Keep your Lions and Tigers and Bears at bay while I break down the 10 most pitiful team nicknames around the NFL.
10. Texans – The expansion Texans took there name from the old Dallas Texans, choosing it over names like Apollos, Bobcats, Stallions, Torros, and Wildcatters. So, a Roman god, a fierce cat, a beastly horse, a raging bull, an oil driller (not that tough), or a person from Texas? Hmmm. Intimidation clearly wasn’t a priority. Houston nearly steered clear of this list altogether because of this Texan. Slap this unstoppable force on a logo and you’re top dog on another list right above of a Titan and a lightning bolt. Unfortunately this moniker is all-encompassing, which means it also represents these guys, and her. And not that there’s anything wrong with them, I’m just not running to lock my door at night.
Well, I’d probably lock… For some of them I’d… I like women.
9. Bills - This nickname is one heckuva a mind bender. A quick history: A Buffalo Bill is not a type of monetary unit, or something you’re always late to pay, or a blue bison with a red laser stemming from its horns. (Which, in reality is a cartoon-like streak that’s supposed to show speed and add color…Neat.) Really, a Bill is just the nickname of a guy named William Cody, more commonly known as Buffalo Bill. No no, not this gentle soul. This one, the soldier turned entertainment mogul who organized Wild Wild West themed traveling shows. Pretty clever right? Using the city name as part of the total nickname package.
Well, here’s the kicker. Mr. Bill Cody actually has no ties to the city of Buffalo. Rather, he earned his nickname from his hunting days when he slaughtered thousands and thousands of American buffalo in a span of 8 months… Ehh..
Seriously, this is a real sculpture of him: A statue depicting the “team name” destroying the “team logo.” Seems like a great concept to name your franchise after: counterproductive homonyms. Unless Bill was routinely dressing up like this for his Ringling Bros. act, I think I’ll probably be able to keep my wits about me in the City of Light.
8. Saints – Whether they were awarded the franchise on All Saints Day, or they wanted to honor their beloved “When The Saints Go Marching In” number, or whether the name came about in a popular fan vote (right answer), it really doesn’t matter. This nickname is UTTERLY nonthreatening. The Saints. Geez, I mean we’re talking about the ideal operating model for how to be a proper human being here. There’s nothing remotely frightening about that. These people are near flawless. We’re also talking about a divine honor that is typically bestowed posthumously, which maybe explains the play of New Orleans over the last 40 years. Ohh-huh-ho! Bam! At any rate, these guys are way too wonderful to scare anyone.
“It’s ok that you blindsided me young soul, I only pray that our collision of such great magnitude did not serve to harm you in anyway, and that it further leads you down a path toward a stronger relationship with The Lord.” -Saint.
Something like to that.
From the book, Making Saints: How the Catholic Church Determines Who Becomes a Saint, Who Doesn’t and Why, (simple titles are great) Kenneth Woodward, claims: “A Saint is always someone through whom we catch a glimpse of what God is like, and of what we are called to be.” Ok so not so much him, which of course, is not the point, but Shockey alone is much more intimidating than the name Saint is, any day. Also, say what you must about the fleur-de-lis and its association with power, religion, and the French monarchy, but that my friends, that is a flower. I don’t care how many sick moves Reggie makes, there will always be two lilies pleasantly perched on top of his head.
7. 49ers – First of all, it’s a number. Numbers are not frightening, unless you’re turning 49. I don’t know. I find it amusing that they’re commonly referred to as the ‘Niners, which conveniently reminds me of Tommy Callahan trying to remember a phone number.
Anyhow, the 49ers were actually named in honor of the California Gold Rush. More specifically, after the 300,000 men, women, and children who made the difficult trip to San Francisco in 1849 in search of the sacred element. And while I can’t say these gold chasers were soft, as the journey to California was an arduous one, truth is, a lot of ‘niners were actually women and children. And give them credit for making the trip in search of a better life, but I just don’t see these guys being the reason Larry Fitz puts in any extra time in the film room.
6. Colts – The colt is defined as a young male horse, under the age of four. So… a baby horse? ZZZzzzzzz. Maybe if we were talking about this colt, and most certainly this colt, I might have trouble sleeping at night. But were not, we’re talking about this colt. Look at him. Look at that guy. Downright frightening. “Ima gonna getchu.” he mumbles. I doubt it. Maybe his Bronco Pop could trample me if he was mad enough, but not this little beast. No sir, not skerred. Even this colt will knock you down once in awhile. And this one can beat you with his arm, and that thing he’s holding. And this one… alright well, you get it, there are plenty of tougher options.
5. Packers - So as the story goes, Curly Lambeau, a Packer employee for whom the Frozen Tundra is aptly named, asks his other employer, The Indian Packing Company, if they would shell out some cash for some new jerseys. They of course oblige on the agreement that Green Bay would incorporate their name on the uni in some fashion. Thus, the Green Bay Packers were formed.
Nice, I like it. I like the tradition. But meat packers? Far from intimidating. (Except for this guy Whoa.) I did read somewhere that Lambeau originally wanted to name the team “Death Skulls,” but the IPC really wanted some recognition, so it didn’t happen. (Alright I made that up, but Meat Packers?). I mean I guess it’s cool that it can be paired up with “backer”, and “attack,” for some cool sayings, but regardless of the endearing story above, no meat packing industry is putting fear in my heart unless my hands are anywhere near the grinder.
