IPL: Kings, Super Kings, and Indians! What's In a Name?

Veeraraghavan EchambadiContributor IMay 22, 2009

16 Nov 2001:  A general view of the gound during the England nets session at the Wankhede stadium, Mumbai, India. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Tom Shaw/ALLSPORT

Chennai Super Kings.

Deccan Chargers.

Delhi Daredevils.

Kings XI Punjab.

Kolkata Knight Riders.

Mumbai Indians.

Rajasthan Royals.

Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Eight teams, one mission, one thing in common!

Other than the fact that all of these teams play in the Indian Premier League, the one thing that separates these franchises from everybody else is in their respective abilities (or lack thereof) to come up with some creative names for their franchises.

It is truly amazing that, with the possible exception of Rajasthan and Bangalore, none of these teams have come up with a name that is of any significance to where they are located. A third grader from my nephew’s history class could have done better than these names!

My personal favourites:

The runner-up: The Chennai Super Kings!

Oh, I really wanted to name us the “Kings”, but didn’t have the time or the inclination to think about it, so I just added a “Super” ahead of it once Punjab made its choice.  

So who is a Super King? Just someone from Punjab who is a little better than his “Kings” and made the trip from the Northwest to the Southeast?

And the winner is: The Mumbai Indians! 


Really? In the land of Bollywood, in the city that makes the higher of movies in a year, you couldn’t really squeeze one drop of creative juice? The best you could come up with is "Indian?"

I was actually under the impression that most people in Mumbai are Armenians. You couldn’t even think of an animal just for the heck of it?

I am not really saying that there is much creativity to the names in the sports teams in the U.S. either, but there is some semblance of reasoning here in certain cases.

The Los Angeles Lakers were originally from Minneapolis, the city of Lakes.

The Detroit Pistons’ name came from the original Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, which was named after the owner Fred Zollner’s foundry that manufactured pistons for car, truck, and locomotive engines.

Boston Celtics—Boston’s original Irish-Americans believed that they were ancestors of the ancient druid people called the Celts.

It’s not absolute, but, more often than not, there is a reason for the name. Heck, even my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes have a solid basis for their name, crazy as it sounds (it’s really a nut)!

So, why don’t we have traditional, meaningful names for our IPL teams? And before some of you pounce on me saying having a traditional name would not make sense because many of the players are from other countries, let me remind you, the I in IPL stands for Indian, not International!

After all, it is all in the name. And, please, no making fun of my name—it is about as Indian as a name can get!