Monday, June 24, 2013

By Any Other Name

Well, the fix is in, and we're down to the Final Five.
     Names, that is.
     True to their word, the fine people who are bringing Triple-A baseball to El Paso, are giving El Pasoans the opportunity to vote on the name of the team. It began with everybody having the same chance to submit their suggestion of what the name should be, and then ended up with the MountainStar Sports Gang whittling it down to the one they want, and four that are so crappy no one would be stupid enough to vote for them.
     It could backfire, I suppose. The goof vote out there might actually vote in one of the names they don't want, but I doubt it. How can I be so sure?
     Well, I'll let you be the judge.
     The name I'm pretty sure they want to win is the El Paso Desert Gators, which I think is a pretty cool name, despite the fact that with there being no water in El Paso, there are certainly no alligators here. Still, a cool name is a cool name, even if it doesn't make any sense at all.
      The names I'm pretty sure they DON'T want to win begin (alphabetically) with the Aardvarks. That's right, Aardvarks. I remember, when I left El Paso to go to Stephen F. Austin College in Sherman, Texas, I was disappointed to find out that the college's mascot was the Kangaroos. They tried to toughen it up by calling them the Fighting Kangaroos, or the Fighting 'Roos, but there is no toughening up the goofy image of a kangaroo. Embarrassment, as much as lack of ability, probably played a part in how poorly our sport teams performed. An opponent would actually have to not show up, for us to have a chance of beating them. Take it from me, I once got into a fight with a kangaroo over a girl at a bar... they're not so tough.
     I always thought that there was no worse mascot you could possibly have than a Kangaroo... and then I heard we might be the Aardvarks. Like the alligator, I've never even seen an aardvark here in the southwest, so I'm pretty sure they don't live around these parts. I think they live in Detroit or something.
     The next name is the Buckaroos. There are a lot of things you can find in El Paso, Buckaroos aren't among them. I remember, as a kid, going out trick-or-treating one Halloween dressed as a Buckaroo.
     At one house I went to, the lady who came to the door asked me, "Hey, little Buckaroo, where are your Buccaneers at?"
     "Under my bucking hat," I answered.
     The El Paso Chihuahuas! There's nothing like naming yourself after a yappy little Mexican rat with self-esteem issues to strike fear into the heart of your opponent. Now that I think about it, with the majority of El Pasoans being of Latino heritage, it sounds rather racist, as well. You might as well call us the El Paso Refried Beaners.
     The Desert Gators comes next, but seeing as how I've already had my say about that name, I'll just move along to The El Paso Sun Dogs. That's a pretty cool name, too, but it makes no sense. Sun Dogs. Those two words belong together about as much as Military Intelligence.
     It's always sunny in El Paso, so the word Sun makes sense, but what exactly is a Sun Dog? That sounds like some kind of mangy flea-infested homeless mutt wandering around lost in the desert. Take it from me, due to my advance wisenheimers I'm constantly getting lost in the desert, and it doesn't make me want to play baseball, it makes me want to... nap.
     But it could be worse. I know that for a fact, because I had a look at the other 5,600+ names that were submitted, and they were about as lame as the list of flag words the NSA came up with to decide whether or not to conduct an illegal wiretap on your grammy.
     Here are a few:
     The El Paso Anal Warts! Actually, that one's pretty catchy, but the name was already copyrighted by Rosie O'Donnell.
     The El Paso Bloody Stools! The Festering Wounds! The Canker Sores! The Infected Growths! The Malignant Cancers! Now, that last one's pretty good. EVERYBODY fears cancer.
     The El Paso Crawling Maggots! While maggots aren't exactly fearsome, you must admit they ARE pretty creepy.
     The El Paso Stagnant Pond Scums! That name would only work if you could actually find a body of water out here that hasn't been dried up by the hundred-degree temperatures we've been suffering from.
     The El Paso Flatulent Flatulence! The Imminent Eminence. The I've-Fallen-And-I-Can't-Get-Ups! The Clem Kadiddlehoppers! I would suspect whoever suggested that last one had no particular reason other than he was a fan of Red Skelton.
     The El Paso al-Quida! The El Paso al-Queso! The El Paso al-Green! If any of these names had been chosen, I was assured by Alan Leadfoot, the president of the MSG, that he would have personally brought back Raymond J. Johnson Jr. from the dead to perform his "You Can Call Me Al" bit.
     "But he's not a real person," I told him.
     "He's not a real person. He's a character created by the comedian Bill Saluga, who, by the way, is still very much alive."
     "And it's not the 'You Can Call Me Al' bit. It's the 'You Doesn't Hasta Call Me Johnson' bit. It was Paul Simon who performed 'You Can Call Me Al.'"
     "Paul Simon. You know, of Simon & Garfunkle."
     "Well, then I'll bring Paul Simon back from the dead!"
     But I digress...
     Since we'll be affiliated with The San Diego Padres, someone thought they'd be funny and submitted The El Paso 2Madres! I think the person who suggested that one was a guy by the name of Marty Coen.
     My personal favorite was The El Paso Ex-Wives! No one strikes fear into the heart of men like an ex-wife. On the subject of ex-wives, someone also suggested The El Paso Chupacabras! Along the same lines, it was once again Marty Coen who suggested The Chupachorizos!
     I personally suggested The El Paso Exclamation Points! I don't know, I just like using exclamation points.
     Someone decided to keep things simple and submitted the name... Bob. That someone was a guy named Bruce.
     Go figure.
     Personally, I think we should name our Triple-A baseball team after the most famous of the fierce Native American tribes, the brave Fakawi Indians. That way, when our Triple-A team leave their current hometown of Tucson, Arizona and step off the plane onto El Paso soil for the first time, they can look around in confusion at their new home, and proudly announce to the world:
     "We're the Fakawi!"

American Chimpanzee

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