The 20 Worst Team Names in Professional Sports

Dickie GreenleafContributor IJanuary 31, 2011

The 20 Worst Team Names In Professional Sports

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots stands on the field during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa
    Elsa/Getty Images

    This is a list of 20 teams that need to change their names immediately. The NHL All-Star game named their two teams today: Team Lidstrom and Team Staal, named after the two captains from each side. I love the idea of the pick-up style game, but HATE the names. Throughout history, professional sports franchises have undergone a shift from being named after things we can recognize to today—where team names are downright vague. Here are the 20 worst offenders...

20. New England Patriots

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    FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 19:  The mascot for the New England Patriots leads the team onto the feild before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Gillette Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots won the game 31-27.  (Photo by
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    I have no issue at all with the name Patriots. However, I do have a problem with their location: New England. New England is made up of six different states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island.

    One team for six states. Eww.

    The Patriots are one of only two professional teams to have named themselves after a general region of the United States (Don't worry, the other is on the list too).

    This team should be named the Boston Patriots.

19. Edmonton Oilers

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    1987:  Center Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers looks on during a game against the Los Angeles Kings at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. Mandatory Credit: Mike Powell  /Allsport
    Mike Powell/Getty Images

    I know, I know, the Edmonton Oilers have won five Stanley Cups.

    But, it's a shame they are named after the one product that we now fight wars over. Since it appears those wars will continue forever, having a team named for oil is not very appropriate.  

    The Houston Oilers changed their name—your move Edmonton.

18. Cleveland Browns

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    CLEVELAND - NOVEMBER 28:  Running back Peyton Hillis #40 of the Cleveland Browns scores a touchdown in front of safety Sherrod Martin #23 of the Carolina Panthers at Cleveland Browns Stadium on November 28, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sulliva
    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

    The Browns were named after their coach, Paul Brown. How weird is that? Originally, they to be named the Cleveland Panthers but the rights had already been claimed. Naturally, the second choice was to name them after the coach.

    We're used to hearing it, so it seems like a great name. But in reality, it's terrible. Shame their coach's name wasn't something like Paul Schwartz. 

17. Buffalo Bills

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    ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Buffalo Bills mascot Billy Buffalo walks off the field prior to play against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York. Jacksonnville won 36-26. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Get
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Ugh. The Bills are the only team whose name is so bad that they pretend their city and their mascot are one in the same. 

    They were named after the famous cowboy "Buffalo Bill" Cody, yet they use a cartoon buffalo as their logo. FAIL.

16. Utah Jazz

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    PHOENIX - OCTOBER 12:  Gordon Hayward #20 of the Utah Jazz walks back to the bench with teammates during the preseason NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on October 12, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledge
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The Utah Jazz used to be the New Orleans Jazz and I still say that naming any team the Jazz is a bad call. 

    I get that New Orleans is known for it's great Jazz music, but this is a terrible name for a group of men playing basketball. Jazz is a music genre, and it needs to stay there.

    It's even worse when that team moves to Utah. 

15. Washington Wizards

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    LOS ANGELES - MARCH 28:  Michael Jordan #23 of the Washington Wizards drives past Rick Fox #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the game at Staples Center on March 28, 2003 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 108-94.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly
    Robert Laberge/Getty Images

    The impact of Harry Potter knows no bounds. Rumor has it the team may change it's name back to the Washington Bullets next year which is just as bad, but for different reasons.

    In such a great historical city as DC, I have no idea how you could name a team "the Wizards". I guess they needed a W.

14. Colorado Avalanche

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    DENVER - DECEMBER 27:  Matt Duchene #9 of the Colorado Avalanche controls the puck against the Detroit Red Wings at the Pepsi Center on December 27, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Red Wings defeated the Avalanche 4-3 in overtime.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The Avalanche are the first weather-related entry. As you will see, I personally hate teams named after the weather. What's worse is that the Avalanche used to be the Quebec Nordiques that had amazing Fleur de Lis' designs on their jerseys.

    The Avalanche are named after a snow storm, have a Bigfoot patch on their shoulders and their mascot is a St. Bernard. Make up your mind guys.

    I blame the awful Ed Hardy revolution for the Nordiques becoming the Avalanche. Had that not happened, Ed hardy and Affliction never would have used—and ruined—the Fleur de Lis. 

13. Orlando Magic

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    10 Apr 1996:  Center Shaquille O''Neal of the Orlando Magic hangs from the rim as he completes a slam dunk during the Magic''s 116-104 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Orlando Arena in Orlando, Florida.   Mandatory Credit: Allsport USA/ALLSPORT
    Getty Images/Getty Images

    Great, more magical names. Orlando named their team the Magic because Disney World's Magic Kingdom is in Orlando. 

    For a professional franchise, this name is just way too PC and vague. 

12. Tampa Bay Lightning

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    TAMPA, FL - JUNE 7:   Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates with the Stanley Cup after defeating the Calgary Flames in game seven of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals on June 7, 2004 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.  The Lightning w
    Elsa/Getty Images

    More weather. Unfortunately, this team won a Stanley Cup in 2004, so they should be allowed to keep this super boring weather related name.

