With Super Bowl Sunday a mere week away, our nation’s rabid enthusiasm now turns to the illustrious sport of enormous men attacking each other in a manner akin to a medieval battle. I speak of American football. Obviously, I am not referring to the more logically named game involving the kicking of a multicolored sphere around a pitch that is celebrated by 90% of the world, but of the inaccurately-named American pastime of carrying an oblong shaped ovoid in one’s hands.
Regardless of whether or not an American football can truly be called a ball, the day of the venerable Super Bowl is our country’s greatest sporting holiday, rivaling the Olympics in its stature among Americans’ televised pastimes. Even the non-sporting citizen is compelled to watch the game, and any person as unfortunate as to not know the names of the teams playing is ostracized from society during this Festival of Football.
As a person who has never actually sat through an entire football game (even when I had tickets to one in a stadium), and only watches the Super Bowl to see the commercials, I feel it is my duty to understand the rudimentary basics of football, lest I become a social pariah in the eyes of my peers and shame my ancestors with my lack of expertise in the field of contact sports. That is why I am currently reading the Wikipedia page about Super Bowl XLVIII.
As I read about various statistics and people I am utterly ignorant about, I notice the two teams that are to face off this Sunday have ridiculous names. There is nothing at all terrifying about Seahawk (which I have identified as the animal Pomarine skua, a member of the seagull family) besides the fact that they may on occasion steal one’s retainer at the beach (long story, basically when I was eight a Seahawk nicked my teeth retainer, now I must avenge myself by calling them lame in my blog). Then you have the bronco, which refers to feral horses that once roamed the Great Plains before being rounded up and made into glue. Scary!
Neither of these animals are particularly terrifying, so I looked further to see if there were any cooler team names. Of course there are the du jour scary animal mascots such as the Jaguars, the Eagles, and the Bears. Then there’s somewhat perplexing mascots such as Saints and Dolphins, which are usually known for their benevolent nature.
There’s even a team called the Redskins, which I find rather bizarre. Does one really want to be named after a people that were brutally and horrifically oppressed by a technologically superior power? Questions of racism aside, it is strange to name one’s team after a group of people. When I was in middle school, our mascot was the Viking, and we were supposed to exemplify the Viking Spirit of honor, empathy, and integrity. I remember thinking that it was odd that my school encouraged us to emulate a group of people best known for their penchant for wanton murder, mayhem, and pillaging. But whatever, Vikings are tough and they make a better mascot than our rivals, the Heritage Hornets.
That got me thinking, though. What would be an awesome football team name? Something to put fear into the hearts of grown men at the sight of our terrifying emblem? If I was to stick with the convention of naming my team after a group of people, I think I would go with the Fighting Franks.
Franks, of course, refer to the confederation of Germanic tribes along the Rhine River that went head to head against the Romans in Classical times. They later went on to found the Carolingian Empire under Charlemagne and successfully repelled the Iberian Saracens in the Battle of Tours. Since there is nothing cooler than a people that are daring enough to raid Romans and repel Saracens, my fictional football team would be named in honor of the mighty Franks (who are ten times better than your Fighting Irish, Notre Dame)! You just try not to quake in fear when our players run out, whirling around a battle axe and horned helmet as the swirling of their exquisite mustaches of Doom mesmerize you into hypnotic terror.
Of course, if I wanted to continue with the convention of naming teams after animals, my team would be called the Vandalizing Velociraptors. Not only is my mascot a giant carnivore known for its merciless cunning and vicious claws, but my Velociraptors also enjoy malicious property damage! Just try getting that graffiti off of your stadium! They may be extinct, but that won’t stop my Velociraptors from deliciously relishing in the lamentation of your women as they make touchdown after touchdown while simultaneously breaking ALL the windows in a twenty-mile radius.
Man, sports could be so much more interesting with a little more creativity. Please comment with your own “Awesome Team Names”! The winner will become an honorary Fighting Frank on my fictional football team! Enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday!