Names of Sports Teams

Americans don’t display much imagination when it comes to naming sports teams, do they?

Normally, I don’t pay any attention to American team sports, because they’re so slow (more stoppage time than action) and as dull as ditchwater. But in the gym this morning, I was a captive audience to America’s two main national sports being broadcast on the TV. First up was a women’s basketball game between teams called the “Angels” and the “Mariners”. Angels? Hardly appropriate for those hatchet-faced amazons. And Mariners? Not exactly a name one readily associates with women. Wouldn’t something like “Mermaids” be more suitable? Or maybe “Porpoises” or “Whales”, looking at the size of those girls.

Anyway, when the basketball game finished, it was followed by an apparently unrelated men’s baseball game between teams called, yes, the “Angels” and the “Mariners”. So what’s with them having the same names as the other teams? Are all sports teams in the U.S. called the Angels or the Mariners? Can’t their owners think of anything else? And while Mariners might be suitable for a team of rough-looking, tobacco-chewing male baseball players, how on earth can you justify referring to such diabolical bruisers as angels?

In other countries, people seem able to come up with apt, original and striking names for their sports teams. My own favourite is “the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon”

there simply isn’t a professional WNBA team called the Mariners. i don’t know what you were watching.

“Angels” is a great name if you know the context.

yes, you are right: it is much more enjoyable to participate in sports than to spectate. but…you go to a gym to watch TV?

I believe it was game one of the “finals”, to decide who will become WNBA champions. I’m sure they were called the Mariners. But I was watching from an oblique angle, so it’s possible that I misread the name.

An hour and a quarter on the treadmill, with not a single attractive young xiaojie in the gym to eye up, leaves little choice but to pay some attention to the TV that’s tuned to a sports channel. I get a little bored just staring at myself in the mirror, looking down at my feet, or watching the metres and minutes tick by on the running machine.

You mean cricket, right?

You mean cricket, right?[/quote]

Cricket is the non-stop action, breathtakingly exciting, thrill-a-minute, totally enthralling prince of sports. Apart from breaks for lunch and tea, there are almost no other stoppages – look away for just a moment, and you’re sure to miss something special. The only pity is that the matches are so short, with even the five-day internationals slipping by before you have time to catch your breath.

Uh…that’s what I said. :wink:

Omni, perhaps you got too dehyrdated and lightheaded from your run because your faulty memory has led you to make a foolish post. There are no Women’s basketball teams with those names in the 14 team WNBA league.

If you were just watching a wnba playoff game it was game 1 of the 3-game championship series between the Detroit Shock and the Los Angeles Sparks. The Sparks won the opening game Friday night 75-63.

Check out

Eastern Conference
Detroit Shock
Charlotte Sting
Connecticut Sun
Cleveland Rockers
Indiana Fever
New York Liberty
Washington Mystics

Western Conference
Los Angeles Sparks
Houston Comets
Sacramento Monarchs
Minnesota Lynx
Seattle Storm
San Antonio Silverstars
Phoenix Mercury

Most of those names are pretty creative and reflect something about their hometowns, although what is mystic about Washington is beyond me.

BTW, what sort of brilliantly creative names are given to cricket teams?

Back when I was a sports editor (didn’t know that, did you?) I thought that the dumbest name for a team was the Australian women’s hockey squad (field hockey, you blockhead!), the Hockeyroos.

That is very strange indeed. The names “Angels” and “Mariners” were clearly written on the screen next to the scores. What a pity if those aren’t their correct names. It’s hard to understand how the broadcasters could have made such a mistake.

The names of the English county cricket teams are, I’m afraid, less than inspired in most cases. We used to refer to them only by their geographical names, and only added “nicknames” a few years ago in a move to jazz up and “Americanize” the sport’s image. It’s enough to bring on apoplectic fits among the older members. Here are a selection of the names:
Durham Dynamos
Somerset Sabres
Lancashire Lightning
Sussex Sharks
Glamorgan Dragons
Nottinghamshire Outlaws
Gloucester Gladiators
Yorkshire Phoenix
Kent Spitfires
Leicestershire Foxes
Warwickshire Bears
Surrey Lions
Worcestershire Royals
Derbyshire Scorpions
Scotland Saltires

The CFL (okay, sorry Canadian Football League), there were two teams in an eight team league that both had the name Roughriders…granted one of them was (is?) Rough Riders…but come on…

The most common name of American sports teams is Tigers according to a Trivial Pursuit question…

I think Blue Jays is the stupidest name for a team…although hockeyroos is pretty nutso Wolfie, and the worst name for a pitcher in the Major Leagues…Bob Walk…

Okay…back to work…

That’s also a rather suggestively naughty name to my ears.

I also noticed that a player in the baseball game had the name “Lackey” written on his back. Poor fellow. imagine having to go through life with a name like that. “Hey, you, Lackey, come here.”

I like the University of Santa Cruz Banana Slugs.

And of course the Mcaon Whoopee has a ring to it…

There was a baseball game on about the same time. The Seattle Mariners beat the Anaheim Angels 7-4 Friday night. Perhaps what you saw written on the screen was the score scrawl for the baseball game. Basketball scores would have been in double digits while the baseball scores would be single digits.

It is possible that the names that Omni saw were on a banner or ticker and unrelated to what was showing at the time.

The best name of all: Pittsburgh Steelers

So much for what I took as a rather extraordinary coincidence!

Anyway, the naming of sports teams is a worthy enough topic of discussion on its own.

Is it true that in the States you can buy a team and move it to another city? So that a team called the Chicago Rednecks could be bought, relocated, and reincarnated as the Houston Rednecks? Or have I misunderstood that as well?

This has happened on several occassions.

That’s a possibility. But if the name sounds stupid in the new location, a new name may be devised. Or, if the original location can somehow make a case that the name belongs to the original location, they can prevent the team from retaining the name when the team moves to a new location.

[quote=“tigerman”]The best name of all: Pittsburgh Steelers


No, no Tigerman – the best name of all is Tottenham Hotspur, the cockerel-crested Spurs of White Hart Lane in North London. (Though I’m afraid they’re going to be drubbed by Chelsea this weekend.)

BTW, what is a “steeler”? Why aren’t they called “steelmen”? Or is it a play on stealing the ball from their opponents?

Go Cocks!

And you can be certain that the Steelers would crush them, and Chelsea, too.

Steelers make steel.