I have always been a huge baseball fan. I grew up in San Diego, so my team was almost never successful. It gave a sour grapes tinge to my fandom, but I did always wonder if the fact that we were the Padres had something to do with it. I mean, seriously, what is intimidating about a group of sandal and robe wearing priests whose ethos is based on self-sacrifice and martyrdom?
It seems like their greatest triumphs might end up being making it to the World Series every so often just to be defeated in heartbreaking fashion, especially if I happened to be at the game. Like maybe in 1984 against the Tigers, and again in 1998 against the Yankees.
It’s almost like they picked the name on purpose just so they could step on my dreams with steel-toed, hob-nailed boots and twist and grind them into the dust with maniacal laughing glee as the blood dripped from their slavering, foul-smelling, gore-encrusted fangs and their….
Sorry. Maybe I got a little overstimulated, there. I’m not bitter. (Yes, I am). No, really, it is not like I am a Red Sox fan from the nineties or anything. (Still bitter, though. Bitter like biting down on burnt pieces of spare tire soaked in drain cleaner.) Aaaaanyhow…
It got me thinking, what if sports teams were named accurately? How would the game look then? Like if there was an actual baseball game between Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners? I think it would be an interesting game, with the first sea captain up to bat, stumping over to the batter’s box on a peg-leg with the left cleat nailed to the bottom. As soon as the umpire yells, “Play Ball!” all the tigers spring forward from their positions on the field and the others off the bench and leap on him, tearing him to pieces. Sure, the ump throws them out of the game, hopefully before they get to him, or the manager tiger comes out of the dugout to rip him up. Even the cannon fire from the Mariners’ dugout would probably not save them in time. I am not sure who wins, because it seems like it would be a forfeit by the tigers when they were all tossed from the game. At least one mariner would have to survive, though.
A better game would actually be between the Boston Red Sox and the Colorado Rockies. All of the Rockies would be in the dugout, wearing their American Flag boxing shorts, the ones not at bat would have their robes on and would be saying “Yo Adrian!”, or running up and down the stairs in their grey sweats and hoodies while the music plays. And out on the field, there would be folded pairs of red socks sitting neatly on the bases, or laying in the outfield grass, or on the pitcher’s mound. Somehow, the socks on the mound would get the ball to the plate, and Rocky I would punch the ball so hard that it goes over the fence.
He would then run with his arms over his head around the bases, while the song “Gonna Fly Now” plays loudly over the speakers. The same would happen with Rocky II, Rocky III, and Rocky IV. Rocky V would strike out, because that was a horrible movie, but then the other ones would also hit either home runs or singles. Ah, good game. The score would be eighteen to nothing at the end of the top of the first, because there are only seven Rocky movies, and one gets out every time up.
When you look at it in this way, it would seem that the World Series every year would be the Giants versus the Angels, because all of the other teams are birds, or snakes, or baby bears, or regular sized people, or footwear, or somewhat abstract concepts. Like every Orioles game would be “Tweet!”, “Squish!” “The Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant!”. But the Angels performing miracles as the Giants tried to grab them by the wings and stroke them and pet them and love them and squeeze them (like the rabbits, George) would make for a competitive series.
It’s not really much better in other sports. In basketball, there are animals like bears and velociraptors, and even though it would be kind of exciting to see a game between the New Orleans Pelicans, pecking away at the Dallas Mavericks, (represented by Sarah Palin, James Garner in Black and White in a western suit, and those Ford cars from the 70s) there is no way any of the teams do not get incinerated (see what I did there? You will in a sec…) in a game against the Phoenix Suns. (Phoenix…where people know what the sun should taste like…)
In football, I used to face the same problem as baseball, because when I was a kid, there weren’t even iPhones yet that we would need the San Diego Chargers for. Also, the cords to the Chargers always get tangled up anyway. But for the rest of the league, all of the horses and birds get eaten by the Lions and Panthers and Jaguars and Bears, as do the people. As in the games with only humans playing, nobody worries about the Browns, because although their particular hue of orangey drab, while depressing, as a defense is no match for actual beings who are not just a color. I suppose the Green Bay Packers might have some chance (you’re welcome…) if they could somehow get all of the other team into labeled boxes and taped shut and in the moving van before the fourth quarter, but it seems like they might have a hard time doing that against the New York Giants, or the Tennessee Titans.
Of course in hockey, (if that is considered a sport, instead of just Canadian Ice Soccer with Fighting) the only thing they have to compare with any of the other opponents from the other sports is the New Jersey Devils. But if you assume that they fight the Anaheim Angels to a tie, like is shown in medieval art with the exception of Hieronymous Bosch, who puts all kinds of weird things people would never name their teams after because all of the hats and jerseys would have to be covered in blood and throwup and various ooze in his paintings, then you would have to still give the victory in all sports to the Suns.
(Although it would still be fun to go to a game with the Utah Jazz against the New Orleans Saints, just to hear them marching in.)
But maybe I am overthinking this…
Images courtesy of S&C’s own Salongo Wendland.