74 Comments
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Jul 26, 2021Liked by Scott Hines

I think the Guardians team name is cool and connects the team and the city. More importantly, most people I follow who are *from Cleveland and are fans of the team* love the name.

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I really like that they didn't do a wholesale rebrand. They stripped out the bad part but didn't make it look like an expansion team.

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The more I think about it the more I think it was really smart that the branding changes were subtle, so things will still feel mostly familiar. The uniforms will look the same from a distance. The colors aren't changing. Even the "dians" ending will help the transition feel natural and not jarring

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Ya, when I first heard it I was like what the hell is this boring ass name but then after hearing the reason it seems perfectly reasonable! And the logo is cool!

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Jul 26, 2021Liked by Scott Hines

My biggest takeaways from the rebrand are 1. great job all around and 2. we need way more art deco statues everywhere because those things kick ass

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This is a much more thorough and friendly response than mine for those arguments, well done and fully agreed ACB.....

Mine was more concise though - "Get f***ed, scrub, Guardians is awesome."

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Jul 26, 2021Liked by Scott Hines

A few things:

First of all, my Trump supporting grandmother-in-law's birthday was yesterday, we went out to dinner, and she tried to pick a fight with her liberal grandchildren/their partners by saying "We love the Cleveland Indians!" - like, lady, you don't even fucking like sports, just SHUT UP. We didn't engage.

Second, THANK YOU for trashing on all the MLS teams trying to be too cool for mascots, cowards all of them cowards! Crew also sucks but it is better than that crap, and the new stadium RULES. (seriously if anyone here is in Columbus during MLS season I will meet you at a game! Hot Chicken Takeover AND Dirty Franks in the same stadium!!)

Third, RE Texans, did you know that in an attempt to court Latinx fans in Houston, the mascot, a bull is named Torros? So, like, they could have been the Houston Torros - how great it could have been! References Texas without being like TEXAS, is an actual attempt to engage Latinx fans. But, I think the McNairs just wanted to make Jerry Jones a little mad so they claimed the state to pretend Houstonians weren't already Cowboys fans. It also fucked up the VERY COOL at least vaguely space theme that all Houston professional sports franchises had. Again, probably just to piss off Jerry Jones. I understand the impulse but he is just in his money palace and does not care!

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Jul 26, 2021Liked by Scott Hines

Re: MLS team names: I'm so pedantic that I don't mind _certain_ kinds of "foreign" names. For example, DC United or Atlanta United, fine. LA FC, fine. I don't care for the older novelty names like the Earthquakes or the Revolution, but they are at least somehow tied to the location. However, if you are not in fact a sporting club, then you need to drop SC or Sporting, and just lifting NKVD association names (Houston) or non-existent monarchical connections (Salt Lake as mentioned) is pathetic. Stop it.

I suppose, since almost every professional sports team in the US is a tax management / rent seeking enterprise for the very wealthy, is that it probably doesn't do to get too attached to a locally-resonant name because there's always the chance that the team will need to rebrand anyway when some other group of civic dummies make it worth their while.

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Yeah, I find the proliferation of "FC" teams boring, but ultimately fine. It's the sheer cosplaying ones like "Real Salt Lake" that are too far.

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shouldn't they be SC though if they play stateside? Although Snyder rebranding as FCDC would be metal as all hell

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I had to think about that for a minute - since they're copying overseas naming conventions, SC already stands for "sporting club" not "soccer club," so the latter would be kind of a non-starter. It had never even crossed my mind that this was a potential point of confusion, so maybe we should just eliminate both FC and SC here.

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Why can't an abbreviation stand for multiple things? Over there it's a sporting club, over here it's a soccer club.

Though I think calling it a "soccer club" is dumb, too. It's not a collection of players from the community that get together on the side to play; it's a professional organization that contracts players from around the world.

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I dunno, I feel like you're either following an existing nomenclature or you're not. Most Euro clubs started as amateur community clubs that eventually went pro, as opposed to starting as corporate entities. So it's an argument for skipping "SC" for MLS and other leagues here, I guess.

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Jul 26, 2021Liked by Scott Hines

as an Orioles fan, I have a follow-up question...can that bird pitch?

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Jul 26, 2021Liked by Scott Hines

For the Blue Jackets, unfortunately Stinger is far from memory-holed. He's still a confusing presence at every game. At least they no longer use his head as an alternate logo. It used to be on the uniforms! When the team wore "reverse retro" fauxbacks this year which had the original logo, they (thankfully) did not have the Stinger shoulder patches, instead sticking with the more recent cannon alternate logo.

If you want to talk about memory-holed CBJ mascots, look up the inflatable cannon named Boomer. He was discarded in less than a month after being introduced.

The Blue Jackets name is awkward but I can attest to fans who don't like the Guardians name now that after 20 years it's hard to imagine the team being named anything else. As the Tom Hanks video pointed out, the most important part of the name is the city. I'm a Cleveland baseball fan so it doesn't matter to me what name they picked (Guardians was my top choice, however)

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Boy, if you thought Toledo had a phallic inflatable mascot!

