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When team names get wierd (Soccer aplications)


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Cat's out of the bag


What's in a name? A lot if you are looking to market an independent league team in a city where a Triple-A club once toiled.

Exit the Edmonton Trappers and enter ... the Edmonton Cracker-Cats.

Yesterday at Telus Field, general manager Mel Kowalchuk introduced the new moniker of the expansion Northern League baseball franchise complete with a mascot who has an eery resemblance to Sylvester of Looney Toons fame.

"It took some time," admitted Kowalchuk. "We researched a lot of names and we wanted to tie the name relating to something in the area, whether it be oil, grain farming, fur trading, something relating to Edmonton's history.


"We focused more on the oil part of it. We also wanted an animal, because we figured an animal was a lot easier to market."

Apparently Rig Pigs was out.

Actually, the team's nickname was derived from the oil-related term used in fluid catalytic cracking, or ''cat cracking'' as it's called in the industry.

So instead of calling themselves the Cat Crackers, thus probably getting People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in a lather, Kowalchuk and his team decided to reverse the name.

It works. If only to get baseball fans to stop referring to the club as "Edmonton's new Northern League franchise." That doesn't have a great marketing appeal.

"This was the only name we could find that has the word "Cracker" which relates to a team called the Atlanta Crackers," Kowalchuk said.

"They were around from 1901 to the 1960s. The Atlanta Crackers probably won more championships than any minor-league team in the history of baseball. So we felt that was a good thing to model ourselves after."

Kowalchuk did a good job of keeping the name a secret, not letting the cat out of the bag so to speak. He also shrugged off suggestions the term "cracker" has negative connotations in parts of the United States.

Regardless, the name was chosen over such gems as Pumpjacks and Roustabouts, which were touted as contenders when the Northern League announced they were expanding into Edmonton and Calgary.

While Pumpjacks was a popular moniker with Kowalchuk, it was tough to envision someone in an oil derrick costume running around the stands hugging children.

"For a while that would have been our front-runner," Kowalchuk said. "But the difficulty we had - why I continued to look - was that it was pretty hard to do something with a pumpjack. It's just a thing that goes up and down. There's not much you can do with it."


The Cracker-Cats general manager was also not interested in having a contest to name the team. He went through that nightmare while working in Albuquerque.

After the Isotopes was unanimously chosen, Kowalchuk was forced to cut a cheque to Fox executives who came up with the moniker for a Simpson's episode.

"We discussed having a contest here and we threw it out in about two minutes," Kowalchuk said.

"Part of it was years ago you could get away with that, but in Albuquerque when I went to register the name, some guy had it registered and asked me if I wanted to buy it.

''We ended up bantering back and forth over it and I think in the end we ended up giving him season tickets or something. That's the problem today, so you can't do it."

In a league which features the Railcats, Jackhammers, T-Bones, Saltdogs, Canaries and Goldeyes, Cracker-Cats seems like a good fit.

EXTRA BASES: The Cracker-Cats also confirmed Terry Bevington has been hired as the team's field manager. Bevington, 48, signed a two-year contract with the club ... The team will play a 96-game season with 48 home dates starting May 20 in Kansas City. They play their home opener on May 27 against the Sioux Falls Canaries.


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Thufferin' Thuccatash!!!!!!!!!!

Well, at least it's unique, unlike Real Salt Lake.

I can tell you that with this cold weather we're having, my cats have been acting like they ARE on crack, so it may be appropriate for this city.


So, whaddya think, Lake W. fishgoggles...?....

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Well at least with globalization Winnipeg has lost it's monopoly on urban slums in Canada. Guess that's a plus...

And many people don't realise this but that Goldeye logo is actualy a digital snap of a Red River Pickerel.

The sort found "downstream" of the 'Peg of course.

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quote:Originally posted by Daniel

Ahahahahahahahhah, nice one Cheeta.

As for Cracker-Cats, who would have thought that NOT going for a contest would actually heed WORSE results? What's next? The N*gger-Newts? :(

We got the Aviators out of a draw so Mel learned some lessons from that.

At least the media will be made to work hard for catchy story headlines.

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