Monday, December 7, 2009



A lot of thought goes into naming professional sports teams. Although you wouldn't know it from the lame names that some of them have.

If you don't believe me, here are seven sports teams and the awful names they COULD have had.

#1.) THE "NEW YORK JETS" WERE ALMOST THE "NEW YORK BORROS." They were originally the New York Titans, but when the team was sold in 1963, they changed the name. "The Borros" was supposed to be a play-on-words referencing New York's five boroughs.

But the team decided against it when they realized fans would make the connection to the word "burro," which means donkey. And they knew that opposing fans . . . or even their own fans, in a losing season . . . would eventually start referring to players as "jackasses."

#2.) THE "VANCOUVER GRIZZLIES" WERE ALMOST THE "VANCOUVER MOUNTIES." The city got an NBA team in 1995 and wanted to pay tribute to their police force.

But the plan hit a snag when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they didn't want the NBA using their name. Apparently they didn't like the prospect of a Dudley Do-Right mascot.

#3.) THE "BALTIMORE RAVENS" WERE ALMOST THE "BALTIMORE AMERICANS." When the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore in 1996, they had to change their name.

So they came up with three other possibilities: the Ravens, the Marauders, and the Americans. Fans voted for their favorite, and "The Ravens" won because of Baltimore's connection to Edgar Allan Poe.

#4.) THE "TORONTO RAPTORS" WERE ALMOST THE "TORONTO BEAVERS." They chose "Raptors" because they were desperate for a fan base, and "Jurassic Park" had just come out a few years earlier.

But as lame as that explanation is, it's a GOOD thing that they settled on "Raptors." Because some of the other names under consideration were the Toronto Tarantulas, the Toronto Dragons . . . and the "Toronto Beavers."

#5.) THE "SAN ANTONIO SPURS" WERE ALMOST THE "SAN ANTONIO GUNSLINGERS." Actually, they WERE the "Gunslingers," but not for very long. When the team moved to San Antonio in 1973, that's the name they originally chose.

But the Gunslingers never played a single game. Before the season started, the owners decided the name was too violent.

#6.) THE "WASHINGTON WIZARDS" WERE ALMOST THE "WASHINGTON SEA DOGS." They used to be the "Washington Bullets," but the name was changed in 1995 because of gun violence in the District of Columbia.

Fans came up with five new names: the "Wizards," the "Express," the "Stallions," the "Dragons," and the "Sea Dogs." But "Sea Dogs" got the axe. We assume it's because someone realized that Washington D.C. doesn't border the ocean.

#7.) THE "FLORIDA MARLINS" WERE ALMOST THE "FLORIDA FLAMINGOS." When the New York Times interviewed the owner in 1993, that's what he said. But the thought of pink uniforms was reason enough to scrap it. (


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