Saturday, May 22, 2004
Friday, May 21, 2004
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
Congrats to the UConn Huskies for claiming the NCAA Div I Basketball Championship! Both the Men's and Women's teams!!
With that out of the way, let's talk about their nickname. First, let me just say, I've always enjoyed the sly humor with UConn's nickname. The Huskies. UConn Huskies. Get it? UConn = Yukon. Yukon Huskies~ Heh Heh. And it still fits, since I figure it gets fairly chilly in Connecticut during the winter, and they probably, at one time, used sled dogs to haul stuff around. (Of course, that was before New York City moved in and they put the Interstate through.)
Then you look at their mascot (see above). Nice doggy. Actually, he's a little too nice. They tried to make him look mean by furrowing his brow, but that just makes him look a) constipated, or b) like he's trying to calculate how fast he needs to run to catch that freakin' cat sitting over there.
I've also seen another version of their logo -
Hmmm. This looks remarkably like another school's logo - Clemson University's Tigers:
Tigers and Huskies have the same tracks?! I don't think so!
Monday, March 29, 2004
Terps and stuff
Another nickname that bothers me is the Maryland Terrapins. The first reaction, like with so many other nicknames, is, "what the !@#$%^&* is a terrapin?" However, through national media attention due to their outstanding sports programs, most of us know now that a terrapin is a turtle. Why a turtle? Why not a chicken. Seriously though, when the nickname gods were handing out, well, nicknames, Maryland thought they said "something really fast, agile and menacing," and told them, sure, we'll take two, when they actually siad, umm "turtle." This is also one of those schools who's nickname has a nickname. The Terrapins are known as "Terps" for short. Wow, bad enough you've got a crappy nickname, but to have a crappy nickname for your nickname? Ouch. And Terps sounds worse than Terrapins – you might as well called them Dweebs.
In Maryland's defense, though, I will say they've handled the situation well. They've got a durn mean lookin' turtle, as turtles go.:
Ahh, ain't he cute!? Ferocious, yet approachable.
And, you've got to love their most recent t-shirt campaign:
"Fear the turtle" Heh heh. I love it. If your nickname isn't something to fear, then create the fear.
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Lesson 1 – How to create a cool logo
University of the Pacific, located in beautiful Stockton, California, knows how to create a logo for their sports team. Go Tigers! Here it is:
This logo is impressive. It’s got a fierce tiger, in profile, plus those curvy, half-circle thingies. (that's the graphic language technical name for them – I checked). It's hip. It's now. It's the cat's pj's. I like it because it's colorful AND intimidating.
Lesson 2 – How NOT to create a cool logo:
Providence College, located in, well Providence, Rhode Island, recently created new logos. You know Rhode Island, roughly the same size as Stockton, California.
Their first challenge was, obviously, that they are the Friars. You know, like Friar Tuck, Robin Hood's friend. – big surly guy, wears an oversized hooded sweatshirt, eats all the time (kind of like my teenager, come to think of it!) Yeah, that's the guy I want my sports teams modeled after!
Their second challenge was to depict this friendly, hooded giant as strong and intimidating. Let's see how they did.
Ehhrrrr. (loud buzzer noise) Um, they failed. What they ended up with looks like the clip-art on a flyer for a self-defense class. This is the thug you want to avoid on dark streets. This guy is the reason they invented self-defense classes. This guy is known for being "menacing." Yeah, he strikes fear in you. If you're a girl walking home after dark by yourself!
Personally, I think they should be called the "Flyin' Friars", and have some dude in a big cape swooping down. But that's just me.
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Here's another one that bothers me. The Stanford Cardinal. It has been beaten into our heads that they are not "cardinals" the bird, but rather "cardinal" the color. Fine.
This has got to be one of the dumbest mascots in the history of mascots. A tree. It's not threatening, it's not dangerous or fast. It can't even move! At least horn frogs have horns (sort of) and can hop around. At least the Green Wave gives you a sense of motion and power. A tree? Plus, cardinal the color is red. The tree is green. Huh? Leave it to those brainiacs at Stanford to come up with that!
