Austin's new D-League team finally has a name. Give it up Central Texas, for your Austin Toros!
That's right, Austin, Texas is going to be represented by a team called the "Toros"
Come on. Toros was the best they could come up with?
I mean, doesn't this just invite lawsuits from Toro of the Houston Texans?
Yeah, Wranglers was cheesy, but at least it fits with the Western image of Texas and the rebel image of Austin.
I love how team officials tried to pass this off:
“We are very excited and proud to unveil the Toros’ identity to the Austin market,” said Team President Mike Berry. “The Toro is a powerful icon synonymous with Central Texas and it is only fitting to pair it with the state outline as we make our home downtown, in the capital city of Austin.”
High unintentional comedy. The only thing funnier about that press conference was Austin Mayor Will Wynn attempting to say positive things about the name while keeping a straight face.
What the heck does a bull have to do with Austin? The cattle industry up and left Austin long ago.
Where's John Kelso when you need him? This nickname is a softball right in his wheel house.
It's probably too late to suggest alternate nicknames, but I can think of a bunch that work better.
With Austin being the "Live Music Capital of the World" a number of suggestions come to mind
- Austin Blues - Works on two levels. One, it celebrates the city's musical heritage because Antone's is one of the state's oldest blues joints. Second, it's the bluest area of an otherwise red State. If you're worried about the politics of "Austin Blues", you could simply go with "Blue Notes"
- Austin Rockers - Because most of the music in Austin is rock and roll
- Austin Tejanos - If they wanted a Hispanic name that's vaguely musical, why not "Tejanos" to celebrate the fusion of Mariachi and German polka that got it's start in Central Texas?
- Austin Latino Rappers - There's got to be a Spanish word for this that I've forgotten.
- Austin Alt-Country - Obscure, but, it beats "Toros"
You could get tons of mileage from Austin's most famous artist, Willie Nelson
- Austin Willies - OK, maybe not
- Austin Nelsons
- Austin Blue Eyes - as in "Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain"
- Austin Cowboys - as in "My Heroes have Always been Cowboys"
- Austin Uncloudy Days
- Austin Gypsies - "On the road again/Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway"
- Austin Tokers - again works on two levels. Willie Nelson is a supporter of legalized marijuana and the players are trying to earn a spot in the NBA, the most toked up sports league on the history of the planet.
Some other Austin-appropriate nickames
- Austin Armstrongs - After Austin's most famous adopted athlete
- Austin Bikers - There seem to be more of them here than anywhere.
- Austin Chaparrals - After the only big high school in Austin that's had athletic success. (also a homage to Texas's first major pro basketball team, the Dallas Chaparrals, which moved to San Antonio and became the Spurs)
- Austin Commies - for the leftward leanings of the city.
- Austin Fastballs - After Austin's one hit wonder band.
- Austin Governors - for the occupants of the governor's mansion
- Austin Hackers - to celebrate the high tech industry
- Austin Moonlight - after the "moonlight towers" that they used before streetlights to light the city. (see "Dazed and Confused" for references)
- Austin Senators - for the occupants of the state capitol
- Austin Slackers - after the Richard Linkater film about the city.
If you wanted to expand it out to include a more regional name, I could think of a few.
- Austin Hilltoppers - Austin, of course, sits on the edge of the Texas Hill Country.
- Austin Trophy Bucks - for all the deer spreads surrounding town.
- CenTex Ivy Leaves - after the insignia for the Fort Hood-based 4th Infantry Division.
And of course my personal favorite:
- Austin Weird - Why not? It's the unofficial city slogan.
While we're on the subject of the D-League team, let me be the first to campaign for the franchise to hire Tom Penders as the franchise's first head coach.
Penders put Austin on the basketball map in the late eighties and early nineties as the University of Texas's head coach. Offering him the job would be a great way to make good to a guy who did so much for Central Texas hoops, yet was run out of town unceremoniously. Without Tom Penders, UT has no success under Rick Barnes. Penders deserves a second chance in Austin.
Monday: Cheap Seats Mega Football Preview