As a follow-up to our previous post about fifty monikers that could work in the Big Four, Sport Change will now take the top half of that list and rank them. Here’s the top 25.
Each nickname listed below is currently unused by an team in the Big Four (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL) professional sports leagues. The nicknames are ranked and given suggested uses. For detailed descriptions of each nickname, read the top fifty post.
For criteria on what makes a good team nickname in pro sports, consult the Moniker Monitor ground rules.
Let’s get right into it. Starting from the top:
1. Knights. Suggested uses: would work well ahead of Indiana, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, or most any city in any sport.
2. Wolves. Suggested uses: would work well as a nickname for Washington, Los Angeles, Arizona, or several other markets.
3. Pilots. Suggested uses: NHL may be best bet, with Seattle expansion or a rebranding of the Blue Jackets.
4. Grays. Suggested uses: Washington sports teams would benefit from historical connection with the Homestead Grays. Would work for an NHL expansion team in Seattle.
5. Pioneers. Suggested uses: Portland would be the ideal landing place due to alliteration and Oregon Trail history.
6. Stallions. Suggested uses: would work with many locations: Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Houston, Washington, Baltimore, St. Louis, and many more.
7. Arrows. Suggested uses: Arizona would be ideal due to alliteration, but Arrows would work for a variety of locales.
8. Comets. Suggested uses: would fit the NHL exceptionally well, with Kansas City being perhaps the best choice.
9. Snakes. Suggested use: would make for a better nickname than Diamondbacks.
10. Mustangs. Suggested use: Houston and Mustangs sound quite well together.
11. Vipers. Suggested use: If a new team comes to Pittsburgh, the Pitt Vipers would be a pun with teeth.
12. Cyclones. Suggested uses: Oklahoma City or Kansas City would be the best bets, but Brooklyn could also transfer the Cyclones moniker to the Big Four.
13. Bulldogs. Suggested uses: would work best in NFL or NHL; perhaps retained by AHL Hamilton franchise if the city joins the NHL.
14. Huskies. Suggested use: Toronto’s pro basketball team used to be the Huskies. Without precedent of that kind, the name remains within the domain of NCAA.
15. Monarchs. Suggested uses: Perhaps it would work with Brooklyn or Memphis.
16. Dukes. Suggested uses: Again, perhaps Brooklyn or Memphis.
17. Griffins. Suggested use: Brooklyn is maybe the only market that could pull this off–perhaps in the NHL.
18. Generals. Suggested use: At this point, Washington is the only market where this could work.
19. Renegades. Suggested use: Something to consider for Tennessee in a rebrand of the Grizzlies.
20. Miners. Suggested use: could work as a blue-collar type nickname in the right locale; perhaps Kentucky or West Virginia if they were ever granted franchises.
21. Scorpions. Suggested use: Arizona is the only market where this would work, and it could work.
22. Blackbirds. Suggested use: right now there are too many birds in the Big Four, but Blackbirds is better than many of them.
23. Bisons. Suggested use: it’s long too late, but Bisons would’ve been better than Bills for Buffalo.
24. Cougars. Suggested use: remains a universally acceptable name, though other connotations come into play.
25. Maroons. Suggested use: it’s hard to imagine this name coming back to the Big Four, but if Montreal received another NHL franchise this would be a slam dunk. Or a slap shot. Whatever.
Excellent. The Sport Change Big Four moniker study is nearly complete. Once votes are collected from our mega-polls, decisions can be made for nickname allocation in our Ideal Leagues. If you haven’t voted yet, click here and here. Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave comments.