Monday, March 22, 2004
Wow – I don’t know about you, but my NCAA tournament bracket is all wacky. There have been some great games so far. That doesn't mean we won't still make fun of their nicknames!!
Here's one that bugs me. Not only is it a goofy name, but their symbol/mascot doesn't even match. I'm talking about the University of Alabama. They are called the "Crimson Tide." Ok, fair enough. You're a big red wave. You're sort of near a body of water. It's more creative than a "Green Wave." But, look at their mascot:
Excuse me, I don't mean to be picky, but is that not an elephant? When I picture a Crimson Tide, I think of a giant red wall of water. An elephant on the other hand, is neither water, nor red. What gives?
Saturday, March 20, 2004
Like several other teams, the Vanderbilt Commodores don't have a mascot or symbol. They just have a "v" It's just as well, though. I'm not sure I would want to see a commodore. Isn't that a musical group? Oh, someone has just informed me that a Commodore is a naval officer. Hmmm. Let's see. Vanderbilt is located in Nashville, Tennessee – Tennessee - a land-locked state. Umm, yeah. That makes sense.
Friday, March 19, 2004
Ok, forget about the fact this is a goofy name. Ragin Cajuns ? Simmer down now, boys. Let's examine their symbol. A fleur-de-lis surrounded by flames. In heraldry, the fleur-de-lis stands for purity and light (and also the symbol for France). This equates with ragin' cajuns? To me, it equates with gaudy wallpaper and the boy scouts. Where's the "ragin'" in that? They'd be better off with a small domestic cat as their symbol. At least with a kitten, there's the potential to inflict harm.
[I'm on a roll, that's why there are so many entries for today. Plus, I'm still miffed about that whole Kornheiser article.]
Aaargh, Matey. Xavier University is known as the Musketeers.
Now, there are also Pirates, Bucaneers and Commodores in the tournament.
But, there's just something about a Musketeer from Xavier. Look at him. I mean, here's a guy that looks sharp. He's devilishly handsome and tough as nails. He's the kind of guy that would defend you against your enemies, but would kick your ass if you crossed him.
Kornheiser is crowding in on my nickname turf. Oh, and he's not nearly as funny.
Thursday, March 18, 2004
Along the same lines as Blazers: in this year's NCAA Tourney, there are not one, but two (count them, two) teams called the "Flames." There's the Liberty Flames:
(Hey, that's not a flame, that's an eagle. They need to take the same zoology class as the students at Southern Utah!)
And there's the University of Illinois – Chicago:
Yeah! That's more like it – now that's a flame!
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
I'm not a big Portland Trailblazer fan, but I live in Portland and through my second job I'm able to watch all of their home games at the Rose Garden Arena. I wouldn't say I'm a big fan, just a follower. Anyway, I've always thought the "Blazers" was a cool nickname, just because it's so unusual. It makes sense for the Northwest, since there many who blazed trails to the west. I could never figure out their logo, though. That's it up above. It's a nice "pinwheel," but it just doesn't tie in with anything. I mean, if you’re a Bull or a Timberwolf, at least you have something to go by. I thought Portland's NBA team were the only "blazers" around. Turns out I'm wrong.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham – UAB – also uses the Blazer moniker.
But, hey, their nickname and mascot make sense! A dragon! Blazers! Get it?
Actually, there are some other teams that are called the Blazers:
Belhaven College (Jackson, Mississippi)
College of Saint Benedict (Saint Joseph, Minnesota)
Elms College (Chicopee, Massachusetts)
Hood College (Frederick, Maryland)
Valdosta State University (Valdosta, Georgia)
Who would have thought?
