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What’s Your Team’s Nickname?

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[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site (although he’s still writing his weekly Substack column). Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month.]

Good morning, Uni Watchers! It’s Friday — we made it.

In case you missed it, yesterday the Broncos announced which games they’ll wear their new white alternate helmets.

Today I’m joined by Walter Helfer, who put together a pretty comprehensive (though by no means complete) list of sports team nicknames, spurred by his love of baseball long before social media and the Internet. He pointed me to a couple reference manuals (known as the Green & Red Books) with which I was admittedly unfamiliar, and expanded that into an exploration of nicknames for teams across the major sports.

It makes for a nice, fun Friday read. Here’s Walter…

• • • • •
What’s Your Team’s Nickname?
by Walter Helfer

Before the Internet, the Holy Grail of baseball uniform information was a pair of books known as The National League Green Book and The American League Red Book.

Addresses, rosters, and pronunciation guides filled the rest of the volumes, but the vocabulary was not what sports fans were used to. For example, the entry for the Cardinals read: Team Name — St. Louis. Team nickname — “Cardinals”.

If you’re like me, you’re accustomed to the school of thought where the name of the team is the “St. Louis Cardinals,” and the nickname might be “Cards,” “Redbirds,” or maybe “The Gashouse Gang.”

But instead of wondering why the Red and Green Books didn’t use the nomenclature the rest of us used, I wondered if every team had a nickname in the sense that I was using the word.

New York has plenty of them: The Bronx Bombers, the Amazin’s, the Broadway Blueshirts, the Isles, the G-men, Gang Green, et al.

Other cities have given us the Monsters of the Midway, the ‘Pokes, the Bosox, Les Habitants, and the Broad Street Bullies.

Colleges, too, have alternate identities, such as The “U”, the War Eagles, and the Bayou Bengals.

Some thoughts: Merely shortening the name strikes me as intellectually lazy, but the sheer number of qualifiers warrants their inclusion. Anyway, some teams prefer the nickname to their “long” name, like the A’s [Also nick-nicknamed the “Swingin’ A’s” — PH], the D-backs, and the Knicks.

Also, some names are so punchy, like the Nets, Rays, Jazz, Reds, and Heat, a nickname seems hardly warranted; though one may exist that lengthens everything, like “The Big Red Machine”. History obviously plays a big part, giving us “The Fab Five,” “The Steel Curtain,” and “America’s Team.”

Not coming from Kansas City, I have no idea what the locals have dubbed the Royals or their NFL team. I *do* come from New Rochelle, but haven’t a clue what Iona University’s alternative is to the “Gaels”.

One person does not constitute a movement, but I was hoping Torontonians would refer to the Raptors as “Torontosaurus”; C’mon!! It was *just made* for that!!

Of all teams, the White Sox appear to beat everyone for sheer number of aliases: “The South Side,” “Chisox,” and the “Pale Hose.” Should they choose to endorse it, they could add the “Black Sox,” after the scandal.

In baseball’s early days, sportswriters were entrusted with naming the local clubs, and they came up with some real beauts, like “Perfectos,” “Superbas,” and the “Tip-Tops.”

This is the approach taken by soccer teams in other countries, and it’s hard to fault the “Hammers,” the “Rovers,” and the “Wanderers.”

A vital subset of this group are pejorative nicknames to be scrawled on paper bags over the fans’ heads when a team descends into irrelevance. Foremost among these are the New England “Patsies,” the New Orleans “Ain’ts,” the Minnesota “No Stars,” and the Detroit “Dead Things.” These are perhaps the most creative nicknames of all.

A lot of basketball teams have anticipated the lack of space on a tank top, and far-lengthier official names have been shortened to “Sixers,” “Blazers,” “Wolves,” and “Sonics.”

A comprehensive list of all teams would be a mammoth task, and doomed to glaring omissions. So instead, I’ll just do one city and hope to fill in some blanks — Los Angeles:

Sparks — ?

Galaxy — ?

Angel City FC –?

Chivas USA — ?

Dodgers — Dem Bums, The Boys of Summer, Los Doyers.

Angels — Halos, Seraphs.

Lakers — Showtime.

Clippers — ?

Kings — The Triple Crown Line (which refers to three specific players and therefore falls outside my project).

Rams — The Greatest Show on Turf.

Chargers — Bolts, San Diego Superchargers.

