September 29, 2004

A Baseball Team by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet

After 33 years, baseball is returning to Washington. And now that it’s a done deal, let’s get to the good part: naming our home team.

Choosing a team mascot is an art. It takes some creative thinking to come up with something appropriate to the region —something that represents who we are and where we live. There are four categories usually associated with nicknames: Nature, Colors, Strength, and Indigenous People. Let’s see what we can come up with.

In the Nature category how does the Washington Mosquitoes sound? After all, we live in a swamp and these buggers are our natural neighbors. With the proposed stadium right next to the Anacostia River, I am sure we will be sharing the playing field with these insects especially on those hot, steamy summer evenings. With the Mosquitoes as our moniker we could package Fan Appreciation Night with DDT Night. Our nickname’s nickname could be the Buzz or the Skeets. Classy.

Color nicknames are an old tradition. Think the Cleveland Browns or the Cincinnati Reds. How about resurrecting an old time colorful name like the Washington Blues. Except for Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court, everyone else around here is a Democrat. Blue looks good on us. St. Louis won’t mind. After all, that’s a hockey team. THIS is baseball. With a bit more contemporary flair the DC Level Orange might be a good fit.

Or how about something that connotes strength and might. New England has the Patriots. We could become the Patriot Acts (or the Patriot Ax, depending on your point of view). Anything with the word “Operation” in it might work, like the Washington Operation Home Run. Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon would certainly approve. Perhaps the Washington WMDs. You can run but you can’t hide. Don’t mess with us!

Naming teams after Indigenous People is a nickname tradition. Think Redskins are too politically incorrect? Something a bit more sanguine and appropriate for this place like the Washington Cronies. I like the Washington Pencil Pushers. But perhaps it’s a bit too wishy-washy. What do you think? How about the Hacks, the Bleeding Hearts, or the Operatives. A little covert baseball for these times. If Bush does win the election, we might become the DC Neo Cons. I could live with that more than I could live with George.

Finally, I’d like to propose a name that is both unique and accurately reflects the city I work in. A concept I live and breath every single day —an idea worthy of a Simpson’s episode (who could forget the Springfield Isotopes?). My vote goes for the DC Acronyms. It’s who we really are. It’s how we really survive in this town. Our motto: FSRFT (Finally! Someone to Root For in this Town).

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