There was a most curious announcement in Los Angeles last week. It involved a strange marriage between glam rock and Arena League Football. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are two of the co-owners of the new LA sports franchise. They called a press conference to announce they have decided on a nickname for the team. The football team will be called KISS, named after their Rock Band. This prompted us here at the DUNER BLOG to post a list of the stupidest Sports Team Nicknames in the USA. NOTE: This only includes PRO Sports. If we included College Nicknames, the list would be too long!
#10. Minnesota Wild. When most people think of Minnesota, they think of fishing, cold winters and Mary Tyler Moore. While the state does have lots of acres of wilderness, we’re not sure about the Wild part.
#9. Miami Heat. We get it. South Florida is HOT. But there are numerous other things in the Sunshine State that are worthy of a team nickname. How about something fierce from the swamp? Alligators? Herons? Snakefish? Or something sexy from the beach, like the Miami Tankinis. On second thought…maybe they’re correct. They are two-time defending NBA champs!#8. Miami Dolphins. Okay…this nickname is fine. We just want the logo with the Dolphin wearing a football helmet to disappear.
#7. Oklahoma City Thunder. This name we can blame solely on the fans themselves. When the team moved to the Sooner State in 2008, the owners let the fans vote on a new name. Thunder won handsomely over Energy, Truckers, Express and Wind.
#6. Indiana Pacers. Sometimes it’s good to name your team after something special in your city. The Pittsburgh Steelers name harkens back to the famed Steel Industry. The San Francisco 49ers are named after the gritty gold miners from 1849. But to name a basketball team after the Pacer car at the Indianapolis 500 Auto Race is silly.
#5. Columbus Blue Jackets. The sentiment behind this nickname is great. Since it is the Ohio capital’s first pro team, the owners wanted to name the franchise after something unique. They chose the Blue Jacket Brigade of the Union Army. This famed group included Generals Sherman, Grant and Sheridan. According to their website this group showed: "patriotism, pride, and the rich Civil War History in the state of Ohio and city of Columbus." However, it makes for a lousy chant: “Let’s Go Jackets!”#4. Washington Redskins. Every American is familiar with this debate. Prior to the Civil Rights Movement, many pro franchises named themselves after Native Americans. The Blackhawks of Chicago and the Seminole of Florida are fierce tribes that sports teams want to emulate. Other nicknames…like the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Braves…are less specific, but still somewhat acceptable. The Washington Redskins...however...have always been wrong.
#3. Utah Jazz. When this basketball franchise originated in New Orleans, the Jazz was the perfect nickname. However, a number of poor decisions…like trading the rights to Magic Johnson to sign Gail Goodrich…sent the team into bankruptcy. The move to Salt Lake City proved to be profitable...but highly confusing. Although a Google search did find a number of music clubs that occasionally feature Jazz, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is still the #1 music gig in town.#2. Nashville Predators. In defense of the new hockey team, it is hard to come up with a tough-sounding name in this millennium. Lions, Tigers and Bears have all been taken long ago. Heck, even all the fierce birds are taken: Eagles, Hawks and Pelicans. So the folks in Nashville thought they’d just take the larger biological name: Predators. The big problem: In the US today, the word Predator refers to a guy with a felonious sexual past who just moved into your neighborhood.
#1. Toronto Raptors. Fifteen years ago, there was a huge ‘Dinosaur’ fad. Fueled by the popular movie Jurassic Park, T-Rex was king. Back then our kids would only eat Dino-Gummi Bears and Dino-Chicken Nuggets. Eager to capitalize on this phase, the new NBA franchise in Canada was quickly on the bandwagon. However, a dinosaur dribbling a basketball is stupid in any year.