So, what do you think? Are there any outstanding nicknames I’ve overlooked?

• • • • •
Thanks, Walter! Fun look at sports teams nicknames (I was familiar with almost all you mentioned), but I’m sure there are some we’ve both overlooked. I’ve also always wondered if things like “Who Dey” (Bengals) and “Who Dat” (Saints) are considered nicknames (at least in the sense you bring up).

I’m sure all you Uni Watchers can come up with a bunch of nicknames that haven’t been mentioned. And what really constitutes a nickname? Sure, we may instantly know someone is referring to the Saints if they say “The ‘aints” or “Who Dat” … but are those really nicknames? Should there be any constraints on what qualifies as a nickname?

Readers? Have at it.



Fila's US Open Looks

With Brinke retiring from the site at the beginning of this year, you may have noticed a dearth of tennis gear reporting. There won’t be a US Open preview this year (as there were no Aussie, French & Wimbledon previews), but here’s a look at what the players who have clothing contracts with Fila will be wearing at the final Grand Slam of the year.

Barbora Krejcikova

This will also be worn by Karolina Pliskova.

Shelby Rogers

Although Rogers won’t compete, other Fila players will wear this outfit.

John Isner

Diego Schwartzman

Isner and Schwartzman will each be sporting different combinations of the new release that includes three shirts and two shorts.

Reilly Opelka



Guess the Game from the Scoreboard

Guess The Game…

…From The Scoreboard

Today’s scoreboard comes from ojai67.

The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).

Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):

Please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.



Guess the Game from the Uniform

Based on the suggestion of long-time reader/contributor Jimmy Corcoran, we’ve introduced a new “game” on Uni Watch, which is similar to the popular “Guess the Game from the Scoreboard” (GTGFTS), only this one asked readers to identify the game based on the uniforms worn by teams.

Like GTGFTS, readers will be asked to guess the date, location and final score of the game from the clues provided in the photo. Sometimes the game should be somewhat easy to ascertain, while in other instances, it might be quite difficult. There will usually be a visual clue (something odd or unique to one or both of the uniforms) that will make a positive identification of one and only one game possible. Other times, there may be something significant about the game in question, like the last time a particular uniform was ever worn (one of Jimmy’s original suggestions). It’s up to YOU to figure out the game and date.

Today’s GTGFTU comes from Chris Hickey.

Good luck and please post your guess/answer in the comments below.



Uni Tweet of the Day



And finally...

that’s it for the morning’s fare. Big thanks to Walter for that piece on team nicknames.

If there’s any breaking news this morning or afternoon, I’ll have another post (or two) today. Same goes for tomorrow. And Sunday, I’ll have another Leo’s World obscure uni quiz, this time for football, so be sure to keep checking back in!



Comments (121)

    Yes, Morris!
    While nothing beats the green/red Devils, I like how well their Scouts/Rockies color scheme worked there.

    Chicago Cubs are called the “Cubbies.” Pittsburgh Pirates are called the “Bucs.”

    Some nicknames refer to a specific era of a team and are not universal. I think that “Purple People Eaters” (Vikings) and “New York Sack Exchange” (Jets) would fit into that category, as would the “Winning Ugly” White Sox.

    >Some nicknames refer to a specific era of a team and are not universal.
    Indeed. In the case of my MLB team, the ’30’s Cardinals were the Gashouse Gang, the Cepeda era teams were El Birdos, the Herog era teams were Whiteyball.

    Though I’ve lately been hearing Mets fans, at least in certain corners of social media, refer to the team generally as Amazins, and not limiting the nickname to the ’69 squad. I don’t know how representative that is of Mets fans in general, or just a particular niche of Mets Twitter.

    It’s not unique to X, er…TSFKAT (The Site Formerly Known As Twitter). Many Mets fans (myself included) will still refer to the team as the “Amazins” (not so much recently, however). And while the nickname was particular to the 1969 squad (also referred to as the “Miracle” Mets), “Amazins” has become a more generic colloquialism over the years.

    I wondered the same thing. I also had had some Mets fans as roommates in college (not too far past the 86 Series winners) that referred to them as the “Let’s Go”s. Was/is that widespread?