Furthermore, a few years back, a bar named “Cans” similarly agreed to pay half of my teams flag football league fee if we would all rep their team shirts and drink at their bar. We agreed to drink at their bar, but we stuck with our own uniform and nickname because “Donkey Punchers” just had more bite to it than the “Lincoln Park Cans.” Know what I’m saying?
4. Ravens - Ok get Ray Ray out of your head for one minute and look at this objectively. It’s not about him, it’s about you. and you’re not intimidating at all, so you’re going on this list.
Please. You birds aren’t hurting anyone or anything anytime soon. You’re a nickname based on Edgar Allan Poe’s poem about you. Don’t even try to get a big head about all this. Even he considers you a harmless, “non-reasoning” bird. Baltimore only named their team after you to honor him spending his life in city.
Nevermore? What do you mean, nevermore? Are you saying that’s not why they’re named the Ravens? It is why. You’re an idiot. I mean, I agree it’s an interesting back-story how you came to represent a football team and all, but you’re an incredibly un-tough bird. That’s all I’m saying.
Stop doing that. What are you trying to prove? That you’re tough? That you’re imposing? You weigh 2 pounds. Give it up man. Last time I checked, Ravens were just scavengers. You don’t hunt for anything, in fact, you let other’s do your work and then you feed, or else you just eat bugs.
You don’t eat bugs? Or your not scavengers? You have to elaborate. I mean I know you’re moderately intelligent birds capable of simple speech like parrots, but you’re not above feeding on my garbage. And I’ve seen you do it.
Ok shut the… this is getting ridiculous. I refuse to play the part of the desperate character from your famed poem. And fine, I’ll tell you why you made the list and the other birds didn’t. You want to know why? It’s because the other birds are not useless. Osprey (Seahawks), and Falcons, and Eagles, those guys are predators, those guys are intense. They attack things. They’ve earned the name “raptors” because they seize their food and they take it by force. Ravens eat berries.
Shut up! You ridiculous mythical bird, you do eat berries, and seeds, and dead carcasses, and you do it because you can’t hunt anything on your own. You are a glorified crow, you’re just as simple, and whole lot more annoying.
That’s it, that’s enough, I’m done with this conversation. Please fly away and bother someone else. I’m not buying any of your lies and there’s nothing you could say to swing my vote. Not even Hitchcock could make me run from you pushovers. Goodbye, and nevermore will I be speaking to you, you heartless little –
3. Browns – Much like the Bills, the Browns are named after a single person. Mr. Paul Brown. Fortunately for Ohioans, Brown didn’t run around killing Clevelands like Bill did Buffalos, whatever that means, but I’m assuming he’s a probably a decent guy. And as great as Paul Brown is or was, he’s really just another person who happened to coach football and create a team in the 40’s. That’s not really a force to be reckoned with. And not to downplay his accomplishments, as he’s considered a football genius for innovating the modern day offense, I’m just saying if had to be stuck in a room with a him, a panther, or a jaguar, I’d choose him. No question.
I might have even moved Cleveland lower on this list because of Brown’s influence on the game and his brilliant mind, but strangely, the Browns marketing department chooses to keep Paul out of its entire campaign. They prefer to showcase their nickname as nothing more than a color, And the wrong one at that.
Wait really? There’s nothing? No logo, no word? Just…nothing? Or wait, is this Paul Brown? No, that’s just Brownie, the unofficial fear-inducing European Elf logo. Ok, well what about this identity created when ex-player, Hanford Dixon and his fellow DBs would bark at each other during games and call themselves the top-dawgs? Is that where we’re going now? I don’t follow. Maybe Dixon should be officially crowned now with his new logo/nickname creation. Or are we still including Paul? Or is Brownie still holding out hope? I’m lost. Why are they orange again? That elf is really cute. They wear brown pants occasionally? Oh, ok. Wait are those numbers on their helmets now? Hold on, who is their…because shouldn’t it be.. I mean does anyone even, ya know.. I don’t know, are you confused? I’m confused… Lebron James.
Additionally, Paul Brown didn’t even want the team called the Browns, he wanted it to be Panthers, so, ya know, there’s that bit of information for no reason.
Sadly, it seems the only representation Paul Brown can get anymore is over here, in a different city, for a different team.
2. Dolphins – The sweetest, kindest, most wonderful creature in the sea! He’s faster than lightning, but he’s scaring no one.
Everyone loves the king of the sea,
Ever so kind and gentle is he,
Tricks he will do when children appear,
And how they laugh when he’s near!
The first line of this verse is false. Flipper is not King of the sea. And the real King…well, not EVERYONE is happy with him. (until the end! Spoooiiiiler!!!)
The next three lines are much more telling of what were dealing with. Words like gentle, children, and laughter. We’re talking about the polar opposites of frightening. Well, almost. But then to top it all off with these colors? C’mon South beach, you’re not bringing the heat, and you’re definitely not scaring anyone. Change it to this and maybe we’ll stay in the shallow end.
1. Cardinals – AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH hAAAAhH HAAHAaaaaaaaaahhhhhaa, adorable. I started to research this but I stopped when I saw that a cardinal’s weight is listed in grams and not pounds. AHHHHHHH hahaha, oh man. It doesn’t get any sadder than this. Go ahead and blame Chi-town for the name, fine, but there was every opportunity to change it. Just look at this little guy! He eats seeds for Christ’s sake. Puh-riceless.