Last night I took my 14 year old son to a WV high school class AA football playoff game, where "our" Wayne Pioneers defeated the Poca Dots, 13-0.
Playing against Poca made me think about those teams who have unique nicknames or at least nicknames that I like. As far as I know, Poca High School is the only team anywhere that names its teams the "Dots"-their mascot is somebody dressed up as a big red dot.
Today, while most college football fans (including me) will be focused on the battle in Columbus, Marshall University will also be in action. I've always liked Marshall's nickname, "The Thundering Herd." This nickname was given to MU teams by a local sportswriter in 1928, apparently after a then current western based upon the Zane Grey novel of the same name. While the huge herds of bison were more a feature of the American west, there were buffalo herds in this area before settlement by whites.
Anyway, "Thundering Herd" is a much better nickname than another nickname which a rival sportswriter proposed for MU athletic teams: "Boogercats." He claimed the name derived from Scotland's "Bogie Cats." Fortunately that nickname never caught on. I just cannot see "Boogercats" being a positive nickname. The upcoming film about the 1970 plane crash of Marshall's football team sure wouldn't sound the same if it was called "We Are Boogercats."
For me, college teams tend to have the better nicknames. "Buckeyes," "Tarheels", "Volunteers," "Fighting Irish", "Jayhawks"---to me those are all great nicknames that are specific to one school, with a history behind the nickname. I greatly prefer those nicknames to more generic nicknames such as "Tigers" or "Blue Devils."
In pro sports, I like as nicknames "Dodgers", "Yankees", "Reds", "Packers", "Steelers", "Knicks"--I may hate some of the teams, but I like the nicknames.
Anybody have any nicknames to nominate as being particularly good or bad?