    12 July 1975, County Stadium, Milwaukee, WI.
    Brewers 5, White Sox 4.

    Nicknames are a tricky thing to categorize in standard terms. As mentioned, they can be born of size constraints from old-time newspapers (Bucs, Cards, Sox), they can be negative (Aints) from within a disgruntled fan base, or terms of derision from opposing fans (Deadskins and Cowgirls come from a less enlightened time). And because they are informal and parochial, it can lead to confusion outside of a given fan base. Where I live, “GO BIRDS” has replaced “Good morning” as a common greeting. But outside Philadelphia, 5 other NFL fan bases can call their team “the Birds”, and a different NFL team 100 miles to our north uses “Gang Green” sometimes, as Eagles fans also have done.
    Nicknames are organic things, and it is a fascinating topic. Good stuff, but definitely hard to come up with objective standards.

    Philadelphia -> Phillies -> Phils -> Fightin’ Phils -> Fightin’s. A fourth-level derivative, which might be tough to top. They even used it to rename a minor league team.

    Yeah, the Fightin’s has gotta be one of the prime examples of the format of Cockney rhyming slang in American Engslish. (Absent a rhyming component, but still, the whole thing of starting with a rhyming phrase, then dropping the rhyming part, then often shortening the remainder, seems similar in terms of the steps removed from the original.)

    I like it – like an alliterative variant of Cockney rhyming slang. I would throw the Amazins in that same group for the Mets, although a friend of mine called the Mets the “Let’sgoes” because of the popular chant. That would also qualify for this new category.

    Almost unique because “Phillies” is a tautology of Philadelphia (you share that distinction with the Angels because it is directly derived from “Los Angeles”). But the “Fightin’s” is an excellent example of today’s topic.

    I forgot about some of those nicknames! Fun article!

    Thanks again to everyone for the comments on my post yesterday and for some great suggestions to add to the banners. If anyone has any questions or looking for advice you can @ me on Twitter at @Michael519.

    An observation from this game: wow, look at how many pitchers are wearing numbers in the 30s! And 5 of 12 pitchers in the National League are wearing number 36!

    Five pitchers in the 20s and *everybody else* in the 30s.

    I know that many teams had an unofficial guideline like the one the Cubs had, with catchers, the manager, and coaches with single digits, infielders in the 10s, outfielders in the 20s, and pitchers in the 30s and 40s, but it wasn’t ironclad and you’d think that there would be more than just the five exceptions that night, or that a few pitchers would be in the 40s.

    I wonder how many other dates have had such a narrow range of uniform numbers being worn by the day’s pitchers. This one looks hard to beat.

    I don’t want to be overly pedantic (aw hell, this is is UW after all), but I definitely draw a distinction between nicknames people actually use in real life and what I’ll refer to as “newspaper headline nicknames”. For instance, does anybody actually call the Rangers “the Broadway Blueshirts” in conversation?

    Anyway, to answer the question in the headline, the nickname for my team (Arsenal) is the Gunners, while our fans are referred to as Gooners. I’ve always been fascinated by how fans of many soccer teams get a nickname unto themselves.

    Re: Newspapers

    A lot of franchise names were chosen because it would be easier to shorten the name for a newspaper headline, like “Revs” for Revolution, “Stamps” for Stampeders, and “Avs” for Avalanche.

    Right, but I’m more so talking about the opposite.
    Your examples are more likely to be heard in conversation than “Monsters of the Midway”.

    As I mentioned to Phil, one can simply Google a particular league’s nicknames, but it includes nothing about anecdotal use or origins.

    I wonder how “Who Dat” evolved (or de-volved) for “Who Dey” in Cincinnati? Help a guy out here. There has to be a story behind that.

    Who Dey came from the name of a local beer, Hudepol. link

    It was sometimes called Hudy. link

    The stadium vendors used the shortened form (Huuu-day!) when they sold beer to the fans in the seats. During the 1981 season at Riverfront when the Bengals went undefeated at home, it just sort of started in the stands (initially just “Huuu-day” as a response to the vendors), then grew from that and caught on, “Who Day (or ‘Huuu-day’), who dey, who day think gon’ beat them Bengals!”

    Oops, typing too fast, lol, excuse the spelling errors.

    Those are supposed to all be spelled “Who Dey”, not “Who Day”. link

    OMG, I spelled Hudepohl wrong, too, lol. Definitely not ready for the upcoming sports spelling bee!

