeport Pretzels, because their town had a big pretzel factory in it. :)

Janet said...

Well done. May I add the Nashville Sounds (minor league baseball team). And let's not forget my high school mascot: the Buffaloes - cue the fat jokes. And then my grad school was Vanderbilt - the Commodores (goes back to that Yale thing), which of course gets shortened a lot. My BA was from Belmont, which at the time was the Rebels, and under pressure they changed it to Bruins about 10 years ago. Maybe not that along. But no football team, although they did make it to the NCAA basketball tournament last year. Or maybe the year before.

Lara said...

Then there's the time that Utah thought it would be really great if all of their sports teams ended in "zz" like the Jazz. So we had the Buzz and the Starzz. But that was stupid so they finally settled on the Blaze and the Grizzlies. Luckily, that trend is mostly over.

Anonymous said...

You're forgetting probably the worst mascot ever: the Stanford Cardinal. Cardinal is singular and refers to the school color (red). However, they have an unofficial mascot of a pine tree...

The Curtis Family said...

Hola from a fellow Alaskan :). Karin told me about your blog yesterday, so I had to check it out.

I live in AZ, and my kids happen to attend Chaparral elementary LOL. For the record, it's pronounced SHAP-uh-rall.

Fun blog.
Katie (Stastny)

Shauna said...

My high school's mascot was a Ringneck (pheasant).

MaryAnn said...

Funny, funny list! I was curious about some of them myself and when I googled catamount this is what I got...um interesting...I think? http://catamountsports.cstv.com/genrel/011205aag.html
Anyway, thanks for always making us laugh here!

AlaneM said...

Haha, great list! I love unusual mascots & must say I'm partial to a certain Australian animal which jumps a lot. My HS was the Lake Washington Kangs - once a Kang, always a Kang baby!! (we called the sophmores joeys)
In a nearby town we have the Davenport Gorillas but my fave is my dads HS - the Richland Bombers :)

LK said...

Eh, one of the high schools in my hometown were the Poets. The POETS. That's right. It was all about "the pen is mightier than the sword," I think, but it was really just very . . . lame.

calicobebop said...

Great list!

My highschool mascot was the "Rampant." As in "running rampant" or something like that. The picture of a Rampant is similar to the standing lion you would find in old English family crests. Beyond Bizzare. We certainly fell into the "mythical" category.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

In one town I lived the highschool mascot were the Trojans. Unfortunately this encouraged teenaged boys to use a certain brand of condoms to decorate cars during the games.

Mayberry said...

jacjewelry is right, Nittany is a mountain near Penn State.

But I went to a different school in PA -- the one whose mascot is the Quakers.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

The University of Pennsylvania football team is the Quakers, which pretty much confuses me, because I thought Quakers were non-violent? :)

Inkling said...

Fighting Koalas reminded me of the time I worked as a church secretary in an office equipped with a lovely laminating machine.

My little brother and his best friend went to a tiny private school that didn't issue student ID's. But they needed some ID's for their senior trip to New York to take advantage of all sorts of discounts. So they asked me to make one. And they asked me to put a mascot on it, specifically the "fighting butterflies". Being a good big sister I complied, never thinking about the fact I was using church property for what could be construed as illegal activity. I haven't exactly repented though. I'd do it again, and I might even help out the fighting koala crowd. =)

Marcy said...

Funny list...

As a big Cleveland fan, the Browns got their name from Jim Brown, original owner. But what confuses me is the Dawg pound. I'm not sure where that started. Dawg bones, Dawg faces, drunk men barking at their fave team -- the Browns.

Cincinnati used to be called the Red Legs. Perhaps too much for fans to remember. Had to shorten it to "Reds."

Holly Crosley said...

Very, very funny! My husband and I got a huge kick out of this post! Thanks for the laugh!

Ni Yachen said...

There should be a politically correct catagory. Stanford would be in the top. They threw out the "Indian" because it was insensitive but then never could find anything but a shade of red that didn't offened people. Of course, if I was red/green color blind I would be offened . . . or maybe not. The wikipedia article for Stanford Mascot is funny as it seems to be making fun of silliness of it all.

***Patricia Linehan*** said...

A town in So. Illinois near where I grew up had the mascot "Appleknockers". No, I don't know what that is either.

Scribbit said...

How could I miss the Quakers? While they may be great as a people or a religion it seems they're lacking in what it takes to be a good mascot. Unless we're talking Earthquakes.

And appleknockers?? That threw me back to a childhood memory of a drink we used to have it seems . . . Appleknockers. Maybe I'm off but it must mean something.

Mimi said...

I like the University of Delaware Blue Hens. Peck peck peck!

USNA Ancient said...

