Nothing has done more to facilitate wearing sweats—invasive surgery/rising unemployment rates excepted—than college sports. Anyone who’s so much as parked illegally on a college campus owns a pair of draw string pants or a hoodie they’ve thrown up in, decked out in their team’s cartoonish NCAA apparel. This is a testimony to just how popular college sports are, if you haven’t already guessed as much by reading the preceding sentence.
College sports are so popular, they’ve spawned NCAA ‘student athletes’: in Greek antiquity they would’ve thwarted advances from professors by learning how to wrestle but now corrode admission standards and deplete resources that would otherwise educate the overachievers they once beat up.
Every college, from the hallowed halls of the Ivy League to the coconut variety have seen the economic potential in subsidizing student athletes—even those who’ll be immediately cut from a professional roster (i.e., nearly all of them)— and collegiate sports are so entrenched that unless offshore gambling havens disappear due to global warning, office productivity skyrockets or the drinking age is upped to 30, they’re here to stay.
To the casual observer, college sports are Balkanized combat with cheap beer ammo, garish sweaters and more crappy brass bands than all of Bavaria. Nearly every team is called the Wildcats which makes staying awake during the play by play and discriminating between fight songs that much more difficult.
Most college nicknames are historically grounded. In the case of the University of North Carolina literally—‘Tar Heels’ are so named because of the Confederate army’s standing firm—not the greatest choice for a fleet-footed basketball team, the majority of whom are black. In the case of Notre Dame, ‘Fightin’ Irish’ somehow came about despite its founding by French Jesuits (this is understandable as being French hasn’t been associated with kicking ass for about 200 years).
Regardless of origin, most college nicknames are very hostile—Vikings, Blue Storm, Marauders, and Warriors—fitting if you’ve ever called the cops on a frat house or had to mace a second string quarterback. There are many though, that aren’t in any way intimidating the way a good name should be. Here are our Top 20 Lame College Nicknames, chosen alphabetically.
20. Ozark Christian College Ambassadors. Diplomatic immunity means getting away with murder, in some cases, literally, so why not ‘Hitmen’ instead? An ambassador, unless aggressive diplomacy is practiced, usually seeks to find common ground—which is not going to win many friends (or games), especially in a territorial sport like football.
19. Rhode Island College Anchormen. A dead-weight, that doesn’t bode well for any kind of ‘run and gun’ offense, it’s also, thanks to Will Ferrell, a term that connotes someone who once practiced real journalism.
18. University of California-Santa-Cruz Banana Slugs. Something that would be scraped off the bottom of a shoe if it wasn’t ocean-dwelling.