The Worst Team Names in Sports Today
Everybody has an opinion on what makes a good name for a sports team.
Some sports franchises try to come up with a name that will instill holy fear in their opponents, and others try to pay homage to the team’s hometown.
But this doesn’t always pan out as planned, and some teams end up with some highly regrettable names for fans to chew on.
The following list of the 20 worst team names in sports is a collection of monikers ranging everywhere from the unimaginative to the nonsensical, and everywhere in between.
Prepare yourself, because it’s not pretty.
20. The Minnesota Wild
When a woman calls herself “wild,” it doesn’t tell you much about her besides “Dad never came to my recitals” and “Yes, I’ve made love in a Hyundai Sonata.”
When a hockey team names itself “Wild,” it doesn’t tell you much about the program besides “We ran out of ideas” and “We got trees and you can see the moon here, don’tcha know.”
19. The Tulane Green Wave
“So why are you guys called the ‘Green Wave?'”
“Oh you know, some guy from the Tulane Hullabaloo wrote a song in 1920 called ‘The Rolling Green Wave’ and it just kinda stuck. You know how it is.”
“Yea, after that we made a pelican riding a surf board and a little mischievous boy named Greenie our mascots.”
And which planet did this all happen on?
Ours. It happened on our planet.
18. The Philadelphia Phillies
Another brain-drainer of a geographically named team, the Phillies were given their named because they’re from—wait for it—Philadelphia.
17. The Washington Wizards
Just because “wizard” and “Washington” both start with a W doesn’t mean they need to be paired together and slapped on the name of a basketball franchise.
But that’s exactly what happened in 1996 when the people of Washington voted for the Washington Bullets to be renamed the Wizards, after team owner Abe Pollin decided the franchise’s moniker had become too controversial, in light of recent gun violence.
To this day, many Washington fans still want their Bullets back—which isn’t a bad idea, considering the fact the Washington Wizards have been anything but magical these days.
16. The Stanford Cardinal
Their mascot is a tree, and their sports teams are named after the color cardinal—one of those obscure Crate & Barrel shades of red your girlfriend tells you to go pick up a quart of at The Home Depot.
“So uh...a quart of like...what is that? Dark red?”
“Uh, no. That’s cardinal.”
No, it’s not cardinal, Stanford. It’s annoying.
Now take the paint and finish your bird feeder, or whatever.
15. The Oakland Athletics
There are athletes—in a stadium—playing the sport. We get it.
But why? Why would you call yourself the Athletics?
Was it originally a working title, or something, and you just have never gotten around to thinking of something better in the last 110 years?
You could’ve at least gone with the Oakland Athletes—because at least “athlete” is a noun.
14. The Los Angeles Clippers
How did a team with such a strong name like the Buffalo Braves move to California and end up with a name like the Clippers?
I don’t rightly know, but if they were trying to go the “cool-boat-name-because-we-live-by-the-sea” route, they really missed the ball.
It’s not like the “Briny Destroyers” was taken, or anything.
13. The University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
I get it: It’s a heritage thing. But it’s time to face facts—your brand has been diluted.
Between Greenpeace and this song by Europe, the University of Hawaii might want to delineate itself from the rest of the “rainbow warriors” and toughen its image by making a radical change and changing its name to “(Any other word besides rainbow) Warriors.”
12. The Old Albanians Rugby Club
The Old Albanians are a rugby club located in St. Albans in Hertfordshire, England.
We get the fact that St. Albans led to “Albanians,” but what we don’t get is why you’d pick a name that makes your opponents envision a group of withered old men sweating in a bathhouse in Southeastern Europe.
Okay, now we get it.
11. The Orlando Magic
Sometimes the democratic process doesn’t work.
A good example of this kind of failure would be when Orlando business owner Jimmy Hewitt and former Philadelphia 76ers general manager Pat Williams decided to leave the name of the basketball team they planned to bring to Orlando up to the people.
