Thursday, April 3, 2014

Line 'Em Up!

                Sometimes I play a game with football team names, which itself doesn’t have a name.  It seems to work well with football nicknames, because they are, in all honesty, somewhat derivative of each other.  You’re going for a lot of the same things.  They generally want the name to be scary, and in as much as in any sport, I think fans picture an actual representation of their team fighting one from their opponent.  Thus, I’ve noticed, there are correlations across the conferences of team nicknames.  Here’s how they lined up this time:
Houston and New Orleans:  These are both southern cities, so it makes sense why they should have a similar theme as far as the marketing of their team goes.  And while on the surface this may seem like the correlation between their names isn’t very strong (there aren’t going to be many Texan Saints, let’s just say), where they connect the most is, I believe, in the logos.  Both are versions of somewhat-overused symbols from the places they associate with.  Texas is something like a different country, but Louisiana is one of the more under-ratedly provincial states in the union.
Kansas City and Minnesota:  These places also seem to have a connection with each other, given that they are both western areas on rivers.  But while many might see no connection between a Norse warrior and a stoic Native American, I see it more like this:  Vikings are members of a type of tribe, in a very dog-eat-dog world.  The chiefs could very well be a member of a similar tribe in America, from a time when they might have first been starting to make tools (thus the Arrowhead), and many think the Vikings made it to America anyway.  Plus their logos are very pointy.
Indianapolis and St. Louis:  When you have a couple franchises like this which take long and storied journeys across the United States (and in some cases folding back east, a little bit) you do start to have some similarities in the image of the teams, if not the logos and nicknames themselves.  Both teams have one championship within most of their fanbase’s lifetime, but also play in a market that generally prefers a different sport (baseball for St. Louis, basketball for Indy).  And both teams have rounded logos which are shorthand for hoofed quadrupeds you wouldn’t want to have to fight, but aren’t inherently scary, either.
Seattle and Miami:  In each of these coastal towns with large foreign ethnic identities, football has nonetheless become an important part of the local identity.  Unfortunately for fans of aesthetics, each of these teams has changed their marine-animal logo to one that misunderstands the original’s charm.  Seattle’s ‘Hawk has gotten more angry, though less like one you’d find on one of the area’s famous totem poles.  And Miami didn’t realize that what its logo had going for it was just “It’s a Dolphin wearing a Helmet!”
Pittsburgh and San Francisco: To start, I had always grouped my Packers with Pittsburgh on “Midwestern towns whose teams pay tribute to an historical industry” qualifier.  But I tried something different this time.  The Steelers and 49ers both pay homage to their area’s history, and both of these industries revolve around a metal (useful and valuable, respectively). Each of these teams has also had strong recent runs after dominant runs in the early days of the Super Bowl era.
The Rest:
Philadelphia Eagles à Cincinnati Bengals
Dallas Cowboys à Buffalo Bills
New York Giants à Tennessee Titans
Washington Redskins à New England Patriots
Chicago Bears à Cleveland Browns
Detroit Lions à San Diego Chargers
Green Bay Packers à New York Jets
Carolina Panthers à Jacksonville Jaguars
Tampa Bay Buccaneers à Denver Broncos
Atlanta Falcons à Oakland Raiders
Arizona Cardinals à Baltimore Ravens

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