Recently, team ownership announced that the NBA’s New Orleans franchise will be renamed the Pelicans starting next season, and it brought to mind many of the already less-than-impressive franchise names in the sports world. These are the five weakest names in all of pro sports.
5 Houston Texans – NFL
Well, this is just downright lazy. After Houston lost their beloved Oilers to Tennessee in 1997, most thought it was the last the city would see of an NFL franchise. However, Houston won a surprise bid for a 2002 expansion team thanks in large part to LA’s failure to put together a competent pitch, and the Houston Texans were born. Now, it’s one thing to start by leaving behind your team’s old namesake, but to replace it by just pointing out what state you guys are from? Come on, man. The only way this could’ve played out worse would be if Los Angeles had gotten the bid and named their team the LA Californians.
4 Miami Dolphins – NFL
It’s not that the Dolphins and their bright colors aren’t a great fit for Miami, it’s just that, well, dolphins are too damn delightful. Thought of as playful, happy-go-lucky marine mammals, dolphins are actually super-intelligent and can be quite physically imposing. The problem is, most people just know them as being cute and funny. They‘re like the chimps of the sea. Plus, have you seen Miami’s logo? On the side of their helmet is a little dolphin … who is also wearing a tiny helmet! It’s freaking adorable. A dolphin may be a terrifying sight to a school of tuna, but it doesn’t exactly strike fear in the hearts of any gridiron opponents.
3 Orlando Magic – NBA
When the city of Orlando was inexplicably given an NBA franchise back in 1989, the owners held a contest that allowed the community to pitch names for the team through the local newspaper, which eventually spawned the creation of the Orlando Magic. It’s quite a fitting name considering Disney World and the Magic Kingdom are in the same city – but come on, the Magic? How vague and unintimidating can you be? Most people associate magic with a creepy mustachioed guy at a terrible kid’s birthday party. Though one of the runners up in the naming contest was the Orlando Juice, so they probably made the right move.
2 Cleveland Browns – NFL
Well, if you’re going to be named after a color, why not just go big and choose the absolute worst color on the entire spectrum? Actually, the Browns are named after their first coach and early football pioneer, Paul Brown. So in the sense that their namesake is a man who helped form the franchise, it’s a great name. The problem is that most people have no idea where the name comes from, and the Cleveland football franchise just strikes them as the color most associated with defecation, not to mention that the Browns didn’t even bother to come up with a logo. It could be worse, though; their first coach could’ve been named Paul Steampile.
1 Minnesota Wild – NHL
When Minnesota lost the North Stars to Dallas back in 1993, the NHL lost one of the best and most fitting team names in the league. The team’s move south saw them renamed the Dallas Stars, and the North Star State – one of the hockey capitals of America – was strangely without an NHL franchise. That all changed, however, in 2001, when Minnesota’s new expansion team took the ice. Sadly, though, they would be known as the Minnesota Wild. What the hell is the Wild? It is possibly the most vague name in sports, and sounds a lot more like the name of a Duran Duran album than that of a pro hockey franchise.