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Next weird one: The Manhattan Jaspers. While it has a nice ring to it, I caught myself wondering again, what the hell is a jasper? Oddly enough, the fine folks at Manhattan College, just as at SIUC, have found it necessary to explain the whole thing. (Yeah, that's where I want to go to college – someplace where you have explain the nickname!?)
It's not even as exciting as the Saluki, because, ah-hem, it was named after, uh-hmm , a, errr, a person. Named Jasper. They don't even have a symbol, just the words:
Monday, March 15, 2004
Now that the invitations to the "Big Dance" for 2004 have been handed out, the NCAA's selection committee has provided me with some additional mascots to make fun of. (Ooops – I've committed that grammatical sin where I end a sentence with a preposition. Should it instead read, "…some additional mascots of which to make fun."?? Naaww.)
First off, let's look at some of the traditional teams that have ended up in the tournament. With these, we've learned over time to accept their goofy nicknames and have given up hope that we can convince others to join us in making fun of them. We've got Blue Devils, Friars and Demon Deacons. Yellow Jackets and Red Raiders, Crimson Tide and Blue Demons. Gamecocks and Catamounts. We've even got Illini (fighting ones at that).
And that's not even the weird ones! One of the weirdest (and believe me, the competition is tough!) is the Southern Illinois Salukis. What the hell is a Saluki? Apparently, I am not the first one to ask this question. When Walt Frazier was leading the So. Illinois team to an NIT championship in 1967, sportswriter Jerry Isenberg wrote the following:
Princeton has its Tiger. B.C. has its Eagle,
Rutgers is the Queensmen, a title truly regal.
But from frigid New York City to Kentucky's old Paduchee,
There's just one burning question – what the hell is a Saluki?
Ok, for the record, please note that Rutgers used to be the Queensmen?!? Ugh. Makes Kingsmen seem so much manly-er.
Well, the short answer is, a Saluki is nothing more than a fancy name for a dog. For the long answer, you can visit SIUC's website. Basically, it's an Egyptian dog, and Salukis were accepted as the finest animals a family could possibly possess. Known for their speed and hunting skills, Salukis are the oldest pure-breed dogs in the world with records dating back to 3600 B.C. That's great. And very historical. Not to mention very biblical. And much better than their former name – the Maroons! But, don't you think they could have come up with a better looking representative of that fine animal?
This reminds me of the dog on the Simpsons. Hellooo Santa's Little Helper!
Friday, March 12, 2004
The University of Idaho has the Vandals, New York University has the Violets, Sweet Briar College has the Vixens, and the University of Akron has the Zips. Those are at least worth an honorable mention. Pacific University has the Boxers, which makes me think of boxer shorts, until you realize it's just a cuter name for a bulldog.
As a resident of Oregon, I cannot, in all good conscience, have a blog such as this without mentioning the University of Oregon Ducks. Ducks. How is that supposed to intimidate another team? Has anyone lately been mauled by a duck. I know it's a Northwest animal, but for pete's sake, there are bears and mountain lions here. It's not like all of the good names were taken by other schools in the state (Oregon State Beavers). It's bad enough to have a wimpy nickname like Ducks, but then they used a symbol ripped off from Walt Disney of Donald Duck.
Yeah, they tried to make him look tough, but what do you expect from a mascot that doesn't wear pants?
Fortunately, they've made amends by:
a) coming up with a much better symbol:
b) finding a meaner duck:
and c) getting cool looking helmets:
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Utah's college teams have plenty of identity problems. The University of Utah is (are?) the Utes. What the *#$% is a Ute? I guess it's some sort of Native American. Gee, let's see….how many Native Americans are left in Utah now? Compared to Mormons? It doesn't even look right when you see it print: Utah Utes. It looks like a typo that the spell checker didn’t catch. And Utah State isn't much better: The Aggies. Oooooh, now I'm frightened. I can just imagine their opponents before the big game:
"Yeah, we're going up against the Aggies tonight."
"Aggies. Yeah, that reminds me – I need to call my grandma after the game."
