Friday, April 10, 2009

The Battle of Stupid Team Names

Last night, the Rangers and Flyers battled it out, ultimately with the Rangers edging the Flyers 2-1 to clinch a playoff birth, thanks in large part to this bullshit first goal:

Apparently you're allowed to just push goaltenders into the net in New York, and the referees are allowed to swallow their whistles when a goalie has the puck covered in the crease for a full five seconds so the Rangers can push the goalie and the puck in the net … but I digress.

The real question about last night's contest is, who has a worse team name, the Flyers or the Rangers? Honestly, when you think about it, they are both absolutely awful. Just look at the definition of each word. A ranger is: 1. the keeper of a British royal park or forest; 2. one that ranges; 3. one of a body of organized armed men who range over a region especially to enforce the law or a solider specially trained in close-range fighting and in raiding tactics. OK, so the last one sounds respectable enough, but the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word "ranger" is either The Lone Ranger or Ranger Smith.

The Lone Ranger looks like an even gayer version of Gay Zoro, and Ranger Smith was the foil to Yogi's adventures, essentially nothing but a joke. Plus, a ranger is like a cop. Who want's to be called the New York Police or the New York Cops? Sounds terrible.

Not that the Flyers are any better. A flyer is a variant of the word flier, but per AP Style, flyer is used in reference trains and buses, such as The Western Flyer, while flier is the term for a handbill or aviator. That means, the Philadelphia Flyers are essentially the Philadelphia Greyhound Buses.

Better than SEPTA I guess, but still an awful name. Oh, or maybe we're the Philadelphia Wagons, such as the Radio Flyer.

Wagons are cool I guess. They sure as shit were fun as a kid. But still, dreadful name. But which is worse? The Rangers or Flyers? I say it's a push. They both suck. Kind of like the inconsistent officiating last night.

For instance, there were numerous offsides calls missed last night on both ends, and the Rangers got away with a blatant elbow on Darroll Powe and blatant high stick on Andrew Alberts, where he was cut, negating what should have been a 4-minute penalty. And the Flyers got away with a few takedowns and holds as well, providing a truly horrendously called game.

Don Van Massenhoven, mustache and all, was a complete joke last night and a disgrace to the NHL.

But to be fair, Van Massenhoven wasn't the reason the Flyers lost the game, even if he did spot the Rangers a bullshit goal. Henrik Lundqvist was. Honestly, the Flyers didn't play bad at all last night. In fact, with the exception of the final three minutes, the Flyers were plain better than the Rangers. That was clearly evident by their 38 shots to the Rangers' 31, and a plethora of golden scoring chances.

However, the Rangers had the best player on the ice last night, hands down. Henrik, after a shaky start where he was fighting off the puck, leaving rebounds and dropping shots, righted himself in a hurry and played spectacular, stopping 37 shots, many of which were great scoring chances. And the save he made on Daniel Carcillo was out of this world:

That was just insane. And it was just one of many great save by Lundqvist. He was on top of his game yesterday, and he stole a victory for the Rangers.

I will say, for the Flyers' part, Daniel Carcillo had another excellent game, flying all over the ice, hitting people and generating a lot of scoring chances. Looks like he's finally beginning to get comfortable, and he and Darroll Powe provide a nice spark for the team. However, the Flyers still are playing too sloppy, misfiring on passes routinely, failing to get the puck deep, and last night, they passed up entirely too many opportunities to fire the puck on the power play. The Rangers are the top penalty-killing team in the NHL. When you get a chance to shoot against them, you have to take it. The Flylers tried to get too cute, and they had some awful power plays as a result.

Overall though, if the Flyers bring that sort of effort, and just get a little crisper on their passing and defensive coverage, they'll be fine. Hopefully they can exact some revenge on Sunday, when I'll be there with a few Rangers fans. Yeah, it's gonna be rough.

BallHype: hype it up!


  1. Courtesy of Wikipedia:

    Details of the name-the-team contest were released on July 12, 1966. As sponsor of the contest, ballots were available at local Acme Markets grocery stores and included a top prize of a RCA 21" color television, two season tickets for both the second and third prize winners, and a pair of tickets to a game for the next 100 winners. Among the names considered behind the scenes were Quakers, Ramblers, and Liberty Bells. The first two were the names of previous Philadelphia hockey teams and given the connotations of losing (Quakers) and the minor leagues (Ramblers), were passed over. Liberty Bells, though seriously considered, was also the name of a local race track. Bashers, Blizzards, Bruisers, Huskies, Keystones, Knights, Lancers, Raiders, and Sabres were among the other names considered.

    The flying P has been the Flyers' primary logo since the beginning. It was Ed Snider's sister Phyllis who ended up naming the team when she suggested Flyers on a return trip from a Broadway play. Ed knew immediately it would be the winning name, since it captured the speed of the game and went well phonetically with Philadelphia. On August 3, 1966, the team name was announced. Of the 11,000 ballots received, more than 100 selected Flyers as the team name and were entered into a drawing to select a winner. 9-year-old boy Alec Stockard from Narberth, who had spelled it "Fliers" on his entry, won the drawing and was declared the winner.

  2. Thanks for the information. Gotta love that overwhelming majority of 100 out of 11,000