Twenty-one days. That is how long it’s been since I last posted the “weekly” offering and in the words of Sam Cooke… it’s been a long time coming. How Mr. Cooke had a premonition about my three-week absence a good half-century before it would occur is beyond me. I am however touched that he chose to mention in such a seminal piece of music.

Have you ever noticed how fortunate we are in Chicago with team names?

The Bulls and the Black Hawks offer a wonderful intensity (anyone know what’s up with the ridiculously colored tomahawks on the shoulders though?) The White Sox and Cubbies provide respectively a classic ring and deep history (the history of Chicago Cubs). ‘Bears’ is exactly what a hard tackling, cold weather gridiron squad should be called. Even our pro women’s soccer club (I swear it’s real team… remember Ms. Oakes?) has it sorted. The Red Stars in case you were wondering. Alluding to the Chicago flag and a bit of footballing history. Red Star Belgrade is a wonderfully storied European soccer team (see I drop knowledge like Lupe drops rhymes… not as often as most people would like.)usa football

Other cities haven’t been nearly this fortunate; they have to cheer for players dressed like popsicles running about for moronically named teams.  Mike Lansu (over at the Chicago Sun-Times) offers me a welcome inundating of images of the most tosh jerseys ever worn (Lansu drops knowledge like R Kelly drops his knickers… often and sometimes to disturbing effect.) And that was the trigger to me deciding to sift through the world of professional sports and come up with the most ridiculous team names brandished across jersey fronts.Holy Inappropriate Names Utah!

There are two million, one hundred thousand, five hundred and sixty two people in Utah. And only two of them are black… and they took a wrong turn at Albuquerque. Okay so there are actually eighteen thousand, six hundred and thirteen African-American people in Utah (have to be true that whole dropping knowledge bit)… but that’s still a minuscule number. What I’m saying is the state is really, really white (nothing wrong with that just not you know doesn’t evoke thoughts of Jazz music… if you thought of Kenny G stop reading right now!) So there basketball team must be called the Utah Snow Caps? Salt Lake City Salt Licks?

They’re called the Jazz. That’s right you know the rich musical tradition that grew out of the African-American heritage now brandishes across the chest of team housed in a state that wouldn’t recognize Jazz if it was standing next to Will Smith.

Now I know the team moved from New Orleans in ’79… but it moved to Salt Lake City so why didn’t they change the bloody name?

And then to further confuse the pink cheeked, magic vest-wearers they put mountains behind the “Jazz”… because really where else can you imagine Jazz music emanating out of besides snow covered mountains.

An Apt Alternative: How about the Utah Yodelers?  It makes more sense and it would make NBA jersey sales in Stockholm and Vienna sky rocket.  And at least the inhabitants of Utah would have heard that manner of music. Also New Orleans is back in the league… Chris Paul plays the game like jazz music… Andrei Kirilenko plays like German Techno Porn.

The Entire Los Angeles Metropolitan Area!The sheer number of things wrong with the monikers of Los Angeles teams could fill volumes, but I’ll try to keep it short. First of there are no Lakes in LA none. I even searched and nada, not one actor of repute named ‘Lakes’. And even if there are Lakes in the mid west, where the team relocated from (read: ‘stolen from’… it’s a theme, trust me) what the bloody hell is a ‘Laker’? Is this someone who sails on a lake?

So…I looked it up according to Ms. M Webster a laker is: one associated with a lake; especially: a fish (as a lake trout) living in or taken from a lake. So Kobe is officially a guppy. Which makes sense because he plays in purple and gold the colours of choice of a transvestite Muppet. Laker… I don’t even know her (apologies, I couldn’t resist). It’s just a stupid name.

As is ‘The Clippers’, a team stolen from Buffalo via San Diego and named after something to do with sailing. ‘Clippers’ appropriate isn’t it… because sailing aficionados adore basketball. “By jiminy, Richard Pennyworth III, once we’ve successfully brought this bollard in lets us off to that quaint game of hoop ball with all those tall ethnic fellows… couldn’t imagine a more jovial time my boy. Perhaps we’ll purchase some over priced libations”.

The Dodgers… stolen from Brooklyn, where they dodged trolleys and it made sense. What are they dodging in Los Angeles… Sun Block?  That’s three major LA teams which all relocated… has no one there ever played a sport that didn’t involve silicon, Hugh Grant and a hooker?In fact the only appropriately named LA teams are either in Anaheim (Angels is a solid name) or are dreadful and play in Carson (The LA Galaxy… which is an even better name).

A Series of Apt Alternatives: The LA Lakers become the LA A-Listers at which point the team will be reduced to Kobe, Pau Gasol (the only real A-Listers on the team) and Ron Artest to fill the roll of the quirky, Kramer –esque sidekick. Sasha Vujacic,  Luke Walton and the rest will have to switch to the other LA team now called the C-Listers.

Side note: Spell Check thinks ‘Artest’ is ‘Artist’… I actually laughed out loud…just another wonderful example of unintentional irony.

Humping Horses.

They might be the team that won the World Series but that doesn’t make them champions. A class less team named after female horses. I mean that is what a “philly” is, isn’t it?

I mean otherwise it would mean the people of Philadelphia were just really lazy when it came to picking a name… actually do you think laziness is the reason the capital city was taken away from them?

An Asinine Alternative: Considering Jimmy Rollins looks like a horse and is a horse’s ass… could we perhaps call them the Philly Nags from now on? Please?

It’s So Cold in the D! I know it’s insensitive to bring up the fact that the current economic woes in these United States have led to many factories being shut down, but the car manufacturers in Detroit were nose-diving well before that. Why you ask? Maybe because “Yes, I’d love my giant car with a soft serve dispenser in the back… efficiency is for queers and commies!”

So it’s actually more than insensitive to name the team from Detroit after a car part they will no longer manufacture there… it’s borderline cruel. It’s like naming the Ethiopian national team “the three course meals”.

A Compassionate Alternative: The Detroit Daffodils. Think about it, what cheers people up? Daffodils! “Look I’m sorry your job is lost because Toyota knows how to make a car that doesn’t piss petrol, but look happy sunny daffodils.” Everyone will be happy, and you know I’m correct because William Wordsworth agrees with me. “And then my heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils.” Then they realize that Ben Gordon can’t pass or play defense and they’re all overcoming depression again.  And not to pile on… but we’ve got Common and Detroit has these people.

Jumpin’ Joisey!

I actually don’t have a problem with the New Jersey Nets, they’ve gathered a nice young core and my time in Leonia leaves me with a Jersey soft spot (which is incidentally also the name for an STD…) Nothing wrong with calling your basketball team the Nets; it’s just the alternative is so much better.

Amazingly Apt Alternative:  They sort all of the legal ramblings out with the borough of Brooklyn build a stadium right quick and move out of the Meadow Lands. Land LeBron in the free agent sweep stakes in 2015 and surround him with their young core (they’ve got plenty of cap space.) You’re looking at a starting five of Lopez, Harris, Alsten,  Yi and James with Courtney Lee coming of the bench. Lee is ridiculously underrated as a defender. It’s obvious LeBron does better with this lot, who will all improve playing with him, than he does with the hapless Knicks. Now you send them out every night with Jay Z belting through the stadium (he has to put on a live show for every home game of the inaugural season) and the announcer screams out…drum roll please…drrrrr…just build the anticipation…. “

Ladies and Gentlemen your BROOKLYN BALLERS!