Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration — Thomas Alva Edison
Mr. Light Bulb’s insight was certainly valid with respect to most applications, but when it comes to sports team names, he had it exactly backwards. Inspiration, not bodily fluid, is what it takes to coin a truly good sports team monicker.
The NHL to Seattle
If you put your ear to the ground, you can hear the footsteps of the NHL moving relentlessly toward the Emerald City. It may not be next year, or even the year after that, but sometime soon, the NHL will make its way to the Puget Sound. There are too many powerful people behind the scenes, too much arena momentum, and most of all, far too much money involved for it not to happen.
As I wrote when the Phoenix Coyotes situation was up in the air, Seattle is now solidly an NHL ‘Plan B’ for a troubled franchise seeking a new home. Furthermore, as first reported by 950 KJR’s Mitch Levy, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman may be quietly urging the NHL board of governors to award the city an NHL franchise for the 2014-15 season.
Potential team names from history
Seattle’s hockey history dates back approximately 100 years to the Pacific Coast Hockey Association’s Seattle Metropolitans, who won the Stanley Cup in 1917 by defeating the Montreal Canadians. The team name has retro-cool cache as a result, and per this poll, edged out all other contenders.
There are plenty of choices from Seattle’s hockey history as well: the Bombers, the Eskimos, the Sea Hawks, the Ironmen, and the Americans, to name just a few. If history isn’t your thing, there are other options that fit the area’s local millieu: the Sasquatch, the Rain, the Cappuccino, or to honor allergy sufferers everywhere, the Sneeze. Imagine the latter in an overtime play-by-play broadcast call: Tsyplakov to Murray, over to Johnson, who shoots … he scores! Sneeze win! Sneeze win!
The top five team names for a Seattle franchise
With that said, we’ve got to narrow things down to a manageable list of contenders. After all, a top five list just isn’t the same without an actual subset of five name from which to consider, is it? Thus, the following are five of the top potential team names for a new Seattle franchise:
Seattle Metropolitans. As mentioned above, the Mets were a championship-caliber early 1900′s area franchise. The 100-year old team name may not commemorate Bigfoot or the region’s rather pervasive meteorological traits, but for a bevy of tech-savvy denizens perpetually hopped up on caffeine, there’s something about Metropolitans that just works.
Seattle Totems. Between 1958 and 1975, the Totems were a professional Western Hockey League franchise. Although the name would pay dual homage to the region’s strong native American influence as well as the former long-running Seattle franchise, in a battle between a shark and a totem pole, my money is on the shark, every time. Furthermore, the mascot would have one of the most uncomfortable costumes in all of sports. One wrong step, and it’s timmmmmmberrr!
Seattle Thunderbirds. In the aforementioned poll, 20% of the voters chose this monicker, which would make things awfully confusing for local sports broadcasters, since the Seattle Thunderbirds are an already-existing local junior hockey team.
Seattle Sockeyes. Well, we are known for our fish. Nevertheless, I’m still putting money on the shark.
Seattle Orcas. Finally, something that can give the shark a run for its money. Although Metropolitans remains the front-runner and is the most logical choice for a Seattle hockey team name, it’s hard to go wrong with the ocean’s alpha predator.
The fans speak
Although there is a certain poignancy to naming a new team after a previous one in the city’s history (especially one with some success, like the Metropolitans), the list of potential options is virtually limitless. What do you think would make for a good team name for a new Seattle franchise?