Some things to talk about while I obsess about nicknames for an entire article...
1) Best local nicknames
Over at Grantland.com, NBA writer Zach Lowe did a two-part column on the best and worst nicknames in the NBA. He then went on Grantland founder Bill Simmons’ podcast to discuss it. Reading through Lowe’s piece and then listening to the podcast this weekend got me thinking. What are the best nicknames in Southeast Texas? Here’s my top three.
Sabine Pass Sharks – It’s got a lot going for it. There’s the alliteration of Sabine and Sharks. There’s the fact that sharks probably do come within 25 miles of the school. Oh, and the fact that Sharks are really, really cool. It’s almost a travesty that I haven’t gotten an opportunity to do a Jaws-themed article about them yet.
West Brook Bruins – Look, I know Bears is a popular nicknames. There are plenty of Bears, including one over in Little Cypress. But, its commonality makes it less distinctive. Now, change it up and make it the Bruins? That’s a bear with a neat name. Also, it’s not overused, so it gets bonus points.
Memorial Titans- I like the tie-in to a great football movie (even if it is slightly sappy) in Remember the Titans. It’s a powerful nickname, reminiscent of those most powerful of Greek gods. My only quibble with the Titans is the logo. C’mon, PA. You can do better than modeling your logo off the Tennessee football team. That’s the same team ripped away from Houston by its owner. Not a pleasant association for many football fans.
Apologies to the Indians and Bulldogs, as they’re as generic as can be. I like what you’re doing Nederland, but one out of every 10 teams in Texas is named after a dog. As for PN-G, there’s a simple fix. Go the Florida State route and call yourself the name of an actual Indian tribe. Wouldn’t the PN-G Cherokee sounds just as nice?
2) Best state nicknames
So, my obsession with nicknames doesn’t just stop in Southeast Texas. I’ve developed quite a few favorites over the years from around Texas
Hutto Hippos – This has been one of my favorites for years now. Pity the poor girls who have to play for the Lady Hippos, though.
Weatherford/Killeen Kangaroos – Are you kidding? It’s a kangaroo. Marsupials are inherently awesome. Points deducted for multiple teams using it, though.
Southlake Carroll/Round Rock Dragons – If we’re holding a statewide contest to see who’s mascot beats up everyone else’s mascot, a dragon has to make the Final Four. Again, though, duplication discounts it.
The Woodlands Highlanders – Of course my alma mater makes the list. What’s a Highlander? Watch that movie, see people get hit in the face by a claymore and marvel at the awesomeness of Highlanders.
Aldine MacArthur Generals – Yeah, I’m also a history nerd. Naming a team after MacArthur and calling them the Generals scores big points with me. Think of the football signs: “I shall return…to the end zone.”
New Braunfels Unicorns – If you’ve ever used the internet or seen an internet meme, you’ll no doubt realize that unicorns are the unofficial mascot of everything. Why not name a football team after them?
Frisco Raccoons – Only one team in the nation is named after that tiny, furry thief. But, I’m guessing after Rocket Raccoon gets introduced to the world via the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, many more teams will be wishing they were as cool as Frisco.
3) Most egregious omission?
Here's one that really puzzles me. Out of the 25-30 football teams in Southeast Texas, not one is nicknamed the Gators?
Only two teams in Texas have that as their nickname, Dickinson and Gatewood Christian in Dallas. Why not in the Golden Triangle? One of the best minor league nicknames was the Golden Gators. A high school can't capitalize on that?
Yes, I realize the Florida college also is the Gators and I'm not a fan of copying nicknames of colleges, especially ones out of state. But, there's not a more Texas-centric mascot than the gator, right? It'd have a cool mascot and neat logo possibilities. Just seems like a lost opportunity.
Feel free to send in any suggestions, other omissions or defense of some of the other nicknames mentioned here. The best might even sneak into a Talking Points post later this week.
David Coleman is a sportswriter for the Port Arthur News. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org and found on Twitter at @MDavidColeman.
Some things to talk about while I obsess about nicknames for an entire article...
Nederland 13U Babe Ruth loses 9-0
The Nederland 13U Babe Ruth team lost 9-0 Friday to Bryant.
Bassmaster Elites are coming back
The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
• Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
• East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
• Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
• Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at email@example.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on GETV.org)
Mid County knocked out of tournament
The Mid County 16-18 Babe Ruth squad’s run to the World Series is over.
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MC Babe Ruth goes 2-0
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Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional
The Mid County Babe Ruth 18U team is once again knocking on the World Series door. Mid County will host the Southwest Regional at Nederland High School starting today. Mid County’s first game of the tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday against Pine Bluff, Ark. Thursday was a special day for Mid County Babe Ruth as two locals, Jimmy Collins (shown speaking) and Skip Hopkins (back left) were inducated intot he Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. Both Hopkins and Collins have been involved in Babe Ruth for over 40 consecutive years either as player, coach or board member. There are nine teams in the tournament with the winner headed to Washington state for the World Series.
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