September 13, 2007
Top 10 worst team names... because marketing departments like a challenge
By SUN MEDIA
It's no coincidence that the Anaheim Ducks weren't able to win the Stanley Cup until they dropped the "Mighty" from their name.
The hockey gods might be able to stand for Sun Belt teams winning each of the last three Cups, but they couldn't possibly let hockey's greatest prize go to a team named after a Disney movie. Which is why the Nashville Predators won't become the Kitchener-Waterloo Little Mermaids any time soon.
But even though the Ducks no longer have the most cringe-worthy handle in sports, there's still no shortage of brutal team names out there.
10. Stanford Cardinal
Nothing against Stanford ... they're just the most prominent team with the annoying "singular" nickname. Whether it's the USFL, the XFL or the WNBA, you know a league sucks if it has several teams without an "s" at the end of their names. Yet another reason to hate the Utah Jazz (see below).
9. Phoenix Suns
It must have been very cloudy, or the middle of the night, when they came up with this one. Because otherwise, a quick look out the window would have confirmed the fact that, yep, there's only one sun. The exception to the plural-names rule.
8. Toronto Maple Leafs
Don't cheer for the Leafs, kids -- it's bad for your grammar. Last time we checked, the plural of "leaf" was "leaves." But like Tie Domi always said, "We ain't real big on book learnin'. "
7. University of Alberta Pandas
Nothing against the U of A, but in this age of supposed gender equality, why do some universities give their female sports teams a different name than the male ones? Is a panda somehow more feminine than a golden bear? We say no -- they're both godless killing machines.
Actually, Stephen Colbert said that, but we agree wholeheartedly.
6. LSU Tigers, et al
Any U.S. college that calls its sports teams the Tigers gets an F for originality. The NCAA has a whopping 45 schools playing under that name. The same goes for Eagles (51), Wildcats (32) and Cougars (30).
Bo-ring. We'll take the University of California-Santa Cruz Banana Slugs instead.
5. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Coming soon: the Milwaukee Packers of Green Bay, the Ottawa Senators of Kanata, the New York Islanders of Uniondale and the Carolina Hurricanes of Who Gives a Rat's Ass.
4. Utah Jazz
When the team was in New Orleans, this name made sense, but when they moved to the whitest city in America, it was time to change. Even worse, the city of Salt Lake decided to compound this blunder by naming their other pro teams -- the Starzz, the Buzz, the Freezz and the Grizzlies -- in similar fashion. Call us crazzy, but "Zz" doesn't seem like the best way to brand your city. Then again, most of them aren't allowed to drink coffee.
3. Houston Texans
The laziest team nickname since the Shelbyville Shelbyvillians on The Simpsons. If they had spent an extra 30 seconds thinking about it, they might've come up with something better ... like Tigers.
2. Butte Pirates
It must have been a far simpler time when the people of Butte County, Idaho, decided to name their high school sports teams the Pirates. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
1. Washington Redskins
Unlike the Cleveland Indians or Atlanta Braves, for instance, there's no way you can explain away this nickname as a tribute to First Nations people. It's nothing but a flat-out racial slur. Completely indefensible.
Disagree with our picks? Sends yours to firstname.lastname@example.org