    “Who Dat” is an old phrase used in the New Orleans area, originally in the African-American community. The exact origins are murky, though it was used on a radio show as early as the 1920’s. There are claims it was used as early as the 1930’s and 1940’s in the context of local prep football teams (“Who dat say dey gonna beat dem…”) as well as in regards to Southern University’s football program in Baton Rouge in the ’60’s.

    The start of the phrase’s affiliation with the Saints dates to 1983. At the time it was used by fans of New Orleans’ historically-black Catholic high school St. Augustine’s football team. St. Aug’s team was good that season and the chant was picked up by the local media while it migrated to Saints’ games in the Superdome. Later that year, the Saints organization put together a song and music video featuring the chant that caught fire among the fanbase.

    While the song itself has waxed and waned with the team’s fortunes over the past 40 years (I’d argue “Choppa Style” and “When the Saints Go Marching In” are far more relevant anthems to the fanbase), the phrase itself stuck and has been used consistently as both a cheer and as a nickname for the fan base (“Who Dat Nation”, “Whodats”) ever since.

    When I was a young fan in the 1960s and 1970s, I believe the Cubs’ official team name was the Chicago National League Ball Club. Each TV or radio broadcast would conclude with the disclaimer “… express written consent of the Chicago National League Ball Club.” The team’s nicknames have included White Stockings, Orphans, Infants, Remnants, Colts, and finally Cubs.

    Yeah. Ballclubs had those kinds of corporate names, and it would probably require access to team archives to know exactly when they adopted their official nicknames.

    Meantime, newspapers used their own nicknames for clubs, many of which were eventually adopted by the teams. I came across this June 1914 article where Cleveland sports editors came together to agree on a nickname for a local American Association team: link

    I still remember the shock of realization when I saw the official name of the Cubs: of course they were a “Ball Club” and not a “Baseball Club”; back in 1876, there were no other organized ball sports!

    I too understand nicknames as you and the author of the guides do. The official name is “New York Metropolitan Baseball Club” and “Mets” is the (official) nickname. Then there are unofficial nicknames like “Amazin’s” and “Buccos” and “The Tribe”, which is what we’re talking about with today’s post.

    Walter, in the Los Angeles section, you mean LAFC instead of Chivas USA, who haven’t existed since 2014.

    The thickest book in the library is “What Walter Helfer Doesn’t Know About Soccer.” Thanks for the update!

    Soccer has a trove of nicknames, both club and international. Some are based on colors, others on locales, and others on local industry.
    Arsenal= The Gunners
    England= 3 Lions (and the World Cup finalist Lionesses)
    Australian Socceroos and Matildas
    Ivory Coast- Les Elephants


    The first international soccer nickname to come to mind was Cameroon’s “Indomitable Lions”, and it made me wonder what, if any, nicknames the American teams have.

    I have heard these for our teams:

    “The Stars and Stripes”
    “El Equipo de Todos” (The team of everybody, seeing as the U.S. got a lot of dual-nationals to play for the men, e.g., Tom Dooley, Joe Gaetjens, Earnie Stewart — and even the women, such as Caterina Macario)
    “Team USA”
    “The Yanks”

    I always thought our women should have been called “The Hammers,” in a slight not to West Ham United, Mia Hamm, and American dominance in the women’s game over the last 32 years.

    MLS is full of official/unofficial nicknames, especially since switching from Nike’s concept art. The ones that I know of/have heard:
    Atlanta: 5 Stripes
    Austin: The Verde & Black/Happy Little Trees
    Charlotte: The Crown
    Chicago: The Fire
    Cincinnati: The Orange and Blue
    Colorado: The Rapids
    Columbus: The Crew
    Dallas: The Hoops/The Burn/Los Toros Tejanos
    DC: The Black and Red/The Eagles
    Houston: The Dynamo/La Naranja
    Kansas City: The Wizards
    LA Galaxy: The Galaxy
    LAFC: The Black and Gold
    Miami: The Herons/Vice City
    Minnesota: The Loons
    Montreal: Le Impact/The Black and Blue
    Nashville: The ‘Yotes
    New England: The Revs
    NYCFC: The Cityzens/The Pigeons/Man City Jr.
    NYRB: Metrostars/The Energy Drinks
    Orlando: The Purple Lions
    Portland: The Timbers
    Philadelphia: The Union
    Salt Lake: The Claret and Cobalt/The Lions
    San Jose: The Quakes/The Goonies
    Seattle: Rave Green/Sounders
    Toronto: The Reds
    Vancouver: The Caps

    There were more — when the games were produced by MLS on both ESPN and Fox, there seemed to be more nicknames/monikers that I had never heard of. If you watched the halftime highlights, the interstitial transition using the two team logos, also had nickhames/identifiers on them.