For The Source who said

" ...It cracks me up that we have the Air Force Academy's Falcons, the US Military Academy's Black Knights...and the US Naval Academy?? They're the goats. I know if I were a knight or a falcon I'd certainly be intimidated by a goat!";

Firstly, Bill the Goat is not and never has never been the name of the United States Naval Academy's Team; secondly, obviously Bill IS and HAS BEEN for at least the past 6 consecutive years [7 in the case of WooPoo] sufficiently "intimidating to defeat the fearsome ? falcon of "team jesus" and the WooPoo mule. 7 in-a-row and counting v. WooPoo and 6 in-a-row and counting v. "team jesus" plus 6 in-a-row and counting Commander-in-Chief Trophies and bowl appearances ... PRICELESS !!!

Scribbit said...

Blue Devils--maybe. Blue Hens? No. What about the Blue Streaks? That would be better I think.

Ursula said...

Yeah, I've always been somewhat ashamed of my college mascot - University of Delaware's "Fightin' Blue Hens." I mean, really......

Scribbit said...

I had to Google this in the interest of clarification. Apparently Bill the Goat is the US Naval Academy's mascot but their official name is the US Naval Academy Midshipmen.

Apparently they are technically midshipmen who have a goat hanging around. :)

Nathanael said...

My highschool mascot/name is pathetic also
Gwinn Modeltowners... (yes, Gwinn was made from a model, but modeltowners?) bizaarre.

Nathanael said...

My highschool mascot/name is pathetic also
Gwinn Modeltowners... (yes, Gwinn was made from a model, but modeltowners?) bizaarre.

Kim said...

As the lone Texan to comment, I take great offense at the categorization of our great football team. (cough, cough)

However, I will say this. I was part of a focus group here, 68 miles from Houston, when the name was chosen, and YES that was the best they could come up with. Other names batted around, I think, were the Roughnecks and the Bulls along with a few others. I did choose the Texans because it made the most sense out of all the names to choose from.

But, hey, we don't have to be PROUD of those Texans, afterall we have America's team and God's favorite team in the Dallas Cowboys.

BTW, Peruby, the Browns got their name from their very narcissitc owner. He didn't think there could be any other name for his team than his own.

In our town, we have or have had, for mascots the Buffaloes, the Trojans, the Bruins, the Greenies, Jaguars, Panthers, Cougars, Bulldogs, Gladiators and many others since there are currently three high schools, but have been as many as nine in the past. Other than Greenies, most are pretty normal.

In the towns around here we have the Titans, Mustangs, Cardinals, Pirates, Raiders...

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

How about the Heidelberg "Student Prices?"

Laurel Nelson said...

What about the lovely Banana Slugs from UC Santa Cruz? I've always gotten a kick out of that one.

Laurel Nelson said...

Here are some more to add to the pantheon from High Schools I've come across:
We had the Poly Parrots (the school was a Polytechnic school Poly for short - haha),and I knew someone who went to high school in Delta Utah - they were the Rabbits.

Scribbit said...

Kim--I wondered when I'd see someone from Texas wander by! Thanks for the background. Too bad the Longhorns was taken, that's a good one. Still . . . I can't help but think that there had to be SOMETHING better than just restating the obvious. Still . . .good logo.

Amanda @ www.kiddio.org said...

Driving across the rez in NE Arizona we see a high school in the distance. As it looms nearer we see the team name.

The Redskins. Seriously. On the Navajo Reservation?

Up in the mountains, in Idaho Springs, the high school mascot is the 'Golddiggers." Like that for the girls' team too?

That said, my college mascot was the "Athenas" A women's college. Pretty cool, eh?

Peruby said...

I can't believe that Jeopardy just had a question on the Browns and how their first owner's last name was "Brown." With some of the comments here and my favorite T.V. game show, now I know!

anna angela said...

Great post! For my schools (elementary, jr. high, high school, college), I've always been an animal: Cougars, Lobos (lobo means wolf), Cardinals, and Bruins. Can't really complain. They're not too original, but I guess the original names made your list!

But then again, up until 4th grade, I was in a private co-ed Catholic school and we were called the Augustinians. =/

Karen said...

The Williams College Ephs are named in honor of Ephraim Williams - the founder.

And that's my piece if useless knowledge for the day, thank you very much! :)

USNA Ancient said...

Actually, we have several and the current lead goat is Bill XXXIII !

Jaqui said...

My high school was the Atom Smashers. I think we are the only one.

A college friend was a "Syrup Maker" --can you guess the town industry?

Jean said...

there's a town in west viginia called poca - their high school team is the Poca Dots! too funny...

Sarah said...

How about the Banana Slugs? That always made me laugh, although I can't remember which university that belonged to right now.

Amy @ Experience Imagination said...

Hope College Flying Dutchmen
Wheaton College Thunder (they used to be the Crusaders)
DePaul University Blue Demons

Also, my high school was the Quakers, but for some reason our mascot was a bear. And, what about the University of Hawaii "Rainbow" Warriors?

Kimberly said...

