The announcement of the name for the new Western Sydney soccer team this week had me up in arms, screaming for originality. While I’m still not convinced, further reflection had me thinking that the name isn’t all that bad – particularly when you compare it to many other Australian sporting team names, recent ones in particular. There are some pretty ordinary ones out there, and here is my top 6.
6. Gold Coast Giants/Gladiators/Chargers/Titans (Rugby League)
Ah yes, the long list of names that the Gold Coast Rugby League side has been through. The original Gold Coast club began in 1988, named the Giants. What this had to do with the Gold Coast area or Australia beats me. Giant waves? Numerous other clubs from overseas already had the name the Giants, New York anyone? Sure enough the name was a dud, so they made the right decision to change it in 1990. They became the Gold Coast Seagulls. Great! Original and relevant to the Gold Coast. Unfortunately the club folded at the end up 1995 and the license was thrown around. They became the Gold Coast Gladiators, showcasing fantastic use of totally lame alliteration, and it was such a success that it was canned before the 1996 season even started. The ARL then stepped in and came up with the Gold Coast Chargers. Sigh. They lasted 3 more years then it was all over for the GC… UNTIL fast forward to 2007 and enter the Titans! Originally the new Gold Coast club was onto a winner, planning to call the team the Dolphins. Unfortunately Redcliffe didn’t like the idea of them having the same name as them and they threatened the new club with legal action. I honestly don’t see how they could have disputed them using the name the Dolphins, but nevertheless the Gold Coast crumbled and instead resorted to the Titans. What a shame.
5. Greater Western Sydney Giants (AFL)
Didn’t they learn from the darned Gold Coast rugby league side? It’s a dud! A new AFL club in Sydney was always going to be up against it, but calling them something as lame as the Giants isn’t going to help them. Roy and HG’s nickname for them The Laughing Clowns is a better idea. GWS is likely to be a failure, but in this case the name was probably never going to save them.
4. Melbourne Heart (Soccer)
It was crucial for the A-League to make their 2nd Melbourne side a success. So instead of trying to target a potentially untapped area, they generically named the side Melbourne. And instead of giving the club a bit of character, they named it Heart. What does that even bloody mean? So all the people living outside the CBD who were holding out for a club to support as an alternative to the central Melbourne side were then given the brilliant choice between Melbourne, and Melbourne. Surely Heart is just a rip-off of the Scottish club Hearts? Were they targeting the Scottish expats? Despite having a fairly successful inaugural season, the attendance for their final home game of the season was well below 10k. Heart is destined for failure.
3. Melbourne Victory (Soccer)
The Victory… Really? What creative genius came up with that? You can’t be victory. It doesn’t even make sense. It’s such a lame, generic name; I don’t know how any of their supporters can feel connected to their club. Was it because it sounds a bit like Victoria? Is the embarrassment when they don’t actually achieve victory worse for Victory fans? At least call them Melbourne Victors so it makes sense. I didn’t think I would have them up this high on the list, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised that the name is just plain stupid. It must suck being a soccer fan in Melbourne. You get a choice between the Melbourne Victory or Melbourne Heart. I wonder how many just say “screw it, I’m supporting the AFL/NRL”. The other codes must be laughing.
2. Brisbane Bombers (Rugby League)
I know they are not a major club yet, but there’s a good chance they will be and the name is just too terrible to ignore. It combines all 3 aspects of what makes a name sh!t. 1: Lame Alliteration. 2: Name borrowed from an already established club (Essendon Bombers – AFL). 3: Team location name duplicate.
Firstly, we don’t need another team actually called Brisbane. We already have Brisbane. If they want to be successful, they have to distinguish themselves. Even something like South Brisbane would be enough. Secondly, why oh why the Bombers? It’s totally meaningless, and Essendon are the Bombers, come up with your own damn name! And what’s with the necessity for alliteration? Not many iconic Aussie teams use alliteration, yet when they were coming up with the name for this new club 10 out of the 16 options used alliteration! Argh! They claim that the name was voted for by the people, but apparently took out a trademark application for the name a month before voting opened. Would people really vote for such a crap name? (Mind you the other options weren’t much better). The Eastern Stingrays was my favourite actually. If this franchise does enter the NRL, I predict a massive failure.
1. Every Single Damned Big Bash Team (Cricket)
Honestly, there is not much to be said here, the names speak from themselves. Twenty20 was meant to be undergoing a shift in Australia so people took it more seriously. Instead they came up with this crock of a competition which ensured Twenty20 would remain a big gimmick. Two teams called Sydney, two called Melbourne. How are you meant to feel connected to one more than the other? Especially when you look at the names. The Sixers, Thunder, Renegades, Stars. Ugh. It doesn’t get any better: Adelaide Strikers, Brisbane Heat, Hobart Hurricanes, Perth Scorchers. Manufactured bullsh!t, superficial nonsense.