    Some of the ones I remember were:
    Atlanta — Five Stripes
    Philadelphia — Doop
    D.C. United — Vamos United
    Portland — No Pity

    “Vamos United” is just Spanish for “Let’s go United.” It’s a popular chant at DCU games, but I’ve never heard it used as a nickname.

    Chicago is also “The Men in Red.” For the last couple of years, the idiot ownership foisted navy primary kits on them, but reportedly next year, the uniform cycle will allow them to return to an all-red primary.

    St. Louis City: Fans seem to be in two camps so far. Ravioli Boyz, a nod to our amazing culinary invention, T-ravs (toasted ravioli); and some variation of the Dogs, given that Purina (now a subsidiary of Nestle) is our shirt sponsor and based here. I also kind of like ALLCAPS, which is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the team’s preference for officially rendering its name as “St Louis CITY SC” on social media and what have you.

    Re: The Shortening Of Names

    Turns out that the basketball team in Philadelphia did wear “Seventy Sixers” on their jerseys for one season, 1970-71.

    Interesting to note: the team has never had “76ERS” on their singlets, ever. I think it’s prohibited because it would cause confusion on the part of the referees as to who committed a foul because you’d have a 76 on every shirt.

    I would have thought, during the Pat Croce era (remember the black and gold?) that the team would have gone to “76ERS.” The team actually sold merchandise in that era with that as the wordmark, but it never made it onto the front of the shirt. All there was, was “SIXERS” or, for a short time, “PHILA.”

    Of course, in the last five years, the team was able to fit “Philadelphia,” and “City Of Brotherly Love” on the front of their shirts.

    The Sixers can’t be the 76ers on game jerseys for the reasons you just explained. The only number on a jersey is the player number for ease of identification.

    That weekend when the Forty-Niners had a helmet logo that actually read “49ers”, I wonder if that fell afoul of a similar rule in the NFL.

    I don’t think they ever actually used that helmet. It was tossed out almost immediately because the fans rightfully hated it so much.

    Shortly after the Quebec Nordiques moved to Denver, I remember a sports TV personality (maybe John Buccigross?) refer to them as the ‘Lanche. I thought it sounded awful, and I remember hoping it wouldn’t catch on… and it didn’t.

    Just realized as an FSU guy how I always say “GO ‘NOLES!!!” And rarely ever say “GO SEMINOLES!!!”.

    I love Torontosaurus! I’ve always wanted it to be the Tampa Bay Manta Rays for the same reason

    Tampa Bay Manta Rays rhymes in a particularly chunky way and I wonder why they didn’t embrace it. I think the original plan was to call them the Tampa Bay Stingrays, and it was blocked by a local college.

    I don’t mind nicknames (A’s or Sox) that are more familiar than the actual team names, or even NBA teams shortening for the tanks (Sixers or Knicks) since they are pretty much the unofficial names anyway, but I absolutely despise nicknames on jerseys. It’s already a team nickname besides the city, just use it or the logo. A few come to mind that are just awful… “Canes”, “D-Backs”, and “Jags” come to mind. You would never catch the “Phils”, “9ers”, or the “Yanks” representing on any uni, because they have uni class

    Yes, I particularly dislike the uniforms you mentioned for that reason. All Diamondbacks’ jerseys should read “Arizona” on them. It’s the perfect length.

    I can’t stand the “D-Backs” literally on the uni. I just see “D-Bags”. I agree, either go with Arizona or go back to a chest logo with the “A” (preferably in purple!)

    Ohio State (known as “THE” in recent years, don’t know if that counts) can be Bucks or Scarlet and Gray which is sometimes spelled Scarlet and Grey. link

    In 1968, when they went undefeated and won the National Championship, they were known as the Super Sophomores.

    We take our nicknames seriously. I recall watching a local weekend newscast years ago where a new guy was getting his chance and was handing off (pun intended) to the sportscaster who had a story on the Bucks. He evidently wasn’t from Columbus (or Ohio, for that matter) and, after stammering because he couldn’t recall, called us the “crimson” and gray. Never saw him again.