The people skipped on the “Heat,” the “Tropics” and the “Juice” and decided they wanted the Magic.
People wanted the Magic over the Juice?
Just think about how much fun going to a basketball game would be if you got to scream “JUUUIIIIICCCE!!!” every time a player hits a three-pointer.
10. The Cleveland Browns
You knew we would come to this point, and sure, there are many lines of association you could draw between the Browns’ luck on the playing field and substances that are colored brown.
However, I feel like we should try to be adults about this and remember that the team was named after the franchise’s first head coach, Paul Brown.
But they’re basically the Cleveland Poopers.
9. The Montreal Canadiens
You really hit pay dirt with this one, Canada. The “Canadiens!” Huzzah!
I know you’re probably the most storied franchises in the history of the game, but I have to ask: Is it annoying being such a bubbling font of creativity in an otherwise vapid wasteland of unoriginal thought in this world?
I can’t really talk too much trash, however—the United States had its own thoughtlessly named “New York Americans” back in the day.
8. The Utah Jazz
Nothing gets a crowd cooking like a little jazz flute and a searing strumbola solo.
Honestly, the name “Jazz” only makes sense if you’re familiar with the origins of the franchise in New Orleans—the team’s original home and the First City of Jazz.
So why did they decide to keep the name when the team moved to one of the least swinging states in the country?
Because it sounds better than the “Mighty Fightin’ Mountain Mormons”?
I don’t think it does.
7. The Victorian Bushrangers Cricket Squad
The Victorian Bushrangers have a web site. And yes, it’s completely SFW.
6. The Nashville Predators
There are only two kinds of “Predators” that can instill real fear in grown men.
The first kind has dreadlocks and can render itself invisible as it hunts Arnold Schwarzenegger in a perpetually soggy rainforest.
The second kind of predator has perpetually soggy hands and is legally compelled to introduce himself when he moves into your neighborhood.
The Nashville Predators and their saber-toothed mascot pale in terms of instilling that same kind of fear in their opponents.
5. Thailand Tobacco Monopoly
The Thailand Tobacco Monopoly, or TTM for short, is, in fact, an actual soccer club and not some kind of strange economic protest group.
The club was formed in the ‘60s by the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly company—obviously a corporate entity well versed in the art of creative subtlety.
I can only assume the meeting where the executive officers named the team went something like, “We control the market and the entire means of production! So we’ll name the team after the company if we damn well want to! GO CANCER BROKERS!”
4. The New Orleans Pelicans
Voila! The latest and greatest in terrible sports team-naming decisions is brought to you by some of the good owners in the National Basketball Association.
That’s correct. As early as the 2013-14 season, the New Orleans Hornets will be changing their name to the New Orleans Pelicans.
I understand the reason for wanting to change the name—the Hornets aren’t a homegrown NOLA product and were recently the little orphan Annie of the NBA for 16 months before New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson picked them up this year.
But naming your team after the Louisiana state bird (the brown pelican) isn’t the answer. Not even if you put a top hat on it.
Okay, maybe if you put a top hat on it.
3. The Amherst College Lord Jeffs
You have to give the people at Amherst College some credit—they didn’t stoop to using the “fighting” moniker for their crappy team name like other institutions and sports franchises.
It would’ve been very easy to tack it on and have “The Fighting Lord Jeffs” to try to toughen it up, but that might’ve not been the best idea, considering the actual Lord Jeffrey Amherst liked waging his wars with smallpox-infested blankets.
2. The University of Arkansas at Monticello Boll Weevils
“Fierce, tough, mean and courageous,” are some of the adjectives the people at the University of Arkansas at Monticello use to describe their "Boll Weevils.”
And we just nod our heads in silence and hope somebody remembered to give these people their medicine.
1. The Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes
Let’s make this clear, because it’s been going on far too long in the land of sports—you can’t just throw the word “fighting” in front of any old noun and make something macho.
No word in the English language is going to make a legume scary, Scottsdale.