Poor DC. Washington can't get no love. We do have sucky team names though, except for the Redskins. That is pretty good. And you failed to mention tv basketball team. They USED to be the Washington Bullets, which is a good name. Think fast and deadly. But since D.C. Keeps topping the national list for homicides, someone thought it should be changed. So. They had some contest. And the winner was Wizards. The only upside is that it is alliterative. Other than that, it is stupid.

Heather said...

I live near Akron and even funnier than the name Zips is the logo which says to, "Fear the Roo." All I can think of is Kanga and Roo from Winnie the Pooh.

Also not far from here is Kent State and they are the Golden Flashes. Not the Lightening, not the Chargers, the Flashes. Huh?

I do know that the Sooners were the people who went sooner than they were supposed to in the Oklahoma land race, but how is that intimidating? LOL! I have also always wondered what the heck a Nittany Lion was. Only Jo Pa knows, I guess. :o)

Scribbit said...

How could I forget the Rainbows??

And as it happens, I've seen the Bullets in action back when we lived in Maryland. Yes, Wizards is kind of odd. Especially since all the Harry Potter craziness it gives it even a stranger connotation.

***Patricia Linehan*** said...

I was going to add a story about my daughter and team names, but started to ramble a bit, so I just posted it on my blog and included a link to yours. Hope you don't mind.

Wanda said...

Awww poor Purdue! I see several have asked (and you answered) if you meant....INDIANA!

Go Boilermakers! heehee!

Jeanie said...

Actually, we're pretty proud to be the Muleriders here at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, AR. When the school was founded in 1909 as an agricultural school, the first ball teams took Model T Fords or rode the farm mules to a nearby railroad station to travel to nearby schools for games. The other teams, so they say, began taunting, "Here come the Muleriders" and the name stuck. So it's not a made up mascot, it's part of our history. On September 19, 2009, as part of our Centennial celebration, we will host the Great Southern Arkansas Muleride to that railroad station. And on April 1, 2009, Founders Day, we will host a free concert featuring Tracy Lawrence, who is, you guessed it, a Mulerider! You are all invited. www.sau100.net

Mary@notbefore7 said...

LOL...where do you find this stuff?

We had a local christian school that were the "flames"...I guess the whole pentacost theme...but they forgot about the conotations in this day and age of the flamers, etc....they have since changed it.

dpenguin said...

I was amused to see OBC Prophets in there... having attended the school and knowing it isn't a huge school.

Great list :)

Damselfly said...

Praying Colonels? Koalas? Really?

My elementary school mascot was the ingot. Yeah, ingots inspire fear and trepidation. Most people don't even know what an ingot is.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of crazy mascot names but the best has got to be Scottsdale Community College. Are you ready for this, "The Fighting Artichokes".

I would feel threatened, when the artichokes rolled into town!

All Rileyed Up said...

As soon as I saw the title, I KNEW the Houston Texans would be on this list. I hate their name!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but your article was just painful to read. I could only get about 2/3 of the way through it before i couldn't read anymore. Essentially, you're missing the point of a mascot. It is not necessarily to strike fear into the other team, but provide an uncommon, unique identity for a team. For example, Penn State would have been just the "Lions," but instead they add their geographically location (Nittany Mt) and the species of mountain cat not found anywhere else. If they were just the Lions, what would seperate them from Detroit, or hundreds of hugh school teams across the country? With a lot of the color names (Browns) or names that seem like nonsense words (Hoyas) there is a huge amount of tradition backing the names up. The Browns were named after the first vice president of the franchise, general manager, and head coach, Paul Brown. Hoyas comes from a combination of a Latin and Greek based cheer for the original team. Again, a successful team name is one with which you do not need to mention the name of the school, home city, etc. because there will be no other teams that share that name. The worst team names are the generic ones, the Raiders, Panthers, Falcons, and so forth because they lack identity.

Again,sorry, but i just think you missed the boat on the concept of mascots here, and thus your whole list needs to be revisited.

The more strange the team name, the more tradition is behind it, and all team names have a reason for their existance. Try typing some things into google next time, it's amazing what comes up.

Anonymous said...

Great idea for a post! I do have to defend one of the greatest team names in history, though, the Montreal Canadiens...

You'll notice the "H" in the middle of the their logo, which stands for their nickname, "Les Habitants." Translated "the locals", the Canadiens and their nickname ("the Habs") remind the global hockey community that hockey's roots go very, very deep in Montreal and that the legacy of the team is so pure that they need not go by anything more elaborate than "the Canadiens" or the locals.

Their name is like the iPod's simple aluminum case or the austere frame of a great piece of modern architecture... simple, pure, and commanding of respect.

Ryan (mr. diaper diaries)

Scribbit said...

Love that explanation--and you've given me pause. Perhaps I was too hasty in my condemnation of our Canadien friends . . .

Anonymous said...

I think they meant this kind of Vandal:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandals