The 10 Worst Choices for the 10 Worst Nicknames in Pro Sports

This is nicknaming and branding at its best, FYI

If there’s one thing that glitchgoals excels at, it’s being hypercritical of stupid things in general. ST has taken on a wider breadth of subjects during our time, while I’ve mostly focused on sports-specific things. I’d like to diversify a bit more, but there’s just so much in the sports world that bothers me – and if others won’t take these writers to task, who better than an anonymous writer with a pseudonym inspired by an old video game??

(Note: That was rhetorical, but I’m still going to use it as my justification. Whatever, like anyone wants to read YOUR blog about your crazy cats or your whining about your relationship troubles. Dick.)

So today, I came across this little beauty: The 10 Worst Nicknames in Pro Sports. Now, I’m not saying I could have done better (although I totally could have), but this list has some maddening choices. Let’s go through them one by one, shall we?

1. Anaheim Mighty Ducks: Put it this way: Mighty Ducks 3 was the last leading role for Emilio Estevez. And ditching the Mighty hasn’t helped.

Alright, I will agree that the corporate origins of this one are a little sketchy – and trying to cross-promote the brand with an animated TV show certainly didn’t help – but I take exception to the line “And ditching the Mighty hasn’t helped.” In addition to re-branding with better colors, Anaheim’s team is now just called the Ducks. Hmm, where have I heard that team name before? Oh, also: despite this being a bad nickname, it was enough to lure Snoop Dogg and his family to the Honda Center during their playoff run. And yes, that’s Snoop rocking a George Parros mustache. I don’t know how much more validation you possibly need.



2. Carolina Panthers: Having Panthers as a nickname is like owning a 1990 Ford Taurus: It fills its purpose, but there’s nothing remotely interesting about it.

Alright, sure, take Carolina to task for this – Panthers is a little generic. Totally unlike the Tigers or the Bears or either one of the Cardinals, right?? I guess I’m curious what makes a name interesting, considering Carolina came in as an expansion team in the 1990’s. It’s not like any other expansion teams in the 90’s had more success:

  • Vancouver Grizzlies
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Jacksonville Jaguars (whoa, another big cat, how totally lame and worthy of mention!!)
  • Florida Marlins
  • Tampa Bay Devil Rays (more on this in a bit)



3. New Britain Rock Cats (minor league baseball): Apologies to New Britain for singling you out, because this could be any BLANK-Cats/Dogs combination – Sacramento River Cats, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Portland Sea Dogs. Note to any minor-league team considering a new nickname: Adding a descriptor in front of a domesticated animal does not a mascot make.

Fine, sure, the Rock Cats is kind of a nonsensical nickname, as are the rest of Jay Hart’s examples in the bold text. But remember how at the outset of this post we talked about “pro sports?” I’m not sure a Double-A baseball team in a Connecticut town of 73,206 really fits the bill here. Besides, baseball has like a million levels of ball in its sport, it’s not like EVERY team can have top-notch branding.

Also, quick fun fact about New Britain: “Because of its large Polish population, the city is often playfully referred to as ‘New Britski.'” I like how this casually insulting thing is written off as a “playful” reference. In other news, I lovingly refer to every Hyundai as a “Chink Tank.” Acceptable!



4. Tampa Bay Rays: Is this the most generic name in all of professional sports? Better off dancing with the Devil.

Nevermind that no other sports team has the name “Rays” – let’s focus on the real point here: That Tampa Bay would have been better off sticking with Devil Rays as its nickname. You really want to go back to this?? With the gradient-colored wordmarks and the multi-color uniform palette? Sure, OK, let’s do that.

5. Richmond Flying Squirrels (minor league baseball): Just because you have something in your state or region doesn’t mean you have to nickname your team that. Don’t see the L.A. Kardashians, do you?

Ha, topical! A+ writing, friend. Any zingers about Monica Lewinsky in your arsenal?? Anyway, I like how having something in your region is viewed as the problem here. Especially considering that our dear writer picked five teams in his top ten BEST nicknames with local connections. Also, I’m sorry, but this logo is actually pretty good – it’s original, and the acorn outline around an “R” with a bushy squirrel tail is really solid.

(Also: this is our second non-professional team. Just saying.)

6. Charlotte Bobcats: You can’t name a team after yourself, unless you’re Paul Brown or Dale Earnhardt.

Alright, fine, if you’re going for consistency, a second big cat team makes sense here…except for Jay Hart gets on Charlotte’s case because their owner, Bob Johnson, named the team after himself, and how that’s only fine in the case of the Cleveland Browns and the, uhh, Kannapolis Intimidators. Because there’s nothing bland about the Browns and nothing nepotistic about the Intimidators! At least the goddamn Bobcats are a real animal, for fuck’s sake.

7. Florida Everblades: We get the play on words for this minor-league ice hockey team, problem is it conjures up images of ice skating through a swamp.

A) This is the third minor-league team on a list of “worst logos in professional sports.”

B) The Everblades, in addition to being a solid pun choice for a minor-league team, have probably the most thoughtful logo on this list: The Gator and wordmark combined form the general shape of a hockey skate, both boot and blade. The team has blades in its name, and they’re based in Florida – I don’t know how you could do much better.

C) I like how this list gets less defensible the longer we go. Unreal.

D) Furthermore, I can’t believe I’m committing the time to this. It’s a beautiful day here. Please send help.

8. Savannah Sand Gnats: This is what fan votes get you. Sure, they probably sell a lot of Sand Gnat merchandise, just not much to anyone over the age of 12.

Alright, this is the only choice that I totally agree with on the list. Seriously, look at that motherfucker: a menacing scowl, a totally ripped physique and motherfucking SUNGLASSES? This is like, the epitome of 90’s design elements. All it’s missing is like, some sort of snack food in its mouth.

9. Utah Jazz: If they were still in New Orleans, the Jazz would be on the “best of …” list. But Jazz in Utah? Just doesn’t work. Same goes for the Lakers in L.A.

Look, I get it: The Jazz originated in New Orleans, where the nickname makes sense, but Utah has nowhere near the cultural heritage. But fine, Jay Hart, you want to play this game? The entire premise of your article is based on the current New Orleans team becoming the Pelicans, which is a silly bird that’s culturally relevant to the city. Do you really want to see the Utah Seagulls next season? Because that’s a bird with a hugely influential role in the city’s history. Seriously: If you want THIS asshole bird adorning Utah’s logo, fine – just be careful what you wished for.

10. Nashville Predators: A town known as “The Music City” has a team called the Predators? The Utah Jazz makes more sense.

Hmm, looks like SOMEONE missed the uniform redesign, what with its guitar pick shoulder patch (which has the Tennesee tri-star configuration in the center as an added nod to the state) and guitar string pattern over the jersey numbers. I’m not arguing Predators isn’t vague – it definitely is, and it’s not like the city has a history of sabre-tooth tigers running around, so fine – but sometimes solid design choices can overcome a nickname. Even the Utah Jazz aren’t this conscientious about their design.

So there you have it: A silly list, to be sure, but even worse reasoning behind it. So yeah, Yahoo writers, keep this shit in mind next time you try to write an article: somewhere, someone is ready to call you out on your bullshit choices.

Also, we all know who has the worst nickname in sports, right guys?


The 10 Worst Choices for the 10 Worst Nicknames in Pro Sports

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