From: Idaho, USA
Anticipation of death is worse than death itself. -Me-
All of us, no matter the background, no matter the region, have a *cough* less-than-stellar *cough* team name in our life.
My High School mascot, for example? The "Dons".
How weak-sauce is that? Basically, we were named for wealthy Spanish landowners of significance. Kind of a tough name to get pumped about: "Go, pseudo-royal-blooded-landowners, go!"
So let's hear it: Who's had the worst team name out there? (And University of California Santa Barbara Banana Slugs...you don't count: You choose that name willingly.)
EDITED TO NOTE: Thanks to the kind, gentle, timid e-mails of 10,000 UC Santa Barbara and UC Santa Cruz alums, I am kindly, gently, timidly reminded that it is UCSC, not UCSB, with the "Banana Slugs" mascot.
You would think that I, having graduated from UCSD, would know that.... but alas, I am at long last revealed to be a moron. :)
I live in the beautiful Bible Belt city of Winston-Salem, NC. Home of the Wake Forest.... Demon Deacons.
I recommend anyone interested should look up their mascot. It's literally a sinister lookin' dude in a top hat.
In high school I rooted for the Waverly-Shell Rock Go-Hawks. WTF is a go-hawk? It's a cross between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Minnesota Gophers. Thankfully it got almost exclusively hawk genetics.
Hey! It's UC Santa Cruz alumi are the Banana Slugs, thanks very much, and we're proud of it. Everyone knows that kissing a Banana Slug is good luck! ...And that your lips go numb, because they're toxic. But that means they have no known predators, and what's better than that?!
UC Santa Barbara are the Gauchos (what ever the heck that means).
I've got a couple of awful names for ya. In high school our mascot was The Hilltopper. Maybe because the school was on top of a hill? Our mascot was for some unfathomable reason a green rabbit.
But when I went to college at Franklin & Marshall we were The Diplomats; sometimes lovingly shortened to "The Dips". No wonder our football team stank.
Banana slug predators include raccoons, snakes, ducks, geese and salamanders, most of which roll the slug in soil to remove the slime. Apparently the mild toxin adds relish to the meal for raccoons, ducks and geese, much like puff-fish toxin for a sushi connoisseur.
I always had good mascots. The Admirals, the Bulldogs, the Panthers; and in the USMC, Teuffel Hunden, or "Devil Dogs" as the Germans named the Marines in WWI. Personified by a bulldog.
The "no known predators" thing was just a joke we told on the campus tours. We knew it was a silly mascot, but the student body selected it for that reason.
My point was that the Banana Slug belongs to UCSC, not that it was an awesome choice. But don't give the credit for that, if nothing else, creative choice to UCSB - they chose "the Gauchos," and they have to live with it.
At my high school we were the hawks, and on the football field a local alumni had made a metal sculpture of a hawk on top of a rock. It was creepy looking but still nothing too interesting there, except while I was growing up I always thought that there had to have been a better option than a green hawk. Especially since, in this part of Texas, most everything is brown for the biggest part of the year.
A much more interesting mascot is the Itasca Wampus cats. Itasca is one of those towns that if you're driving through and blink, you'll miss it. But the combo of the town's name (eye-task-ah) and the mascot always stuck it in my mind and made me giggle.
In Orange County, CA there are the Tustin Tillers and in Yuma AZ there used to be the Yuma Criminals (the old high school started out as part of the old Yuma Territorial Prison).
My junior college, Imperial Valley College in Imperial, CA had the team name, The Arabs -- during the Six Day War, some students agitated to change the name to the Israelis. :) Currently they have been NOT using the team name.
I went to Warrensburg High School, home of the Burgers. Supposedly this meant a townsperson, which is usually spelled "burgher". But no one really thought of it that way...
I went to the University of Delaware. We were the Fightin' Blue Hens. That's right we were female chickens.
Also, since this all started with Nebraska, my mom is from Nebraska and her high school team name was the Benson Bunnies. I bet that just struck fear in the hearts of football opponents, having to face the Bunnies on the gridiron.
The University of TN at Chattanooga's mascot is the mockingbird (the state bird). On the bright side, at least mockingbirds can be mean, especially if a cat messes with one. Ever. They will dive bomb the cat for months. On the other hand... come on - its a tiny bird.
The mascot used to be the moccasins. (Go shoes!)
Like one of the previous commenters, I too am associated with a female chicken - The Pomona College Sagehen - All I have to say is this - at least your mascot isn't extinct.
We also competed against the Whittier College Poets. Thats right... Poets.
Regarding names related to jobs...anyone ever heard of the Green Bay Packers? That's because folks over their used to pack meat.
What is it with water down south? The Tulane Green Wave: when I arrived as a young faculty member they had a mascot affectionately known as "gumby" whose green wave-shaped head that would drop bits and pieces like a leprous Avacado.
And the notorious "Crimson Tide" of Alabama. What is that about? An algae bloom? They try and redeem themselves with an elephant, just as Tulane now has a Pelican.
As another UCSC alum, I'm much happier with Banna Slugs than with the sealions. That's what the administration wanted to make our mascot while I was a student there. We had demonstrations, letters to the editor, all kinds hoo-haw. Eventually we had a referendum and the Bannana Slugs beat the sealions by a landslide.
On the other hand, my high school mascot was the Chancellor, as in high official in her majesties government. Sigh...
Some of the more interesting names from my hometown:
Rush-Henrietta Royal Comets
East Rochester Bombers
Our Lady of Mercy Monarchs
East HS Orientals
Thankfully, my school had a decent name - Penfield Chiefs, later renamed Penfield Patriots.
It could be worse, everyone. In Hoopeston Illinois, you would be a Corn Jerker.
And in Teutopolis, you have the wooden shoes! I learned these years ago, and boy have they stuck!
My brother went to the University of South Carolina, whose mascot is the Gamecock. (I don't think I'm allowed to repeat the game slogan when they played the University of South California's Trojans, but you can take an educated guess.) My brother also noted that the school's shuttlebus was called The Shuttlecock.