Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Columbus Sports Nicknames, WTFC?

I've lived in Columbus for almost a year now and it's perplexed me for some time as to why the names of the capital city's sports teams have been sub par.  Over the next few minutes, take a trip with me down Awful Nickname Lane - bring something to stay hydrated, since it'll be a long one, all the way back to the 1870s.

Columbus Blue Jackets (2000-present): The city's only major league team's nickname honors the big role Ohio played in the Civil War.  Early in the team's history, they made up a fake blue jacket bug called Stinger to have a mascot that could be embraced by kids.  It's nice to honor the past, but blue jackets don't incite fear in the hearts of opponents like Tigers, Wolves, Hawks, etc.

Columbus Clippers (1977- present): A Clipper was a type of boat from the 19th century that traveled all over the oceans and seas with all sorts of cargo.  If you are unfamiliar with the geography of Columbus, it's well over 500 miles from the closest ocean.  It's like naming a team after the Rocky Mountains in the great plains, just plain doesn't make sense.  Apparently Christopher Columbus often sailed clippers, but that's a bit of a stretch for me to buy as a team name.

Columbus Crew (1996- present): The 2008 MLS Champions earned their nickname from a fan contest.  Way to go, Columbus, the best name you could come up with is 'crew.'  It brings to mind teamwork and a blue collar attitude, but so does 'Steelers' and that sounds a lot more menacing than 'crew.'

Ohio State Buckeyes (1870- present): I get it, the nickname honors the state tree and it's important for a state school to respect the state.  At least the other big time program that named it's team after a tree (Stanford Cardinal) has a mascot who likes to party.  Buckeyes, just like every other team nickname in the city, doesn't bring it in the fear department.  The nut itself is poisonous to cattle and sometimes humans, but it's not exactly cyanide.

Columbus Chill (1991-1999): Ice is cold, brrrrr, chilly.  Hardy har har.  This might be the worst of all.  When I grow up I'm going to buy a baseball team and call it the Newark Green.  This is beyond awful when you throw their color scheme in the mix.  When you hear chill, you think cold and when you hear cold, you think blue (not black and white).

Columbus Solons (1889-1891): This short-lived baseball team was named after an ancient sage or respected leader.  No wonder they only lasted for three seasons and finished under .500.

Columbus Panhandles (1907- 1926): This broke-as-a-joke nickname was based on the railroad route between Pittsburgh and Columbus.  It's the only team in city history who realized how dumb their nickname was and made an attempt to improve upon it, re-branding themselves as the Columbus Tigers in 1922.  After making this huge change for the better, the team folded after finishing second-to-last and last in it's final two seasons.  What a shame.

*There were three baseball teams that went by the Columbus Buckeyes, so please see Buckeyes, Ohio State for their nickname breakdown.

At least UC Santa Cruz and their phenomenal nickname aren't moving to central Ohio anytime soon.



  1. The Columbus Chill rocked

  2. 1. this is the kind of thing you should be freelancing about

    2. get out of ohio.

  3. Terry said,

    Columbus Blue JAckets..."Stinger" is mascow...why have your kid hug a bug that will sting you..?

    Ohio Buckeyes....Buckeyes are also "nuts"..."go nuts"!

  4. Correction...for all the A-holes out there that will send a note correcting my mis-type of moscot....pardon..Terry

  5. are you referring to deez nuts?