Sports team names often have a compelling history behind them.
Some allude to proud tradition; some are meant to sound intimidating; and some are purposely goofy and friendly.
I would guess that most fans often overlook the meaning of their favorite team’s name. I know I do.
So when I decided to really look into the meaning and nature of team names, I found some to be plain stupid, silly, and even offensive.
The Stupidest Team Name:
The Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim
In 1542, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo claimed the area of southern California for Spain. Over time, Los Angeles would become one of the most diverse and largest cities in the country.
With the Spanish influence, it’s no surprise Los Angeles was named in tribute to Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles (Our Lady the Queen of the Angels) or popularly known as the Virgin Mary.
At first glance, there doesn’t seem to any problem with the name Los Angeles Angels. It’s perfectly logical for Roman Catholics to name a city after one of their most sacred saints.
But there’s something fishy about the name “The Los Angeles Angels”.
I may have struggled to keep a C in Spanish class in high school, but I do know “Los Angeles” is Spanish for “the Angels.”
That’s correct. The Los Angeles team name directly translates to “The Angels Angels.” What boggles my mind is that people named the team seeming to know what they were doing but didn’t really care that the translation was redundant.
Further adding to the stupidity is that the team now plays in Anaheim but has decided to keep the Los Angeles in the team name.
I know this poor naming choice isn’t going to keep anyone awake at night, but I still think it’s kinda stupid.
The Most Insensitive Team Name:
The Washington Redskins
If there’s one group in America that got the sharp end of the sword, it was the indigenous people of the Americas.
Yesterday was Columbus day, honoring we were told was a brave hero who “founded” a land millions of people knew before him. I’d categorize him under the label of “initiator of mass genocide.”
The Native Americans had and still have it bad.
They’re more prone to disease, addiction, and they have higher suicide rates, than the rest of the U.S. population. So naming a football team after a derogatory reference to the pigment of Native Americans seems like salt in the wound.
There have actually been attempts to change to the name, but, obviously none have been successful.
The name is definitely offensive and demeaning. You’ll never see a team named the “Washington Cross Eyes ” or the “Washington Dark Skins,” so why do we put up with “redskins?”
On a side note, my beloved Chicago Blackhawks are just as guilty. It doesn’t have to do with the name though, but rather the logo.
My dad bought me this exact item for Christmas last year. I love it, but I couldn’t help but notice how, over the years, the organization made the logo look less and less like a Native American.
At least the Blackhawk on the logo has become happier over the years.
The Least Intimidating Team Name:
I swear, I am not picking on Anaheim. But since I was a kid, I always thought their name was funny.
They got rid of “The Mighty Ducks” moniker and changed their logo (which I thought was a mistake), but they are still named after a species of animal I tossed bread to as a child.
Look at that thing. Scary.
I also have a weird feeling that the Mighty Ducks movie franchise has something to do with my labeling of the Anaheim Ducks as the least intimidating team name.
It’s hard to feel intimidated about a team when their associated with an awfully amazing Disney Channel movie.
Emilio Estevez’s performance in this franchise should’ve been labeled as the ‘performance of the decade.’
What professional sports team names do you find especially interesting? This post highlights names that are stupid, insensitive, and non-intimidating…but feel free to counter my choices with those you find clever or especially strong.
The comment section awaits your thoughts.