    I had an impulse to include Ohio State’s peculiar relationship with the definite article, and wanted to comment on the futility of taking credit for a commonly used figure of speech: Like when Donald Trump wanted copyright protection for “You’re Fired”.

    Funny thing about that is that Ohio (University) joked about how ridiculous it was when OSU announced their intention to TM the word “THE”. I immediately reminded them that Ohio (University) had at one time tried to TM the word “Ohio”.


    That’s why I regard the marching band formation of the state name with the special guest dotting the eye with skepticism. They are literally forming the name of an entirely different college.

    Phillies: Phils, Fightin’ Phils, The Fightins
    Eagles: The Birds, The Iggles
    76ers: Sixers, Liberty Ballers
    Flyers: Broad Street Bullies

    FlyGuys is my preferred nickname for Philly NHL.
    They were the Broad Street Bullies – coined by a newspaper writer I think – close to 50 years ago…but they are not today.
    Some Philly teams had nicknames for individual squads/segments, like Whiz/Wheeze Kids (’50 & ’83 Phillies), The LCB Line (Leach, Clarke, Barber – Flyers), the Legion of Doom (Lindros, LeClair, Renberg -Flyers), The Doghouse (Defense – Stars).

    Yinzer here,

    Pirates; Bucs, The Bucs, Buccos, The Buccos and I’ve heard “MLBs farm system” tho not nearly a nick name. And of course the “We are a Family” maybe more under a rally than a nick name. For what it’s worth was really hoping the CC uniforms would have had Bucs or Buccos.

    Steelers; Of course the Steel Curtain.

    “Stillers” that the Pittsburgh accent and usually a few beers in at a tail gate that “I” can become pretty heavy hahah

    Penguins; Pens, The Pens

    The nicknames for Pirates and Penguins are used mainly if we are talking about going to the games or did you see the Pens play last night type of thing but rarely would I hear them used outside the region say highlights or national broadcasts.

    I’m sure I’m missing something…

    Pittsburgh’s unique relationship with “Black and Gold” means that designation can be applied to all its teams. And don’t get me started on Yellow, Athletic Gold, and Gold.

    Chivas USA were the Goats when they existed, I think. For Cleveland as the Guardians, a lot of people are using Guards and Guardos.

    Cleveland’s nickname-fu is strong. I was hoping they would use “Guardies”, and they still lay claim to “Tribe” and “Wahoos”. History counts.

    Speaking of Cleveland…another 1-off nickname for the Original Browns was the Kardiac Kidz.

    The Milwaukee Brewers started being called the Brew Crew, although that has transferred to the fans as the True Blue Brew Crew, which can be really hard to say after a few beers at a doubleheader.

    To add to the nicknames:
    Vegas Golden Knights= The VGK
    -This is commonly used on broadcasts, by local media, by fans, etc.

    Original Vegas Golden Knights= The Golden Misfits
    -Members of the original ’17-’18 Team are known as the “Golden Misfits” because that was the name of the team’s group chat after the expansion draft. The line of William Karlsson, Reilly Smith, and Jonathan Marchessault was known as the “Misfit Line” because they were the top line in year 1 and mostly played together until Reilly Smith was dealt to Pittsburgh last month. And lastly, in the clinching game 5 of the Stanly Cup Finals this year, Bruce Cassidy started 5 of the original 6 “Misfits” still on the team. Still gets me amped when I think about it!

    If anything, the Golden Knights should probably call themselves the “Instant Champs; Just Add Water” for the dearth of growing pains involved.

    Should they choose to endorse it, they could add the “Black Sox,” after the scandal.

    They should add it, and make it official, because that’s what they wear now.

    Clippers –

    One would think so, but I have read the curators of this website swear this is not the case. Fine: Mets is “not” a nickname for Metropolitans. For years I thought Astros was a shortening of “Astronauts” because that’s a DAMN GOOD NAME and I would be happy if my favorite team used the longer identification.

    Is it true that the minor league affiliate of Houston in Kissimmee, Florida changed its nickname to Cobras because of all the snickering sounds around when the original nickname of the parent club was used? As in: Kissimmee AStros?