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As an avowed hater of both Columbus hockey and Cleveland baseball, both teams have names that are Good, Actually. The Blue Jackets are the only team name I can think of anywhere that honors the non-traitor side of the Civil War, which says a whole hell of a lot.

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Jul 26, 2021Liked by Scott Hines

Personally, I'm a fan of leaning hard into the nonsense names. Go ahead and call yourself the Cleveland Isotopes. Or the Washington Manatees. Or the Louisville Volcanos. I don't need a reason or justification.

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I take your point, but Isotopes is taken: https://www.milb.com/albuquerque

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Any predictions on how bad the Washington Football Team's new name will be?

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it's gonna be some kind of "Red _____", which I guess I should be fine with since I defended keeping "___dians" for the Guardians, but really my preference is they honor history* by becoming the Washington Sentinels

*the 2000 Keanu Reeves football comedy The Replacements, a terrible movie that I adore

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I don't care what iteration of Red[blank] they choose, they will forever be the Redacteds to me. Even keeps with their DC roots.

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I just had a mental image of Sir-Mix-A-Lot introducing the new team as the Washington "Rump-o'-smooth-skins". You say you wanna get in my benz...

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Aug 2, 2021Liked by Scott Hines

Late to this: I've been away from the internet for two weeks (a real vacation). Nerd here. I thought that the Seattle Kraken referred to the terrifying John Wyndham tale, "The Kraken Wakes". If it doesn't, it should. https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/384332/the-kraken-wakes-by-john-wyndham/9780141032993

Also, you left out the Edmonton Eskimos, which just changed their name to the Edmonton Elks, better, but a mild animal, not grizzly level. Worth a mention, I think.

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Surely you're right that Kraken has some deeper historical/literary references than the movie, but the movie--or really the popularity of the catchphrase from the movie--is probably inseparable from the team choosing to adopt it.

Also, I like Edmonton Elks a lot--it feels authentic to the place, and keeps the alliteration.

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Also, I love "Guardians". A great change. I've been a Cleveland fan since I saw them turn a perfect triple play on a sunny afternoon, with my kid who was going to college there. Years ago, but one of those moments you remember.

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Jul 26, 2021Liked by Scott Hines

What’re the teams that if you used the full name or original name it’s significantly better? For me Devil Rays > Rays

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I liked Devil Rays. It was very '90s in its vibe, but at least it was original, and a seemingly-fearsome animal. Declawing it down to "Rays" (which I assume is "rays of sunshine"?) is lame

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"Tampa Bay Devil Rays" also flows much better when said aloud.

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Jul 26, 2021Liked by Scott Hines

I'll concede the Atlanta baseball team name (a team I love but whose name needs to go) but I will fight you over the Carolina Panthers. It will be a short fight. I'm small and have been a student for too long. Congrats on your team doing the right thing. That must feel good.

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shouldn't it be "Carolinas Panthers", though?

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Jul 26, 2021Liked by Scott Hines

But then we'd have to acknowledge each other. As is, both north and south can both claim exclusive ownership and no one can prove us wrong

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hmmm this is a compelling defense.

I think the best solution is to make UNC and USC play an annual football game where the trophy is adding their direction to the Panthers for the year

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Jul 26, 2021Liked by Scott Hines

what about east and coastal

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hmmmm this is true, we could've gone into 2021 with them as the Coastal Carolina Panthers

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aesthetically I don't think that works because it might be decent football

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does EVERY playoff have to expand?!?!?!

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Jul 26, 2021Liked by Scott Hines

You couldn't get this level of consensus. USCe would want to play football. UNC would want to play basketball.

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Carolina Panthers Greensboro

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This is NC State erasure

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Oh gosh. People would die

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science confirms Milwaukee Brewers have the best team name

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extremely good nickname

honestly my original approach here was going to be to rank all 176 team nicknames in MLB/NFL/NBA/WNBA/NHL/MLS/NWSL, but I realized doing so would force me to admit that "Pittsburgh Steelers" is a terrific team name, and I will not admit that, I did not just admit that, this comment will self-destruct shortly

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Now see I was coming here to say that as someone raised in Allegheny County, I thought the Steelers were missing form this list for being overthought gibberish. Unless they actually called steelworkers "steelers" 100 years ago, I don't get it.

Also while I'm here: Penguins as nonthreatening birds, Knicks as named after clothing, and Mets as ultra department store name

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Scott, I'd like to thank you for including the "d" in "Indians" and "Guardians" when mentioning their carryover, since for some dumb reason, many people in sports talk only mentioned the "ians" and it irked me greatly.

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The Cincinnati Reds are named after the color your stool turns when you eat Skyline Chili.

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Scott has clearly never been up close with a pelican because they are definitely not non-threatening.

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I knew I was going to get pushback on that one, but even still, what's the threat? "I'm going to scoop you up in my big beak"? It's not intimidating to me, a Cavalier, whatever that is.

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You are intimidated by things with roundheads though.

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+1 Glorious Revolution

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The mascot isn't non-threatening either.

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Along those lines, go Geese. *HONK*

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