Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 4/22/12

Yesterday, UniWatch had their first post of submissions for their new running contest. Their goal is to find the most creative idea for name changes for two of the more ridiculed Native American-based team names in all of sports: The Cleveland Indians and The Washington Redskins. With 35 entries in all for the Cleveland baseball team alone (the first half were revealed yesterday), I thought it would be a fun practice to point out some of the best in my opinion and touch upon if now is the time for a change.

Let me start by saying that if you had asked me this question as little as two years ago, you couldn’t find someone more opposed to a name change. The Indians were named to honor Louis Sockalexis, and the tradition of something nearly 100 years old is not something I’m willing to give up at the drop of a hat. In art class in elementary school, this writer with a lack of even a single artistic bone in his body took to drawing Chief Wahoo. I love wearing Wahoo gear, and even if there’s a name change, I’m not likely to stop wearing it. I even wrote a persuasive paper in high school chronicling why the Indians shouldn’t be forced to change their name. One of my arguments was that if you were going to make my baseball team give up their name, you’d have to take out the Fighting Irish, Vikings, Cowboys, Seminoles, Redskins, Chiefs, Fighting Illini, Braves, Celtics, and Warriors. I’m 12.5% Irish. Maybe I’m offended by the Fighting Irish and Celtics mascots. It’s an all or nothing proposition for me. Remove everything that could be even possibly misconstrued as politically incorrect if you’re going to do it at all.

Another thing I’m not a fan of is redrawing Chief Wahoo or keeping the name and ridding the team of The Chief. The C’s and the I’s are okay for secondary or tertiary logos, but not as the main one. We don’t need to have a hideously bland identity like the New York Giants. More than anything, I would have to be convinced of a new name and identity with a Cleveland history and identity, one that I wouldn’t feel is being shoved down our throats as Cleveland fans. This contest may have done just that for me.

Of the 17 entries that UniWatch showed in their first entry, six were for the name “Spiders”. The name was used from 1889-1899 in Cleveland in the National League. The team won the 1895 championship, and while most will remember the name for the worst record in MLB history in 1899 with a 20-134 mark, the name could get a second chance. It’s a fairly unique name, with the Richmond Spiders of the NCAA being the only one that comes to mind. There were also some really creative entries here that made me think, “Yea, I could roll with that.”

My favorite of the six Spider entries by Liam Burkholder:

I really like this entry for its simplicity and color scheme. For you CSU Vikings, I would think this is very eye-pleasing.

The other entry I believe is the most creative. It belongs to Daniel Irwin, who developed the idea of the “Blue Socks”, which combines elements of three past nicknames. The name references the “Blues” (1879-1884, 1887-1889, 1901), it has a Spider for the mascot, and it’s a tip of the cap to Louis Sockalexis, a Penobscot Indian. On top of being grammatically correct (yes, Sox is commonly accepted but given my disdain for those two franchises that use the name, I dislike it). The Spider mascot, Napoleon (seen below), has blue socks on each of his eight legs. What a creative way to combine historical elements and provide a new identity.

The third and final entry that I’ll highlight is the Cleveland Tribe, submitted by Douglas King. For those who don’t want to get rid of the Indians’ name, this may be a softer blow. I know that I myself refer to our baseball team as “The Tribe” far more than I do “Indians”.Keeping the same established red-blue color scheme that we’re accustomed to may not be the worst decision either. Nothing about “Tribe” has to necessarily be linked to Native Americans. One definition I found online: “A social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties”

The other entry names were Barons (two), Blues, Brown Sox, Rockers, Colts, Grays, Lakers, Moses, and Coasters. Do you guys have your own suggestion or like any of these better than the three I outlined? Let’s hear about in the comments section where I’m sure there will be plenty of passion both ways.

 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Teammate: Victor Cruz looks faster now than ever before

Donald Trump rips Boston mayor over failed Olympic bid

Power struggles becoming the norm for successful franchises

Report: Tom Brady destroyed phone, suspension to be upheld

J.J. Watt calls training camp 'the greatest'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Hibbert asked agent to find him a coach who played in NBA

Irsay, Goodell haven't spoken about Deflategate since January

Arizona Cardinals make Jen Welter first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Junior Seau family says Hall of Fame went back on its word

Kobe will probably see time at power forward next year

Six players poised for big year after season-ending injuries

‘Mystery pooper’ torments golf course by defecating in holes

Gyllenhaal’s parents made him turn down ‘Mighty Ducks’ role

Eli, Romo channel Rob Lowe in new DirecTV commercials

Troy Tulowitzki, the Blue Jays, and upgrading strengths

Nick Saban has incredible advice for his players on chasing girls

Nik Stauskas trolls Thad Matta

Will Smith fires back at former teammate Junior Galette

Sammy Watkins: It's a "problem" if Bills don't win AFC East

The most important quarterback in the game?

Boston Mayor Walsh refusing to sign Olympic host contract

Chris Johnson accused of smashing up Rolls-Royce rental

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Cardinals hire first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Galette appears to unload on Payton

Dez Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

Top 10 CFB coaches on the hot seat

Was Popovich close to retiring last year?

Kyle Busch continues historic run with Brickyard win

WATCH: Mike Trout HR lands in 'Trout Net'

With Cueto dealt, what's the market for other pitchers?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker