Washington´s football-team-formerly-known-as-the-Redskins retired their team name Monday.
And the Cleveland Indians are discussing a new moniker for their franchise, too.
Atlanta ruled out renaming the Braves, but they might ban “the chop” cheer in their stadium.
Several other franchises have names that could appear insensitive to certain populations.
Chicago´s Blackhawks can claim a bird as their logo, but the Blackhawk Indian tribe is skeptical.
Likewise, there are folks who think the Cleveland Browns´ name elicits a racial intonation.
Browns´ fans know the team pays homage to their founder, Paul Brown.
But believe it or not, there is a rumor the team is secretly named after Joe Louis, aka “The Brown Bomber.”
I've long been a proponent of a change to the name Washington Redskins, because of it's reference to skin color.
But interestingly, I learned today the Cleveland Browns does the same. Named after "The Brown Bomber," boxer Joe Louis.
— Marc Ryan (@MarcRyanOnAir) July 8, 2020
My internet couldn´t handle the replies if I suggested there was a racial component to Cleveland´s team name.
Especially when that team owns a history of diversity unmatched by many, if any, NFL teams.
But imagine if the current owners decided to rename the team after themselves?
The “Cleveland Haslams” would go over flatter than Dee and Jimmy’s last uniform design.
It could force them to ask the fans, “What should we call our beloved football team?”
Looking at the Indians´ Rejected Names
Cleveland´s professional baseball team received hundreds of suggestions we could borrow.
Many of them are clearly baseball-related.
We can rule out the Spiders, Fellers, Wild Things, and ten-cent-beers, for example.
The Guardians seems to be a popular choice.
But even if they claim it has something to do with a bridge, Marvel Comics might have a problem with that.
BEST TEAM ( 5/5 ) 🍿
#5 THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ( 111 VOTES ) pic.twitter.com/15lRxbu32e
— mcu awards (@marvelawards) July 12, 2020
Some of their fans want to relate their new name to food.
But Polish Boys was quickly ruled out and the Pierogies offers too many cheesy headlines to consider.
Likewise, the Cleveland Clinics is too sterile
Looking for a Cleveland Thing
When outsiders think of Cleveland, many of them think of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Occasionally called “The Rock and Roll Capital of the World”, variations of the “rock” theme might work.
The Cleveland Rock, the Rockers, the Hall of Famers… so many references to choose from.
My friends and I just agreed the Cleveland Indians should just change their name to the Cleveland Rocks! pic.twitter.com/9aBsuHMXf7
— Holmes (@broncokeeper) July 13, 2020
There might be too many to avoid conflict.
But at least we all still agree that disco sucked.
Lake Erie is a thing, but the Lakers doesn´t sound like a football name.
Steamers (boats- not clams) or Sturgeons might be worthy options, though.
And how about paying homage to Cleveland´s industrial past?
Sadly, although they are a shell of their former selves, Pittsburgh still owns rights to the Steelers.
But maybe the Blue Collars, Ship Builders, or Canals could work?
What´s in a Nickname?
The City of Cleveland has been tagged with several nicknames throughout history.
Perhaps the Cleveland Forest could work as a team name, referring to the Forest City?
In the 40s and 50s, Cleveland was known as the City of Champions.
Maybe we can will the Browns pending Super Bowl victory into existence as the Champions?
The Cleveland Mistakes (Mistake on the Lake-1960s) probably won´t work as well.
I feel this. #Cleveland #ClevelandBrowns #Browns #FactoryofSadness #football pic.twitter.com/pnj6cQMa8S
— Mistakes on the lake (@mistakes_ohio) July 9, 2020
So how about a more recent moniker?
The Cleveland Believers might look better than believelanders.
Back before the United States population shifted, Cleveland was known as “The Sixth City.”
But the Sixers is a basketball name and changing it to a more accurate, current number isn´t the same.
Unless anyone thinks the 53rd-ers sounds good?
Honoring Cleveland´s African-American History
At least one faithful Browns fan suggested “The Cleveland Hope” as a new name.
Her rationale was that the team leaves fans hoping season after season.
And it fits in a logo easier than the “Wait-Til-Next-Yearers.”
But the Cleveland Hope could also refer to an important part of the city´s history.
@Ohio @aCleveland @Newsnet5.com @LeonBibb @MarkJohnson #newsnet5.com *Why they called Cleveland ‘Station Hope’ https://t.co/nl3KNxSrw7
— onahunttoday (@onahunttoday) March 1, 2020
During the years of the Underground Railroad, Cleveland´s code name was “Hope Station.”
The team could acknowledge the important role Cleveland played in helping slaves escape to Canada.
Another suggestion was the Cleveland Stokers.
Stokers might evoke the image of a sweaty, but important job in Cleveland´s steel mills.
But it could also honor Carl B Stokes, the first African-American mayor of a major US city (1968-1972).
Stokes is credited with kick-starting the rehabilitation of the Cuyahoga River after it burned in 1969.
Renaming a sports franchise is a serious consideration.
The amount of money that goes into re-branding an organization would surprise most people.
So if you´re going to do it, you better come up with a new name that will catch on.
Because you´re not going to want to do it again any time soon.
Time will tell if the Browns are subjected to criticism over their name someday.
And we should be ready to help with suggestions if that day comes.
Even if the best name in our opinion is the (Paul) Browns.
I mean, it´s way, way better than Steelers.
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