The 25 Best Team Nicknames Ever
From baby animals to birds to leprechauns, team nicknames are so much more fun than actual team names. Whether to mock a franchise in a slump or praise a team in its glory days, nicknames can say it all.
By making the sports headlines more enticing and sometimes even referring back to history, these names are a snapshot into a team and its fans.
Here are the 25 best team nicknames ever.
25. Lambs: Saint Louis Rams
This name used by detractors calls out the Rams when they are not performing by comparing them to a baby sheep. At least the town’s little red birds are kicking butt in baseball right now.
24. The Aints: New Orleans Saints
The Aints began after their 1980 season with 14 consecutive losses. The name persisted as the team did not win a playoff game until 2000.
The New Orleans Saints 2010 Super Bowl win buried the title – there was an actual jazz funeral through town. But after losing in the playoffs the following year, it seems as though the ghost of the Aints may have returned.
23. The Power Rangers: Texas Rangers
If someone called the Pittsburgh Steelers the Cabbage Patch Kids there would be a revolt, but somehow it’s cool to call a baseball franchise the Power Rangers.
Boy toys are so much cooler than weird dolls with no necks – although the dolls do look a lot more like NFL players. Let's see if Texas has the power to take home the 2011 World Series.
22. The Make Believes: Toronto Maple Leafs
Detractors say that the Toronto Maple Leafs make you believe they will do well but never come through.
There may be some truth to that, since the last time the Leafs hoisted the Cup was before players had to wear helmets.
It’s true. They have not won a championship since 1967, which is the longest active Cup drought in the NHL.
21. The Brew Crew: Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers, based in the beer capital of America, even have a blade of wheat on their team logo. At least they are honest about their embrace of America’s other favorite pastime.
Now, if every stadium would only serve the brew beyond the seventh inning...
20. The Broadway Blueshirts: New York Rangers
This vintage nickname started with the New York Rangers' early success in New York City's Roaring 20s.
As local celebrities, The Broadway Blueshirts frequented establishments nearby Madison Square Garden and Times Square. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist keeps the glamor alive and remains a fixture in Manhattan night life.
19. The BJs: Toronto Blue Jays
Most would say this is a nickname used by detractors, but perception is everything.
The Toronto Blue Jays had a back-to-back set of championships in the early 90s, delivering a major "blow" to America’s pastime.
Who knew Canadians could play baseball? Unfortunately, since their decade-old streak, the BJs have not been able to come up for air.
18. B.I.L.L.S: Buffalo Bills
This nick name stands for “Boy, I Love Losing Super bowls.”
This is self-explanatory for Buffalo’s finest silver medalists – the only team to ever lose four consecutive Super Bowls.
Every winter, Bills fans pass up the town’s legendary outlet malls and bear the frigid cold to support their team. It’s time for this herd to make a comeback and go all the way.
17. The Bronx Bombers: New York Yankees
This name refers to home of New York Yankees — the New York City borough of the Bronx.
Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit was a thrilling moment in baseball but just not enough to get the Yanks to the World Series.
It might be time for a new name, since the Yankees just finished “bombing” the old Yankee stadium in order to build a new one across the street on public parkland.
16. The Broad Street Bullies: Philadelphia Flyers
One way to win championships in the 1970s was to beat up the opposing team. The Philadelphia Flyers had a good run at being the toughest team on ice, until the Montreal Canadiens came up with a line of enforcers of their own.
15. The Habs: Montreal Canadiens
The “Habs” short for Les Habitants – a French term that describes early settlers to Quebec, is also synonymous with the Montreal Canadiens.
“Go Habs Go!” is like a secret distinct society chant that reminds the English speakers not to mess with them, be it on or off the ice.
14. C.O.L.T.S: Indianapolis Colts
Used during the years in which the Colts franchise struggled, it stood for “Count on Losing This Sunday.”
This old-school nickname may be seeing a renaissance as the Indianapolis Colts are presently 0-6 without star QB Peyton Manning.
13. My Entire Team Sucks: New York Mets
A M.E.T.S. acronym used by many Phillies and Yankees fans.
