Top 10 Worst Franchise Names

Ben SchwartzCorrespondent IJune 26, 2008


Here is the top 10 list of the worst names for franchises in the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. I rank these based on the fact they have no real relationship to the city or state the team plays in. I also provide some fun and serious name alternatives. Give me a comment or even your own suggestions. (Also check out I got my info from there about how some of the teams got their names.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL)

Jaguars are a part of the "big cat" family. They are found in Central and South America. Last time I checked, Jacksonville was nowhere near the feline’s native habitat.

Possible Name Alternatives: Jacksonville Car Imports (only kidding) or Jacksonville Generals (In reference to former President and US General Andrew Jackson, who the city is named after)

09. Carolina Panthers (NFL)

Another big feline enters my list, the Panthers. Again, you have a southern city with no traces of the black panthers living anywhere in site, except maybe the Charlotte Zoo.

Possible Name Alternatives: Carolina Royals (Charlotte was nicknamed "Queen City") or Carolina Swarm (in reference to the city also being nicknamed "The Hornets Nest")

08. Memphis Grizzlies (NBA)

Originally located in Vancouver, British Columbia, the Grizzlies made perfect sense. The dense forests of northwest Canada had plenty of big grizzlie bears. But earth to Memphis! No grizzlies are roaming around the town that Elvis built. Heck, there’s a better chance of seeing an Elvis sighting than a grizzly bear.

Possible Name Alternatives: Memphis Blues (City known for blues music) or Memphis Cargos (another just kidding, but this is in reference to the city having the busiest cargo airports in the nation)

07. New York Rangers (NHL)

A team located in the middle of Manhattan with no western style saloons in site. No cowboys roaming the streets of NYC (except the Naked Cowboy in Times Square). The team got the name from Tex Rickard, who ran MSG, after people considered the new hockey team, "Tex's Rangers"

Possible Name Alternatives: New York Traffic (just kidding) or New York Liberty (make it a law that the WNBA Liberty needs to change their names to Lady Liberties) or even New York Rush (in reference to rush-hour traffic)

06. New Orleans Hornets (NBA)

When the team was located in Charlotte, North Carolina it made sense to be the Hornets. Charlotte's nickname was "The Hornet's Nest", but times have changed and they have moved to The Big Easy. While I'm sure hornets do fly around stinging people in Louisiana, the name of the team should resemble its city.

Possible Name Alternatives: NEW ORLEANS JAZZ (take it from Utah)

05. New Jersey Nets (NBA)

Even if they are my favorite basketball team, the name is just stupid. Named after a basketball NET? What's next...the NFL's Pig Skinners? The MLB's Bats or the NHL's Pucks? The team should resemble something that is not an object in the game but rather from where the team is from. Given that the team started on Long Island and then moved to New Jersey and will possibly be moving to Brooklyn in the near are a few choices.

Possible Name Alternatives: New Jersey Meadowlanders (represents them playing at the Meadowlands) or Brooklyn Dodgers (to help cherish the borough's former pastime) or New Jersey Pollution (to represent that long strip of the Turnpike that smells vile.

04. Calgary Flames (NHL)

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, the Atlanta Flames were named after a famous fire that took over the city in 1917. The team then moved on to Calgary, Alberta. During the wintertime in Calgary, it's usually not flaming hot but decently cold. Therefore the name makes no sense.

Possible Name Alternatives: Calgary Ice (just the opposite of flames) or Calgary Mountaineers (located in Canadian Rockies)

03. Kansas City Royals (MLB)

They were named after the American Royal Livestock Show, which has taken place in Kansas City since 1899. That's enough for me to say about be named after a livestock show?

Possible Name Alternatives: Kansas City And We're Not Even In Kansas (just kidding) or Kansas City Scouts (bringing back the NHL team name) or the Kansas City Fountains? (city is nicknamed "city of fountains")

02. Los Angeles Lakers (NBA)

The land of a thousand lakes...Minnesota....not Hollywood. What was the city of Angels thinking when Minnesota's Lakers were coming to town? The most famous lake in LA was probably built by Hugh Hefner at the Playboy Mansion.

Possible Name Alternatives: Los Angeles Smog (just kidding) or Los Angeles Action (in reference to the movie phrase)

01. Utah Jazz (NBA)

Salt Lake City is not overwhelmed with jazz clubs left and right like New Orleans is, where the Jazz were originally from. Heck, outside Salt Lake, you'd be lucky to find anything civilized. It is one giant combo of desert, mountains, snow and one big city.

Possible Name Alternatives: Utah Salt Lakers (makes more sense than LA) or Utah Miners (big industry in Utah) or Utah Elks (state animal).