Have you ever looked at Southern Utah University's mascot, the T-Bird?:
Did you look at it. Ok. Now, is it me, or does SUU need to add a zoology class to its curriculum? Isn't that an eagle? Looks like an eagle to me.
Jeez, I guess if you just add a bolt of lightning to any old bird you can have a "Thunderbird."
Plus, SUU plays in the Mid-Continent Conference. Eh? Mid-continent?. That's kind of generic. You just have to be located somewhere in between the edges of the continent to be included? (Another team in the Mid-Continent Conference is IUPUI, but that's a whole 'nother story!)
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
Hey, is this a cool mascot, or what? The Richmond Spiders. I like it. It's different, it's dangerous, it's edgy. Go Spiders!
Saturday, March 06, 2004
Here's one that makes no sense when you hear it, but then it does make sense when you think about it. The Murray State Racers. "What," you say? Racers? Well, Murray State is located in Kentucky. And then when you see their logo, you get it. Three cheers for being different, AND making sense at the same time!
Friday, March 05, 2004
Loyola University in Chicago has the unfortunate distinction of being the "Ramblers." Yeah, my grandparents drove one of those, a red 1963 Rambler Classic.
But someone thinks a Rambler is the same thing as a husky:
Hah, what do they know!
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
St. John's University, like it's fellow New York school Syracuse, has a nickname that isn't really anything. They used to be the Redmen, but the PC police pulled them over and made them change it to… the Red Storm.
At least they have a lightning bolt!
Monday, March 01, 2004
If you went to Syracuse University you'd be an Orangemen. Like the Dayton Flyers, they don't even have a mascot or symbol. In fact, they don't have the words, they just have a color.
Friday, February 27, 2004
You could be the Tulane Green Wave. Green Wave? Have you ever seen a green wave? (I hear the Atlantic Ocean sometimes looks green, but Tulane University is located in New Orleans, which is not on the Atlantic Coast.) Is the Gulf Coast green? I just know I wouldn't want to get hit by a green wave!
Hey, there's a pattern here: Temple, Tulsa, Tulane. Maybe if your small college starts with a "T" you're obligated to have a weird nickname.
Thursday, February 26, 2004
How about the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes? Their logo looks like someone spilled cornbread mix on it and forgot to clean it up. To make matters worse, look at their mascot:
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Next up are some of those smaller schools that got put at the back of the line when it came to handing out names.
The Dayton Flyers. Look, they don't even get a mascot. Just the words. Now, personally, I like the name "Flyers." It gives the impression of speed and action. But come on, can't one of their art design students come up with some sort of flying lightning bolt so they can at least have a symbol?
Monday, February 23, 2004
One of the first nicknames that springs to mind is from Texas Christian University. TCU is known as the "Horned Frogs." Hah. While other colleges get to be the Tigers or the Spartans or something else tough, these guys get to be…erm….toads. Horned ones at that. I'm sure there really is an animal named the horned frog, and it may be very feisty and tough, but this one just leads us down the freeway of making fun.
Sunday, February 22, 2004
As promised, here's the first installment of my series on College team nicknames. What's that, you say? Where's it been? I dunno. Stop asking questions and just read. Jeez.
This is the helmet and logo of the California Lutheran University's Kingsmen. Now, under normal circumstances, I would find their mascot name a little weird. The Kingsmen? Is it like, "all the king's horses and all the king's men?" Or is it a musical group? Anyway, I don't find it strange simply because this is the same as my high school's nickname. I've only found two other schools with this name. California Lutheran U. and a prep school in New York. However, CLU's women's teams are not called Kingsmen. They are called "Regals." You see, it's still king-related (regal and all that), but it contains, cleverly enough, the word "gals!"
I always wanted our high school to have a "normal" name. Our two rivals were the Cavaliers and the Mustangs. But now that I've been out of high school for awhile (oooh, say nearly 25 years now!), I've come to appreciate those odd, strange names of teams from across America