Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Oklahoma City's NBA Team Has A Nickname: Thunder
It's been leaked for about a month now, but today the Seattle, excuse me, Oklahoma City NBA franchise has a new nickname, and it's not the one we all knew it should be (the Bandits). They are now officially the Oklahoma City...Thunder. Sounds pretty lame doesn't it? Check out their website here.
There were a ton of leaks of the name along the way. There was the discovery of the website domain purchases, the NBA website screwing up and posting a schedule for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and then the news the OKC trademarked six different nicknames.
Here were the six nicknames the NBA filed trademarks for: Barons, Bison, Energy, Marshals, Thunder, and Wind. Of those six, Energy, Bison, and Wind are just ridiculously bad. Energy is a WNBA or WUSA-caliber name, Bison were hunted to near-extinction in the Old West, and Wind is just plain terrible. Barons and Marshals are actually two pretty good ideas, and I'd give my vote to Marshals, but Thunder is clearly the weakest of the top three.
The last team to go through a naming fiasco this bad was the Houston Dynamo of the MLS. The original idea was to name the team Houston 1836, after the year of Houston's founding, but the name came under fire for being linked with the Texas War for Independence, and was changed to the ridiculously lame Dynamo...or maybe I'm just bitter they took my Earthquakes out of San Jose for a few years.
Come to think of it, the people that have been doing a good job of naming teams lately are MLS teams. Names like Real Salt Lake, Chivas USA, FC Dallas, Toronto FC, and the expansion team Seattle Sounders FC are proper team names. I've always liked the idea of nicknames developing on their own through a fanbase instead of an artificial mascot propped in front for a new team. Old names in the NFL and MLB are good and traditional, but football always had the right idea about naming teams. Rumor has it the new team in Philadelphia will be named Philadelphia Athletic, which already sounds cool.
Teams in European leagues like Charlton Athletic or Atletico Madrid use the name, and I don't see any reason to burden the team with silly adjectives or nicknames from the get-go in football.