Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 1/24/12

New Astros owner Jim Crane held a press conference yesterday and the theme of the event was change. Lower ticket prices? Yes. Lower beer prices? Hell yes. New uniforms? Probably soon. Changing the team name from Astros to something else? Say whaaaaaaaaaaaat?!?!?!

Crane says they'll even evaluate the name "Astros" before next year. No change promised.

— Zachary Levine (@zacharylevine) January 23, 2012

That's right, Jim Crane is giving serious thought to changing the Astros team name. Before you freak out, it sounds as if he is just being an open-minded businessman and warned everyone not to jump to any conclusions. But isn't jumping to conclusions so much more fun?

Yes, yes it is, which is why we have taken it upon ourselves to start brainstorming some new team name ideas for Crane to consider.

The natural inclination would be for Houston to revert back to their original name, the Colt .45s. Most people would probably love that, but we all know the PC police would have a collective conniption if the team named it self after a gun. That outrage could cost them corporate sponsorship and is thus a non-starter.

What they could do to pay homage to their roots is simply become the Houston Colts. That name works on two levels since a reference to horses is bound to go over well with all those cowboys in Texas. The only complication is the existence of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts. In the litigious society we now live in, the NFL might have a thing or two to say about Houston trying to co-opt the Colts nickname.

Speaking of the NFL, perhaps the Astros can find inspiration from the NFL Houston franchise, the Texans. Yes, this is going to be an obvious joke, but I wouldn't be doing my bloggerly duty if I didn't include the hacky suggestion of the Houston Houstonians. Thank you! I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress.

Seriously though, the NFL could provide an answer, if you look into the past. How about the now defunct Houston Oilers? Again, trademark issues with the NFL, but that's a pretty great name and it isn't being used, which is a shame. The periwinkle and red color scheme might have to go though.

Another route would be for the Astros to do what they did when they first changed their name and name themselves after their stadium. The Astrodome is no more. Instead, Houston now plays at Minute Maid Park. The Houston Juice Boxes? The Houston OJs? The Houston From Concentrate Extra Pulps? OK, maybe this was a dead end.

While the Astros were named after the Astrodome, the Astrodome was named after the space program, due to NASA's prominence in the area. Sure, they could just keep the Astros name, but they could also go for something a little less on the nose, like the Houston Problems (as in "Houston, we have a problem"). Again, this works on two levels since the current Houston franchise is facing a lot of problems. Or they could go the other way and be real specific. The NBA Houston team is named the Rockets, so the MLB Houston team could try and do them one better by naming themselves after a specific space rocket. How about the Houston Challengers? Yeah... too soon.

Let's try the historic route. Houston is named after General Sam Houston, politician and pioneer. The Houston Generals would honor his military record. The Houston Republicans would honor Sam's tenure as president of the Republic of Texas (and you know Texans would love that). Or they could just go simple and become the Houston Sams.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a linchpin of Houston's culture and deserves some love, no? The possibilities there are endless. Houston Bulls. Houston Broncos. Houston Mutton Busters. Personally, I would go with the Houston Rodeo, but only if it means the team has to wear uniforms that resemble rodeo clown outfits.

I don't know about you, but none of these are blowing my proverbial skirt up. Time to get abstract. One marketing lesson everyone loves is just to rip off something else that is already popular. The University of Texas Longhorns have a huge following so... boom, Houston Horns.

Houston supposedly has a problem with the abuse of codeine. Can I interest anyone in the Houston Purple Drank or the Houston Sizzurp? Definite street cred right there.

We all know the great state of Texas loves them some death penalty. No doubt the people of Houston could thus get behind the Houston Executioners or the Houston Hangmen or the Houston Shock. The mind reels at all the potential logos.

Last, but most certainly not least, we look to the world of pop culture. This name sounds a bit abstract but what Superman fan wouldn't love the Planet Houston? The best part would be that anytime they win, the opposition would have to KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!

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Well, that was fun but it was probably a waste of time. There is probably a 0.000001% chance that the Astros actually do change their name, so no need for anyone to freak out. But just in case, we are now accepting General Zod-based logo ideas.

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