Dude’s Thoughts About Team Name Changes

Now that folks are on the cause of changing the name of the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL), other teams with Native American mascots are also under scrutiny for changing their names. I thought it would be fun to explore alternative names these teams could be called.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS (NFL)

First, we will start with the obvious one – the Washington Redskins. The franchise has been known as the Redskins since they changed their name from the Boston Braves in 1933. The have already been some suggestions for changing the NFL’s Washington D.C. franchise to one of the following:

  • Washington Warriors – If you remove references to Native Americans and replace it with our nation’s veterans, this would work.
  • Washington Football Club – Not a bad suggestion. Not sure what logo you would have with this one but you could keep the colors.
  • Washington Renegades – You could still keep the “R” from Redskins with this one.
  • Washington Americans – Kinda fitting and patriotic but you couldn’t keep the colors.
  • Washington Pigskins – This is a creative one since the offensive line is often referred to as the hogs.
  • Washington Redtails – You could keep the “Red” part of the name as well as the colors. Name refers to an airplane or bird.
  • Washington Redhawks – Many college teams have changed their “Redskins” name to this one.
  • Washington Griffins – Refers to a mythical creature but I’m not sure it fits.
  • Washington Federals – Comes from the former United States Football League (USFL) from the 80s. Could be a possiblity.
  • Washington Generals – This is my preference and would be fitting for a team from the nation’s capital.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (NFL)

Another NFL team in line for a name change would be the Kansas City Chiefs. It is said that the name came from former Kansas City mayor Harold Roe Bartle, a white man who founded a “fake Indian Boy Scout tribe” and adopted the nickname “Chief” as his own when the team moved from Dallas to Kansas City in 1963. Here are some name change suggestions:

  • Kansas City Stallions – This one rolls off the tongue pretty well but in a league with Colts and Broncos, I don’t think it would be a possibility.
  • Kansas City Mustangs – Another good one but a top choice.
  • Kansas City Renegades – Remove the reference to Native Americans and this one might work.
  • Kansas City Wranglers – I like this one. I think you could maybe keep the helmet logo with the arrowhead and the team colors.

CLEVELAND INDIANS (MLB)

Major League Baseball (MLB) has a few teams that might need a change starting with the Cleveland Indians.  The nickname “Indians” that was applied to the Cleveland Spiders baseball club during the time when Louis Sockalexis, a Native American, played in Cleveland (1897–99). Here are some alternate names:

  • Cleveland Spiders – This was the name of the team previously but I don’t see any Cleveland fans embracing it.
  • Cleveland Cobras – The name flows but it is a long way from the current name.
  • Cleveland Buckeyes – This is a popular suggestion but I don’t see it happening since you have Ohio State using the same name.

ATLANTA BRAVES (MLB)

Dare we say that the Atlanta Braves are in this line for a name change? A “Brave” is a Native American Warrior so it would seem so. James Gaffney bought the team in 1912, and adopted the nickname Braves for his new team after the Native American symbol used for his Tammany Hall political group Gaffney was associated with. The organization relocated to Milwaukee in 1953, and finally to Atlanta in 1966 but always retained the Braves name. Here are some ideas:

  • Atlanta Tomahawks – This would work but might still be a bit too close to a Native American reference.
  • Atlanta Thrashers – I really like this name for the team revived from the former National Hockey League’s franchise that played in Atlanta. It is the state bird and would fit along with other bird names in baseball.
  • Atlanta Firebirds – I kinda like this one but I’m not sure it would stick.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (NHL)

The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Chicago Blackhawks. They say they were named in honor of the U.S. 86th Infantry Division, which was nicknamed the Blackhawk Division” after Black Hawk, a Native American chief; the team’s founder, Frederic McLaughlin, having served in that division. Some ideas here:

  • Chicago Black Hawks – I would simply focus on the bird more than a Native American logo or reference.
  • Chicago Bruisers – This actually isn’t bad and really sounds like a hockey name.

Will these names be changed? I doubt it. These teams have been branded and there is a lot of money to be lost in merchandising. Every time this name issue comes up, it becomes an issue and eventually goes away until the next time it gets stirred up. They should still change these names but it would take some major pressure to get them done.

3-0 Series Lead? Remember The Super Bowl

preds

The Nashville Predators are one win away from eliminating the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup playoffs.  The city is abuzz today and hopeful that the Predators can complete their first playoff series sweep in team history.   Last week, I posted my commentary about the Predators and predicted they would be eliminated in five games by the Blackhawks and would not move on.   Yes, I was wrong about the five games and have witnessed a completely different team than I have watched during the regular season.  I may have to eat a little crow if they do the unthinkable tonight against the number one seed team in the Western Conference.

But with every enthusiastic Predators fan I will say this:  Remember the Super Bowl.

Four teams have come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a Stanley Cup playoff series.

The 1942 Toronto Mapleleafs became the first team to do when they rebounded against the Detroit Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup final.  After losing the first three games, the Maple Leafs reeled off 4-3, 9-3, 3-0 and 3-1 wins in their dramatic comeback.

The New York Islanders did it 33 years later when they stunned the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1975 Quarterfinals.  The Islanders won a tight 1-0 seventh game to advance.  They lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in seven games in the Semifinals.

In 2010, the Philadelphia Flyers overcame a 3-0 hole to knock off the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinals.  The Flyers started the comeback with a 5-4 overtime win in Game 4 then won the next three games 4-0, 2-1 and 4-3.  The Flyers advanced to the Stanley Cup final losing to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Los Angeles Kings were the last team to do it when they upset the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the 2014 playoffs.  The Kings went on to win the Stanley Cup final over the New York Rangers.

So, it is possible to blow a 3-0 lead.  I’m not saying it will happen to the Predators but they have a tendency to make it difficult.  I don’t see them finishing the series tonight.  My feeling is that it will go to Game 6.

Can Predators Repeat Last Year’s Playoff Magic?

NHL: Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators

I will answer that question in the first sentence:  No.  They will not have the kind of playoff run they had last year when they stunned the Anaheim Ducks in seven games and pushed the San Jose Sharks to game seven before being eliminated.

The Nashville Predators open the first round series with the Chicago Blackhawks.   I simply don’t think the Predators are good enough to beat Chicago or advance any further this year.  Everyone around here is talking Stanley Cup but I’m just being real about it.  Yes, I am a Predators’ fan but I refuse to get my hopes and emotions ramped up.  I learned my lesson from the Super Bowl.  Last year’s playoff run was fun but it is not reasonable to think it will the same this year.

First, the Predators are not consistent on defense.  They have too many breakdowns and turnovers in the defensive end.  P.K. Subban has not been the defensive star that I expected him to be when they traded for him last summer.  He spends too much time trying to rip shots from the point than getting back on defense.

Second, the team is not consistent on offense either.  They have some players that can put the puck in the net but too many times they take low percentage shots or make poor passes.  I have found myself yelling to them too many times to “shoot it” when they hold onto the puck too long or make one too many passes.  James Neal, Filip Forsberg, Mark Fisher, Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson can score goals but there doesn’t seem to be consistency.   The Predators will often outshoot their opponents but have nothing to show for it.  This could also be Fisher’s last playoff run.  It is expected that he will retire at the end of the season.

You also can’t expect Pekka Rinne to stop everything.  Eventually he is going to get beat.  The defensive breakdowns are killing him.

Throughout the season, the Predators have played close games.  No lead is safe with this team.  They know how to play close games but they often know how to lose close games too.

As far as this series with Chicago, I am predicting the Blackhawks to finish the Predators’ season in five games.