With the recent events in the U.S, lots of companies and brands have come under fire for the use of racial images or slogans, including the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians. Now that Chief Wahoo is out of use on the team jerseys, it seems they might as well change the name. But to what?
For one of the easiest and most recognizable reasons, the Rockers could go along with a combination of great logos and jerseys. Since the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is one of the noteworthy Cleveland attractions, it has great meaning to the city. Even though the short-lived WNBA team had the same name, it’s an inconsequential reason not to go with this compelling name.
This name comes from the abundance of recreational sailing on Lake Erie. Knowing how Lake Erie is a defining location in the city, and how a big attraction to the lake is its sailing, the name would have a great connection to the city and its location.
Just like the football Browns, the name “Naps” derives from a former player-manager Nap Lajoie. Lajoie led the Indians to some of their best records and attendance while playing there from 1896-1916. Knowing how Lajoie brought more fans than ever to Cleveland baseball games and was able to bring a winning culture to the club, this would pay homage to the city’s long baseball tradition.
When the Cavs were founded back in 1970, one of the top name choices among the fans was the “Presidents”. This name comes from Ohio having produced eight U.S. Presidents: William Henry Harrison, Ulysses Grant, Rutherford Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, James Garfield, William McKinley, William Taft and Warren Hardin. The name would underscore the state’s historical importance.
The Cleveland “Blues”, or “Bluebirds”, were another one of the club’s previous names. Back in the late 1800’s, the team was named the “Blues” shortly before they were rebranded as the Naps. Going with the color theme, it could also fit with the Browns. And maybe the Cavs could then become the “Maroons”. On second thought, maybe not ideal for the Cavs.
Continuing with the trend of former names, the “Spiders”. Another name from the late 1800’s, this name would be a nod to the club’s past. Unfortunately, the Spiders had the worst MLB record of all time at 20-134, so it may not be a name the team or city would want to bring back.
The Stokers, a former Cleveland professional soccer team, played only two seasons in the North American Soccer League back in 1967-68 before folding. The name dates back to when stokers were employed on steam locomotives to feed and tend the furnace. Though stokers are not employed today, it could be a fun tip of the hat to both the city’s industrial roots and its sports history.
With the pressure building for a name change, the Indians have many great options for when they decide to move on from the Indians. Whether they go with a nostalgic or meaningful name, there are numerous attractive choices.