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Top Nine Least Relevant Sports Nicknames

By Lou DiPietro

The Brooklyn Nets begin their preseason on Saturday night against Philadelphia, "officially" kicking off the next chapter of Nets basketball. No matter where they call home, whether it be New Jersey, New York, or on the moon, Nets will always be a relevant nickname as long as they continue to play basketball. But not every team is that lucky - and the teams listed below are the leaders of an unfortunate bunch whose nicknames just don't make as much sense as they used to.

  • NEW YORK RED BULLS

    Major League Soccer has some interesting team names, but this one came about when Red Bull bought the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in 2006 and rebranded the franchise. Good thing the MetroStars owners didn't sell to Huggies, eh?

  • NEW ORLEANS HORNETS

    Charlotte chose to nickname their basketball team the Hornets in honor of an old Revolutionary War quote likening the city to a hornets nest - a basis which makes it a perfect nickname for a team who now plays in a city that wasn't even part of America until three decades later.
  • CALGARY FLAMES

    Like the Hornets, the then-Atlanta Flames were named for a military reference, this time Sherman's March to the Sea during the Civil War. Then again, on second glance, maybe this is a relevant nickname for Calgary, which on average is slightly warmer than an ice cream sandwich.
  • MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

    Grizzly bears are indigenous to the Pacific Northwest and western Canada, so this certainly worked when the team was in Vancouver. Unfortunately, the only bears you're likely to find in Memphis are behind bars at the zoo ...

  • JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

    ... and the only jaguars you'll find in Jacksonville, Fla., are at a car lot. Plus one for alliteration, minus one for lack of relevance, and minus a million for the actual team being the lamest kitties this side of Garfield.

  • BRIDGEPORT SOUND TIGERS

    You may not have ever heard of this team, which is the New York Islanders' American Hockey League affiliate ... and we've never heard of a Sound Tiger, so there you go.

  • UTAH JAZZ

    The Jazz originally played in New Orleans, where the vibrant music scene led to their nickname; unfortunately, about the only thing the words "Utah" and "jazz" have in common is that they both have four letters.

  • ANY TEAM NAMED GEOGRAPHICALLY

    If the 49ers or 76ers left San Francisco or Philadelphia, the names would lose the cultural relevance but still be cool. But if Houston Texans leave the Lone Star State or the Philadelphia Phillies decide to venture beyond the City of Brotherly Love, well, they'll just sound stupid.

  • LOS ANGELES LAKERS, CLIPPERS, AND DODGERS

    Between the lines, Minneapolis, San Diego, and Brooklyn's losses were California's gain. Unfortunately, the largest lake in LA is Hugh Hefner's pool, even a turtle can dodge rush hour traffic on the 405, and ... well, we've probably already told you more than you ever knew about the Clippers.

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