Sunday, May 24, 2009

In Search of a Name

"Los Angeles is seventy-two suburbs in search of a city," Dorothy Parker famously sniffed, and this identity crisis has often extended to the diversity of this city's cultural influences. Los Angeles offers just about everything, yet very few of these offerings are indigenous. And that includes the inspirations for the names of our professional sports teams, past and present.

CURRENT PRO TEAMS IN LOS ANGELES

league
name
birthplace of name

Brooklyn

Minnesota

heaven

San Diego

England

outer space*

hell if I know

Las Vegas

*A galaxy of stars makes sense for Los Angeles. But they're not called the Los Angeles Galaxy of Stars.


FORMER PRO TEAMS IN LOS ANGELES

league
name
birthplace of name

New Zealand

the Caribbean

Purchase, NY

Cliffs of Insanity

freeways**

a tennis racquet

**Finally, a name that makes sense!

Hat tips:
Chapter 67 of Jon Weisman's 100 Things Dodgers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die for the idea. (Book review forthcoming.)
SportsLogos.Net for some of the more obscure logos.

10 comments:

FeRio said...

How dare you forget Chivas USA. The better soccer/futbol team in L.A.

Penos Cabell said...

LA Express? LA Gridlock would've been a more fitting name.



"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." -classic-

berkowit28 said...

You gotta grant that The Angels' name comes from Los Angeles. Except they don't play there. No one ever called Anaheim heaven ("Ana's home?" Actually, it's almost that: http://www.anaheimcolony.com/name.htm )

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

The weird part of the "Los Angeles" Angels is that in spanish, it comes to "The Angels Angels".

PavilionBum said...

Come on Bulldog, you gotta give credit to the Galaxy of Angels. Galaxy makes sense for the reason you pointed out, calling themselves the "Galaxy of Stars" obviously wouldn't work, thus the name "Galaxy. Plus, Los Angeles (The Angels) is the "City of Angels". Angels is a good name for a team in LA......too bad they aren't in LA. Looks like Anaheim is suffering from an identity crisis too.

PavilionBum said...

oops, the "Galaxy AND Angels". Galaxy of Angels would be one trippy name.

Orel said...

"How dare you forget Chivas USA."

The team had to have "Los Angeles" in its name.

I hear you on The Angels Angels. Should have done a little more research.

Trolley Dodger said...

Trolley Dodgers, represent!

And technically, it's Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles, so it could be The Angels of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels. Which is hard to fit on the jersey.

It wouldn't be so bad if it were just Los Angeles Angels, or the best -- Anaheim Angels. But the hybrid is just dreck.

Anaheim itself is a hybrid name: the Ana from the Santa Ana river and Heim from the German, meaning home. So they're used to being schizo down there. ;)

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

The thing is that no one likes the LA Angels of Anaheim. The whole point of the renaming was to get more Angelinos to follow the Halos, but everyone in LA hates the title and resents the change.

PavilionBum said...

One more thing...

I think the fact that so many of LA's teams were originally from other cities them moved to LA is, itself, an indigenous trait of LA. LA became one of the world's most prominent cities after millions made the move way out west.