    Here in Wisconsin:

    Milwaukee Brewers: Crew, the Crew
    Green Bay Packers: The Pack
    Milwaukee Bucks: I’ve personally never heard or read a nickname here, maybe because Bucks is already one syllable? The Deer is sort of implicit in team slogans and chants, but I haven’t heard anyone refer to the team as just “The Deer” like folks do The Pack or The Crew.
    Milwaukee Admirals: The team has tried to promote “Ads” to mirror their NHL affiliate Preds nickname, but I don’t think that’s caught on. I really only see team pages in Google searches for the term.
    Forward Madison FC: Flamingos, Mingos.

    I’ve also often heard the Badgers/Wisconsin called “Bucky” a lot here in western Wisconsin. For the Packers, I’ll also hear the occasional “Green & Gold.” “Vikes” also shows up for the Vikings.

    I grew up in Minnesota, and “Vikes” is common both among Vikings fans and the local newsmedia.

    I should’ve included that! I have personally not really heard fans call the team that, but it’s really common in the media. Even on public radio, newscasters will say things like “The Brew Crew start a three-game series in San Diego tonight” or whatnot. Of course the (in my experience) much more common fan-nickname “Crew” is a shortening of “Brew Crew.”

    It was very common to call the Minnesota Twins, “Twinkies” at times during their history, particularly during the bad times in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.

    We would be remiss if we didn’t include the one I saw first right on this blog:
    Commanders = Commies.

    Sad, from a team that spawned great intra-team nicknames like the Hogs and the Fun Bunch.
    Read recently that there’s a group out there lobbying the new owners to restore the team’s pre-WFT branding…good luck with that.

    USC uses Troy a lot, or “Men of Troy” or “Women of Troy”. “Trojans” came from a LA Times writer, Owen Bird, in 1912. He stated… “They were facing teams that were bigger and better-equipped, yet they had splendid fighting spirit. The name ‘Trojans’ fitted them.” Now it really doesn’t fit them if going by this explanation, but nobody equates this name with this description anymore.

    Don’t know why Chivas USA (defunct) was included on the list and not LAFC but LAFC is also referred to as The Black and Gold. The Dodgers have been nicknamed The Boys in Blue by the team’s TV broadcasters. The Rams had LAPD and the Mob Squad as team nicknames in their most recent time here in LA, as well as the Fearsome Foursome back in the Deacon Jones/Merlin Olson days.

    A fan of the Tigers would point out that Auburn is most certainly not the “War Eagles”. Instead “War Eagle!” (as shown in the link) is a battle cry. In addition to Tigers, I believe Auburn has been known in the past as the Plainsmen.

    The Georgia Bulldogs are known as “them Dawgs” or the Junkyard Dawgs – a moniker that has stuck around after a particular scappy defense from the 1970’s was given that name. The Redcoat Band still plays Jim Croce’s refrain during games. UGA has also been known as the Silver Britches, a name dating back to the 50’s or early 60’s.

    Back when they were an all male institution, Georgia Tech became the Yellow Jackets after local Agnes Scott coeds took to wearing gold coats to chilly games at Grant Field. One great team was dubbed “The Golden Tornado”. Other Tech nicknames over the years include the Engineers, Ramblin Wrecks, and of course Jackets. One late 70’s defense was named the Black Watch.

    When the Atlanta Falcons went to the Super Bowl in the late 90’s, the name Dirty Birds has stuck with the team. Also often referred to as the Birds. Sometimes a marketing slogan will stick with the fans, sometimes as a joke. The Atlanta Hawks during the Dominique years were called “Atlanta’s Air Force”.

    The expansion Atlanta Flames first head coach was hall of famer Boom Boom Geoffrion. In his heavy accent he would refer to his team as “the Atlanta Flame” – a name that caught on with local fans. Probably didn’t transfer to Calgary.

    When owner Ted Turner put his baseball team on his cable “Superstation” he proclaimed the Braves to be “America’s Team”. When asked what they’d be doing after work, around Atlanta folk would reply “watching America’s Team”.

    Even if fans and alums are anxious to disparage that usage of “War Eagle”, they can’t control usage, and the truth is announcers have used that counterintuitive phrase to refer to Auburn football.

    The early ’80s Brewers = Harvey’s Wallbangers. One of my favorites.
    Aren’t the Miami Dolphins referred to as the Fish?
    And does anyone still call the NY (Football) Giants the Big Blue Wrecking Crew anymore?

    Probably my duty to drop this here. The CFL has a lot of team nicknames used commonly. More than one for some teams. Many refer to the team colours.

