I know it's blasphemous to say, but there are a lot of sports teams with really bad names. Some of them have been around so long that nobody questions them anymore. They should be changed, but people whine about tradition and cost, so nothing gets done. Well, I'm tackling this issue head on. Here are my top ten teams with lousy names. Most of these names are bad because they violate the first rule of sports - name your team after something scary and tough. You want your enemy to quake in fear at the mention of your name, and sports are all about maschismo and toughness. So here we go...
1. Oakland A's - First of all, nobody quakes in fear at a letter of the alphabet. I mean, they might as well call them the Z's. That's kinda scary - imagine a big Z charging towards you. It's got all those sharp edges, it could do some damage. But, of course, it's short for the Athletics. That's the secret even the fans don't like to acknowledge. Teams should be named after scary, tough things. Healthy people are scary, but if the mascot was a jogger running out onto the field, throwing fruits and vegetables into the crowd, that would be more annoying than scary. But the team mascot's an elephant, which has absolutely nothing to do with being athletic. Frankly, when you say elephant, most people think "fat," not athletic. I think that's a sign that even the team is running away from their name.
2. The Arizona Cardinals - Not only does this violate the first rule (nobody's scared of a tiny red bird), but the team itself is just as lame. I mean, when are they gonna even have a winning season, let alone win the SuperBowl? And Dennis Green sucks. Uh, sorry, I digress. The point is that nobody wanders through the woods and suddenly yells out, "Run, it's a cardinal!" Imagine people fleeing in terror, chasing by little tiny red birds. Okay, Hitchcock managed to make that scary, but that's no excuse. They know it, too, that's why they tried re-doing their logo, but it's still lame. Change it to a priest chasing a little altar boy. That's ten times scarier, and you wouldn't even have to change the name.
3. Montreal Canadiens - They named their team after what they are. That's just silly, although it does guarantee that the team won't move to Chicago. Then again, the Lakers moved to LA. But does anyone think "tough" when they think of Canadiens? The only thing worse would be the Frenchmen. That would be kinda cool. You could have a mascot with a little mustache, black-and-white striped shirt, beret, and carrying a loaf of bread. And the half-time show could be him running away from soldiers of different nations. That's why there's no team called the Americans.
4. The Anaheim Mighty Ducks - First of all, ducks aren't mighty. They also aren't scary. Check out the symbol...an angry duck-shaped hockey mask? Sorry, try again. But worse than that, these guys are named after a kid's movie. Yeah, it was cool when the movie came out, but pretty soon the movie will be forgotten (if it hasn't already), and all that'll be left is a team with a dorky name. That's like having a team called the Anaheim Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
5. St. Louis Cardinals - See Arizona Cardinals. Except for the stuff about Dennis Green.
6. New York Knicks - You know what Knicks is short for? Knickerbockers. I don't even know what those are. According to the Knicks' official website, knickerbockers are dutch "pants that rolled up just below the knee." I can't imagine how this name has remained, except that we shortened it to Knicks and don't think about it. Check out Father Knickerbocker, the first official mascot. Imagine him running down the sidelines.
7. Toronto Raptors - Somebody should've told them the full name of the dinosaur is "velociraptor." "Raptor" was just a shorthand, even in the Jurassic Park movie. A "raptor" is a bird of prey. That means the team is named after birds, but they had a dinosaur for a logo. Never mind how silly it looked for a dinosaur to be playing basketball (which, I think, is why they changed it to an ambiguous claw logo). Try explaining that to fans in twenty years when Jurassic Park is a distant memory.
8. Red Sox - Spelling it with an "X" doesn't change that the fact that team is named after a piece of clothing. They might as well call themselves the Jock Strapz. What do they call the fans? Athlete's feet?
9. Washington Redskins - If this team was called the Washington Niggers, it would've had its name changed twenty years ago. All the people who whine about tradition and how it honors the Native Americans would never say those things about that, especially if the mascot was a big black man carrying a watermelon and being chased by a slavemaster. But the honest truth is, nobody gives a rat's rear-end about the feelings of Native Americans, mainly because most Americans have never met a real Indian in their lives.
10. White Sox - See Red Sox.