When the team owner is mixed up with the MVP (Most Valuable Ponzi), it must be impossible for the dysfunction not to trickle down to the team itself. Thankfully, the loyal Mets fans stand faithfully by the step-child of New York baseball that will no doubt rise again.
12. The Tribe: Cleveland Indians
The Tribe is a notch above the controversial nickname the “Wahoo’s” derived from the Indians caricature logo of Chief Wahoo. Perhaps the Indians should go further back and choose a name from the prehistoric era that no one can argue with – the Cleveland Pterodactyls is available.
11. The Irish: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Notre Dame's nickname, short for Fighting Irish, is inherited from Irish immigrant soldiers who fought in the Civil War with the Union's Irish Brigade. Although the leprechaun team logo is a questionable choice for conveying strength and dominance, the little green man has staying power.
10. The Lords of Flatbush: L.A Dodgers
This old-school nickname remembers the Dodgers when they played in Brooklyn in the neighborhood of Flatbush. The Lords unfortunately had to head for the hills and more cash, but you can still find some classic Dodgers tees on Flatbush Avenue.
9. America's Team: Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys became America’s Team in 1978 when NFL films announcer Bob Ryan introduced this nationally popular franchise in the team’s highlight film. The name stuck and helped to solidify its fan base outside of Dallas.
On their Top 10 show, the NFL Network named "America's Team" as the #1 nickname in NFL history.
8. Gang Green: New York Jets
Not sure if this is a term of endearment for the New York Jets or a warning for Plaxico to keep an eye on that leg injury. Gang Green was also shared by the Philadelphia Eagles from 1987-90. Maybe it's contagious.
7. Dirty Birds: Atlanta Falcons
The nickname started during the 1998 season when the Atlanta Falcons made it all the way to the Super Bowl but lost to the John Elway-led Denver Broncos.
There's also a Dirty Bird dance that makes you wonder if you are at a football game or a wedding. It seems both matrimony and pigskin are blessed by the universal force motivating people to dance like a bird, no matter how ridiculous it looks.
6. Steel Curtain: Pittsburgh Steelers
The 1970s Steelers defensive team earned this nickname being one of the most dominant defenses in the history of the NFL. They were so hardcore, the NFL had to make rule changes in 1978 to give other teams a prayer at scoring.
Their legacy now allows offensive linemen to use their hands to block rushers and prevents defensive backs from bumping receivers more than five yards past the line of scrimmage.
Thankfully, coaches are still allowed to hit each other after the game.
5. The Brady Bunch: New England Patriots
He steals every bit of thunder from the rest of the New England Patriots, but the guy can deliver.
From the team nickname, right down to having the hottest wife in the NFL, there isn’t much that Tom Brady doesn’t do perfectly. He would be nauseating if he wasn’t so good looking.
4.The Big Red Machine: Cincinnati Reds
The Cincinnati Reds dominated the National League from 1970-76 and earned this fitting nickname.
Unfortunately, the name Big Red Machine is also shared by WWE wrestler Kane who is taking a break from smack downs to recover from an injury.
3. Big Bad Bruins: Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins are forever bad boys in Black and Gold.
In a 1976 match against the Russian Red Army team, the Bruins literally scared their opponents off the ice before the game was over.
Zdeno Chara is keeping the name alive with his unfortunate, near decapitation of Max Pacioretty against the boards last year. The NHL has since made adjustments to the glass, but the Bruins continue to be big and bad.
2. The Dream Team: US Olympic Men’s Basketball Team
The 1992 US Olympic Men’s Basketball Team made dreams come true in Barcelona by being the first Olympic roster to include active NBA players.
Some say it was the most dominant team assembled in any sport.
It was a thrill to watch Jordan, Johnson, Pippen, Bird and Ewing united on the same team, beating each opponent by an average of 44 points.
1. Da Bears: Chicago Bears
This nickname for the Chicago Bears was made popular by Saturday Night Live comedy sketch "Bill Swerski’s Super Fans."
Watching Dan Aykroyd, John Goodman, Chris Farley and other SNL royalty as Chicago fans make this classic nickname come to life no matter how many times you see it.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!