    BC Lions: Leos
    Edmonton Elks: The Green and Gold. Had nicknames with old team name
    Calgary Stampeders: Stamps, The Red and White
    Saskatchewan Roughriders: Riders, Green Riders, The Green and White, Roughies (that one more old-timey)
    Winnipeg Blue Bombers: Bombers, The Blue and Gold
    Hamilton Tiger-Cats: Ticats, Tabbies
    Toronto Argonauts: Argos, Double Blue, Boatmen, Skullers
    Montreal Alouettes: Als, Larks

    Ottawa Redblacks don’t think there is one? Ottawa Rough Riders were referred to as Riders or Eastern Riders.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, you’re Baltimore CFL…(- – – – -)…football team”


    Yes, the team nickname in 1994 when legally they could not use it as the team name.

    Former White Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson used to call the Red Sox the “Carmines.” And if I recall correctly, Theo Epstein’s program for scouting talent was called Carmine.

    Does anyone in New England ever refer to their Sox as the Carmines?

    Not sure if this counts, but the University of Arizona Wildcats uses “Bear Down”. Something about some player in the hospital telling someone to tell the team to “Bear Down”. More of a phrase than a nickname.

    An aesthetic side note regarding one of the images in the article:

    I find it strange that, as shown on that 1961 Yankees roster page, they’ve grouped multiple stat lines with braces on the left side. That seems rather unnecessary, as the individual players are already separated by full lines, so it’s not like we’re going to mistake Gerald Heintz’s stats from Auburn as belonging to Johnny James.

    Listing “San Diego Superchargers” as a nickname for the team now in Los Angeles seems cruel lol.

    Most of the notable sports nicknames have been mentioned already so I’m gonna branch out to mine.
    My nickname growing up was Chiclets.
    My nickname that I use on here (Rydell) is that of a high school in a very popular movie back in the day.

    Another overlooked category of nicknames are the pejorative names applied to the collection of scabs that took the field when the NFL players went on strike in 1987. The “Spare Bears”, the “Rhinestone Cowboys” and the “Also Rams”, are the ones I recall off the top of my head. But I think every team had one.

    Thanks to their manager, not infrequently in the 60s, the Dodgers were referred to as “the Alstonmen” by reporters.

    U of Wyoming and/or Oklahoma State are the ‘Pokes. I don’t recall any signs or other cheers for America’s Team (LOL) saying “Go Pokes”

    For the English ‘soccer’ nicknames, some mentioned such as ‘The Hammers’ are true nicknames and others ‘Rovers and Wanderers’ are part of the official name, although fans may or may not use them as short versions and they are often listed as nicknames too.
    E.g. Wolverhampton Wanderers have ‘Wolves’ and ‘Wanderers’ as nicknames but I only ever hear them called Wolves and I know a lot of Wolves fans. If I asked someone if they supported the Wanderers I would get a funny look. But, I believe Bolton Wanderers use ‘Wanderers’ more than their other nickname ‘The Trotters’ but I am happy to be corrected on that. West Bromwich Albion use ‘The Albion’ or just ‘Albion’ as well as ‘The Baggies’ but never their other nickname ‘The Throstles’.
    I guess, as in short the etymology of nickname is derived from ‘additional name’ in middle english, a true nickname should not be part of the official name as that is just a shortening of the name, rather than an additional one. What teams are actually called by fans though changes over time and lots of teams’ fans do just use the second part of their official name.

    Bill Simmons would refer to the NBA team in oklahoma as the Zombie Sonics and I have never stopped.

    Here in the Netherlands I played for a basketball club named the Sea Devils, My local football team are the wonderful Leiden Lightning and I have seen matches played by teams like the Amsterdam Rams and Crusaders, the Utrecht Vikings and the Rotterdam Scouts and Trojans. But nicknames like the Hammers for West Ham United, La (Signora) Vecchia for Juventus, blau-grana for FC Barcelona, the Bhoys or the Hoops for Celtic or die Launische Diva von Main for Eintracht Frankfurt we do not really have in Dutch soccer. A soccer nickname I really like is for FC Nurnberg: simply the word Club. Every German soccer fan will understand if you refer to Club.

    I’d throw Lake Show into the ring for the Lakers as well! Also, not LA related but as a current WVU MBA student I definitely have a love/hate relationship with calling the Mountaineers the ‘Eers! haha

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