For those of you who do not know, I apologize for refreshing your memory, but that is the list of possible names for the Washington NBA franchise back in 1997. I understand the name Wizards brings up some terrible memories, but Sea Dogs?!? Really?!? In the words of Norman Chad, "Hey, who slipped something in Susan O'Malley's mineral water? This is the lamest group of choices since Chevy introduced its luxury Geo line." Tony Kornheiser, said it more succintly, "They're kidding, right? They've got to be kidding." Some 'marketing gurus' were probably paid a lot of money to craft that list and I can't let that kind of embarrassment happen again. Now I have no idea if changing the team name is on Uncle Ted's agenda, let alone anywhere near the top of the list, but I am positive this site can do better than Sea Dogs for the price of FREE. We have thus decided to jump on our own bandwagon and come up with some possible names for the franchise. I got input from a bunch of friends and my full list of names is after the jump.
Wizards – For all of the angst surrounding the franchise, let's not forget that this team was a joke when we were the Bullets. Sure, we have some great years in the 70s, but the Bullets were one of the worst franchises in all major sports for about 20 years before becoming the Wizards. The team has actually been relatively succesful under the guidance of Grunfeld.
Bullets – Nostalgic and cool, but there is no way this is happening anytime soon. For a new owner to go against Abe Pollin's wish to dissociate the team from DC gun violence could be construed as the new regime supporting gun violence. Secondly, Gilbert and Javaris Crittendon's 'little' incident ended any chance of this team going back to the old name. On the bright side, the Bullets were abysmal for a long, long time. I have no problem bringing back the old uniforms though......
Dragons – A KKK-related name that is too juvenile for my taste. I also haven't seen any dragons in DC recently.
Sea Dogs – According to dictionary.com, a Sea Dog is an 'old or experience sailor'. Norman Chad said it best, "Let me tell you something, my good friends: You don't go through 500,000 submissions and come up with "Washington Sea Dogs" unless the other 499,999 suggestions were all "Washington Gerrymanderers." Who was on this panel, the folks who signed off on New Coke?"
Express -This one has actually grown on me. I am a huge fan of singular names such as Magic, Heat,
and Thunder, and this one has a nice old school flavor. No relation whatsoever to DC though, and sounds like it came off a computer nickname generator.
Stallions - Another 'cut and paste' nickname that has nothing to do with DC.
Monuments – Soooo many people have come up with this and I hate to even list this. I understand that the Capitals is a similar name, but Monuments can't happen.
Senators – I love this name, but it would be weird to copy to old baseball team name. Things would have been easier if the Nationals were the Senators, so the Wiz could change to Nationals. There is also an NHL team with this name.
Justice – Definitely on my short list. I like that it is singular, menacing, and relates to DC; the DC official motto is 'Justice for All'. This is my first choice.
District – For those of us true DC natives, a source of pride and defining characteristic is that we are not actually a state, just a District. I have no idea where this Columbia is located, but that is why we have taxation without representation. I would be giddy calling the team 'The 'District', but that is not exactly intimidating. The name could definitely yield some awesome jerseys similar to the old Golden State ones with an outline of the city.
Statesmen – Sounds a too nerdy but thought I'd throw it out here.
Diplomats – Franklin & Marshall college has this nickname, and was a rival of my undergrad school, so this one makes me a little queasy. That said, calling the team the 'Dips' would be sugary sweet.
Republic – Another one that shortens well, to 'The Reps'. Not sure the name really fits...
Chiefs – An awesome name, and goes hand-in-hand with the Redskins. That said, and NFL team already has this one, making it unlikely. I researched the Indian history of DC, and only see the Conoy tribe as an option, and not a cool sounding one; why couldn't we have the Apache?
Sentinels - The team name in the movie "The Replacements", but still pretty sweet.
Americans – I am a fan; Canada has the Canadians and Canucks, and we have the Yankees, so why not the Americans? This name would be a great reason to bring back the red, white, and blue uniforms too.
Generals – For those of you who didn't immediately notice why this name is awesome, it is the team name of the regular cannon fodder of the Harlem Globetrotters and relates to DC. Bullets would just make me remember the bad years, so I don't see why Generals would be any different. I do see the franchise as being hesitant to have a name related to war, and there is no way this is happening.
Mystics – A little kick in the pants for the current guys and a likely boost for 'the other' professional basketball franchise in town. Let's see some free agents who really want to play in DC.
Cherry Blossoms – That's right, I said it. We are not exactly known for our wildlife or botany, but what else is such a big part of the DC? What better way to reach out to the Dupont Circle crowd? We would likely have some very fashion-forward uni's for this one.
Lebrons – No shot at signing the best player in the league you say? I say we have a shot if we just name the team after him. We could even have uniforms that are just a big picture of his face! So what if he doesn't sign and we already changed the team name? We can just change it to something else in a year.
Ninjas – Nobody messes with Ninjas.
Rebels – Another one that relates back to DC and is very cool. Ole Miss (Rebels) and UNVL (Runnin' Rebels) already use the name, but I don't think this is a stretch.
Stealth – Singular, sweet, and mildly related to DC thanks to our expensive stealth weapons.
Go-Go – Utah/New Orleans has Jazz, and we have Go-Go. The pregame intro music would be amazing, and maybe this would push the team toward an uptempo style of play.
Chill – There is so much that could be done with this one. If we have the Heat, why not the Chill? Nothing to do with DC though.
Force – G-Force's name would suddenly make a lot for sense.
Wildebeasts – This is all I could think for something that starts with a 'W', but not at all related to DC, other than our spectacular Zoo. I tried to come up with more animal names, but all the other badass animals are taken: Lions, Tigers, Bears, Sharks. I thought maybe Gorillas, but the NBA would have trouble okaying any monkey-related name in a sport that is stereotypically considered 'black' and constantly fighting bad public perception because of that stereotype. Pandas, Piranhas, Cheetahs, or Ligers anyone?
So which one do you like? Any other ideas? Let's have a vote and if you select 'Other', please let us know which name you like in the comments section.
What Should the Nickname of the Wizards be?
Wizards (45 votes)
Bullets (272 votes)
Express (30 votes)
Sentinels (49 votes)
Americans (25 votes)
Justice (123 votes)
Senators (29 votes)
Rebels (14 votes)
Other (64 votes)
651 total votes