Top Nine Silliest Potential Sports Nicknames
By Lou DiPietro
Since word broke last week that the New Orleans Hornets are set to change their nickname to the Pelicans, reaction has been mixed; Louisiana is "The Pelican State" and many teams (pro and collegiate alike) honor their homelands in a similar way, but to be fair, Pelicans is definitely a less-than-intimidating moniker.
We here at Niner HQ are all for the change, especially in light of our previous list of Least Relevant Nicknames including the Hornets, but we decided to do some exhaustive research (read: spend half the day surfing Wikipedia) to see if the future Bayou Birds could've had a better nickname. What we found is that in terms of stateliness, Pelicans is probably as good as it gets ... but there are a lot of other pro sports teams that could have it much, much worse.
Some of Washington's teams, like the Tacoma Rainiers for example, have some pretty cool geographic nicknames, and others like the Mariners are at least relevant. Evergreens, however, would just be lame.
Massachusetts is the Bay State, and Boston is situated on a big one, but even the Red Sox' old nickname, the Boston Beaneaters, is more intimidating…mostly from the, um, theoretic potential end result of said activity.
NEW JERSEY GARDENS
As a verb, "Gardens" probably describes what Martin Brodeur and company have been doing for the last six months, but once the NHL gets back on the ice, it's doubtful this nickname would grow on anyone.
Not the best nickname, sure, but we've got a friend in Pennsylvania who can confirm that it would at least match a good portion of the refreshments consumed at Steelers and Eagles tailgates.
Yes, peaches are delicious, and it's true that the Rockford ladies depicted in "A League of Their Own" were the most decorated of AAGPBL franchises - but in terms of sheer intimidation, we hope that if the Braves feel the urge for a name change, they stick with the rest of the city's aviary motif.
KANSAS CITY SUNFLOWERS
We know that the Chiefs and Royals are technically on the Missouri side of the KC duopoly, but we couldn't help but laugh at the thought of their uniforms if one of them moved across the river ... not to mention the nominal cannibalism in the Royals' dugout!
The Jaguars are the only one of Florida's nine pro teams that doesn't have a regionally-relevant nickname, but at least the Jags are alliterative and (theoretically) intimidating. "Jacksonville Sunshine," however, sounds more fitting of a one-hit wonder disco quartet than an NFL franchise.
ST. LOUIS SHOW-MES
Um, we'll take Cardinals and Rams, thanks, but if the "Gateway to the West" ever gets a Lingerie Football League team ...
Minnesota has four nicknames, but their university already uses Gophers and the state has already had North Stars and Lakers. That said, Minnesota is also the "Bread and Butter State," so for those who think Wild is a cheesy nickname, just think: they could be honoring the manager of the Bad News Bears.