the oklahoma city thunder rolls: the decline of the team nickname

Stupid is as stupid does . . . again and again.

Yesterday was a special day in the life of the NBA franchise formerly known as the Seattle SuperSonics: its rechristening as the, ahem, Oklahoma City Thunder. This event caused Team Evil to reflect on what a team’s nickname says about a city, its culture, its history . . . and what, in a larger sense, a sports league’s collective nicknames say about us as Americans.

Just kidding—that would suck so hard the universe might collapse. Kind of like that guy who once spent two weeks in Amsterdam bemoaning how football reflects the violent, militaristic tendencies of American society. Hey asshole!—your theory doesn’t account for why most college and NFL seasons pass without more than a handful of spectator injuries, while soccer riots are the leading cause of death in several Latin American countries. At least we keep our gruesome injuries on the field! USA! USA! USA!

. . . See? See how stupid any attempt to define culture in the context of professional sports becomes?

Nah: the Evil pondereth team names because, well, the Evil seeks constant improvement, a relentless drive toward accelerawesomttainment. And team names in this country have suffered a precipitous decline during the Evil’s lifetime.

Lots of folks take issue with pro basketball team names rendered in the singular: Magic, Heat, and now the Thunder. These names are demonstrably stupid and, that stupidity having been much-commented upon, the Evil will not pile on . . . especially given the last name issued to an NBA expansion franchise. Oh, it’s plural. That’s not the problem, no.

The Charlotte Bobcats.

Sure, sure—one could make the argument that all the deadlier great cats have been used up and discarded like a child prostitute; we certainly need no more Panthers, Lions, Tigers, or Wildcats in this our sporting world. But Bobcats? Put it this way: the mascot of the Evil’s fucking elementary school was the Bobcats. Fierce!

Of course, the NBA has birthed no abomination to compare with the last NFL expansion franchise, the hated Houston Texans. Naming your team after the state in which your team is located—that’s just blatantly stupid, right? Evil’s not alone here, is he?

. . . Unless a franchise was so bold as to name itself the New York New Yorkers, which, like a good Monty Python sketch, crosses over the event horizon of stupidity back into brilliance. The mascot could wear a giant Frank Sinatra head! Who wouldn’t like that?

One last thing about these Texans—it isn’t even an original name! It’s a rehash of the Dallas Texans, who later became the Kansas City Chiefs. Resurrecting a bad name is about on par with remaking a movie like Death Race.

Of course, under the ashheaps of every great tragedy lies the seed of opportunity. If we can just find a way to combine the Oklahoma City and Charlotte franchises, we could fulfill the ultimate dream! Observe:




Enjoy the weekend. If possible, figure out who would win in a battle: He-Man or Lion-O. Winner gets the loser’s hyphenated suffix! Coming next week: either He-Man-O and Lion or Lion-O-Man and He!


3 thoughts on “the oklahoma city thunder rolls: the decline of the team nickname”

  1. The only thing worse than a new bad team name is when your team moves to a new city but keeps the old name, as in the Tennessee Oilers. Oilers? In Tennessee? And I personally liked the name Supersonics. It sounds very 70s. But the Oklahoma City Supersonics would not work. And while some would have thought it to be in poor taste, OK City missed an opportunity to have the coolest team name in all of sports: The Oklahoma City Bombers! No one could top that.

  2. oklahoma city bombers . . . that is nefarious.

    supersonics was a GREAT nickname, and part of the deal for the franchise to slip out of seattle was that they couldn’t keep the name. so if there’s ever another bball team in seattle, the supersonics shall be reborn!

    tennessee oilers is silly . . . but “titans” is a terrible name. not descriptive at all. why not the nashville kings, in honor of his lordship of the banana-and-mayonnaise sammich?

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