On Sunday the Green Bay Packers meet the Pittsburgh Steelers for SuperBowl XLV in an epic match-up of obsolete rustbelt mascots. Packers? Steelers? Let’s face facts: these days in Green Bay the football team employs more people than the packing industry, and there isn’t a single steel mill left in the city of Pittsburgh.
It’s the 21st century, baby! So what would happen if we renamed sports teams to reflect the industries and personalities of their cities today?
The Pittsburgh Healthcare Workers.
When they get injured they treat themselves.
5. The Seattle Frappuccinos
Number of seahawks in Washington state: About 1,000
Number of coffee shops in Seattle: About 10,000
"I’ll have a fish latte’ please."
Everyone has heard of “Seattle’s Best Coffee” – has anyone ever heard the phrase “Seattle’s Best Seabirds”? I don’t think so. Caffeine is a ubiquitous stimulant, a daily part of our lives. It can be scalding hot. It has bite. And Seattle's Starbucks Coffee is a ruthless competitor, expanding into other cities and crushing the local coffee competition.
What caffeinated beverage is more emblematic of coffee’s toughness than the frappuccino? Thirty years ago we had never heard of frappuccinos. Now, thanks to Seattle’s most famous roaster, they dominate the American landscape. Just like your football team will dominate the league, Seattle. Think about it.
Other names to consider: The Seattle Barristas, The Seattle Jitters
4. The New York Commuters
Both the Jets and the Giants play in the Meadowlands… which is in NEW JERSEY. Like many self-indentifying New Yorkers, these football teams are “from” the city but can only afford to live elsewhere. The truth is, no figure is more iconic, no one better represents New York, than the commuter. Dedicated, fearless, willing to endure pain and discomfort, committed to long hours.
Choose the commuter as your mascot and it opens up a whole new world of metaphors. The O-Line is packed tighter than the rush hour L Train. A desperate quarterback is calling audibles like someone hailing a taxi in the rain.
Shonn Greene demonstrates his new
nickname, "The Subway."
Other names to consider: The New Jersey New Yorkers, The Fighting Giuliannis
The New York City Cabbies.
Think of the awesome yellow uniforms.
3. The Kansas City Tweakers
Chiefs are so 1800s. How many people today have seen a real live chief? It's not the intimidating image that it once was.
If they were the Kansas City Master Chiefs
that would be different.
Modern America is all about entrepreneurship. It’s about the little guy creating his own business, defying the authorities and naysayers, and making his own success. Right? Right. And nothing says rugged individualism like the meth lab. So it’s no surprise that Missouri, the heartland of America, leads the nation in meth labs. Frankly, it’s not even close.
Meth has strong positive associations with speed, with exacting attention to little details, with high energy, and with violence – all things that we admire in football teams! The Kansas City Tweakers would be a celebration of local industry, the American spirit, and the essence of great football.
Historically, Native Americans are known
for playing lacrosse and slots.
Other names to consider: The Kansas City DEA Agents, The Kansas City Steaks
Or maybe the Kansas City BBQs.
Sure, it doesn’t make any sense
but we love Kansas City BBQ.
2. The Buffalo Bill Collectors
Buffalo is one of those old manufacturing cities like Green Bay or Pittsburgh that wears its rustbelt with all the pride of a prize-winning professional wrestler. But Buffalo’s mascot--a guy named Bill--is an older ideal than the Packers or Steelers.
e.e. cummings wrote a famous poem
titled “Buffalo Bill’s defunct” because
Bill wore funky pimpin' outfits.
Everyone knows the old industry is gone, but few people know that the new booming business in Buffalo is debt collection. Bill collectors are a perfect mascot for football. They’re relentless in pursuit. They resort to all kinds of tricks and stunts to confuse opponents and make them drop their guard. They never quit. Bill collectors are known for their toughness, their ruthlessness, and their take-no-prisoners attitude.
"We don’t take prisoners
but we will take all your cash."
If you’re still not persuaded, Buffalo, then consider this: are more people afraid of bills or bill collectors? Yeah, that's what I thought.
Other names to consider: The Buffalo Foreclosures, The Buffalo Check Cashers
1. The Cleveland Browns
Yes, yes, they’re called the Browns already. But that's in honor of the legendary Paul Brown, the team's first coach.
In baseball, Cincinnati named its team “The Reds”
to honor their first coach, Vladimir Lenin.
Let's go back to basics with the word brown. Because brown is the color of empty lots and boarded-up factories. Brown is the color of the snow in Cleveland after it’s been on the ground half a day. Brown is the color of the Cuyahoga River as it flows into Lake Erie. Is there any city in America that’s more brown than Cleveland?
Brownsville, Texas is a light tan.
Brown is the beater Chevy pick-up parked on your sidewalk. Brown is the guy with a shovel working down in the mud. Brown is a junkyard dog. What can Brown do for you? Brown can kick your motherfucking ass, motherfucker. That’s what Brown can do for you.
Other names to consider: The Cleveland Shits, The Cleveland Drifters
According to this unofficial tourism video
Cleveland leads the nation in drifters.
I don't pretend this is a complete list, so feel free to make your own suggestions in the comments.