    Dear Tampa Bay Lightning- 

    Please move to Canada. You're actually wanted there.

11. Carolina Hurricanes

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    RALEIGH, NC - JUNE 19:  Rod Brind'Amour #17 of the Carolina Hurricanes hoists the Stanley Cup in front of his teammates after the Hurricanes defeated the Edmonton Oilers in game seven of the 2006 NHL Stanley Cup Finals on June 19, 2006 at the RBC Center i
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    This is the one that personally hurts the most. I was a huge Hartford Whalers fan, so it crushed me to see my beloved Whale move to NC, change their name, their colors, and then worst of all—win a Stanley Cup in 2006. 

    Not only that, but they're another team in the "we love weather" club. Nice red butthole logo, guys.

10. Houston Texans

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    HOUSTON - NOVEMBER 28:  Wide receiver Andre Johnson #80 of the Houston Texans completes a catch in the back of the endzone for  a score as he was defended by linebacker Tim Shaw #59 of the Tennessee Titans at Reliant Stadium on November 28, 2010 in Housto
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Zzzzzzzzzz. You almost can't get more vague than the Texans from Texas.

9. Colorado Rockies

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    DENVER - SEPTEMBER 25:  Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Colorado Rockies celebrates with Huston Street (L) and their teammates after he hit the game RBI double to score Carlos Gonzalez #5 against the San Francisco Giants in the 10th inning at Coors Field on Sep
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Go big mountains! It's very PC to name your team after rocks. Try and hold back your excitement.

8. Oklahoma City Thunder

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    NEW YORK - DECEMBER 22:  Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder in action against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on December 22, 2010 in New York, New York.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/o
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    This team should still be the Sonics no matter where they are located. Instead they're named after weather too. Even their uniforms are horrible. If your team name doesn't obviously support a mascot, it shouldn't be named that.

7. Nashville Predators

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    NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 11:  Shea Weber #6 and Joel Ward #29 of the Nashville Predators celebrate after defeating the Florida Panthers 3-0 on December 11, 2010 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
    Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

    Logo? Sabre-tooth tiger fossil. Name? Tigers? No. Predators. Yuck. It's way too general and yes, vague.

    Another team that needs to move to Canada, please. 

6. Atlanta Thrashers

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    MONTREAL, CANADA - JANUARY 2:  Dustin Byfuglien #33 of the Atlanta Thrashers skates during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on January 2, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Thrashers defeated the Canadiens 4-3 in overtime
    Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

    The Thrashers are named after Georgia's state bird, the Brown Thrasher. 


    Big missed opportunity there. 

    I know this is named after a real bird but it sounds like the team is named for what I do in my sleep while I'm having a nightmare.

5. Miami Heat

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    NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 27:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat on the court against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on January 27, 2011 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using th
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    No obvious logo = fail. The Heat. Let's root for warmth! 

    A better name would be the Fireballs in a nod to their logo.

4. Minnesota Wild

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    CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 25: Niklas Backstrom #32 of the Minnesota Wild raises his glove as he protects the goal against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on January 25, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Wild defeated the Blackhawks 4-2.  (Photo by Jo
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    You can't get more vague than a team called "the Wild". They don't even know what their logo is. It has trees and a moon inside of a panther-head silhouette. Any name would be better.

3. Columbus Blue Jackets

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    MONTREAL - JANUARY 25:  Columbus Blue Jackets mascot, Stinger performs on the ice during the NHL All Star Mascot Breakfast at the Bell Centre Sports Complex on January 25, 2009 in Montreal, Canada.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    When Columbus entered the league they used a bee—a yellow jacket, wearing a blue jacket. The team has now started to switch it's logos over to a civil war cannon and using the name Blue Jackets in reference to Civil War soldiers from Ohio. 

    They're all over the place. How embarrassing.

2. Golden State Warriors

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    OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 24:  Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors stands at midcourt during their game against the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena on January 24, 2011 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Where the hell are the Warriors from?!! They use the Golden Gate Bridge as their new and current logo which is—awesome! Let's run with that. They play in Oakland, but claim to play in Golden State.

    Wanna know why you make no money on merchandising? That's why. 

    Just like the Patriots should be the Boston Patriots, these guys should be the San Francisco Warriors. 

Bonus: Brooklyn New Yorkers

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    The New Jersey Nets filed for a copyright on the name Brooklyn New Yorkers and supplied this artwork.

    Just like the Houston Texans, please don't name yourself after where you are! We can probably figure out where you're from by your city name.

1. Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim

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    ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 20:  Peter Bourjos #25, Bobby Abreu #53 and Torii Hunter #48 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrate a 7-4 win over the Texas Rangers during the ninth inning at Angel Stadium on September 20, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (P
    Harry How/Getty Images

    First and foremost, Los Angeles is about forty miles from Anaheim so how are you from BOTH? Insanity.

    Secondly, no professional team should have a name with any type of religious connotations.

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