Thursday, March 09, 2006

Red Bull New York

It's official. Red Bull - yes, the drink - has purchased the MetroStars and will rename the team Red Bull New York.

This new name isn't really working for me, but hey, I guess it's better than Snapple New York or Dr. Pepper New York. It could be worse.

Honestly, I don't know what to say about the names MLS continues to put forth, nor the lack of stability. Already this offseason the San Jose Earthquakes (formerly the Clash) moved to Houston and was dubbed 1836, which offended a whole bunch of Hispanics, and thus will be known as the Dynamo instead, which shouldn't offend anyone but you can never tell for sure these days.

Previously, before they became the Kansas City Wizards, they were known as the Kansas City Wiz, which had to be the absolute worst team nickname in professional sports history, especially since the logo was a dude pissing in a urinal. (OK, I'm kidding.)

MLS has also seen the Tampa Bay Mutiny and Miami Fusion come and go. Both nicknames were appalling, Tampa's more so because it compounded the disaster with uniforms that looked like this...

Seriously, I need to know, who's getting paid real money to design a uniform that look like that and how does one get this job? And conversely, what team executive is presented with such a uniform and says, "Yup, that's what we're looking for - the fruit platter look."

So now the MetroStars are changing names. Criminy. If anything, the club should be called the Cosmos. Remember the New York Cosmos? They were the preeminent franchise of the old NASL, and a certified dynasty, winning five titles in fourteen years in the 70s and 80s, and featured legends such as Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Giorgio Chinaglia. Granted, those guys only wound down the tail end of their careers in the States, but still, the Cosmos would definitely work for me as a nickname. (These people agree.)

Hell, at this point, I'd settle for them just picking a name and sticking with it. I mean, what happens when Red Bull sells the team? Does the name change again? This isn't like changing the sponsor of a stadium. People will gladly enter Fruit of the Loom Field as long as the game is the same. As ridiculous as stadium names are today, it doesn't really matter. The team name does. It's all about tradition and cultivating a fan base that grows with the team and passes on the love to the next generation.

When MLS first began and it had many doubters, I remember thinking positive and likening the original franchises to the Original Six in hockey. I remember telling myself that someday in the future, when the league has expanded and is massively popular, we'd all look back at the rough early days of the charter franchises and smile. I hope this is still the case, but MLS is making it rough with this ever-changing landscape.

I guess this means I'll have to purchase a MetroStars jersey before they become vintage throwbacks and cost a small fortune.

Incidentally, in one of the ethnic leagues here in Chicago, there is an Assyrian club called Winged Bull. The team is notorious for fighting with opponents and harrassing refs, but I always thought that they had a cool name.


Blogger Bill-DC said...

I apologize in advance for this.


MLS also gave us the Dallas Burn. So you have the Burn and the Wiz. Great if you are a urologist but crappy MLS nicknames.

D.C. United forever!

5:46 PM  
Blogger UnknownColumn said...

My eyes! My eyes!

Thanks, Bill. That is absolutley classic. On top of the hideous uniforms, check out those mullets.

6:22 AM  

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