I have a connection with Binghamton, New York, so it was with interest that I read about the city’s double-A baseball team name change, despite my generally solid indifference to baseball. But of course, you may have already heard about it, thanks to the fact that they’ve opened the name change to an internet vote, and limited the choice to some frankly bizarre names (Bullheads, Gobblers, Rocking Horses, Rumble Ponies, Stud Muffins, or Timber Jockeys). I assume that Boaty McBoatface hangs heavy over their decision not to let folks on the Internet actually suggest names, but given that they should have asked someone who had, like, good ideas.
This is something of a sore point for me, since my alma mater, in the same area, used a committee to decide on a new mascot for SUNY-Binghamton (shortly after another committee decided to stop calling it SUNY-Binghamton). Granted the old mascot “The Colonial” was kind of dumb, but the new mascot, the Bearcat, is worse. Not that I have anything against bearcats, per se. I mean, look at the little fellow:
No, the problem is that the committee that decided on the mascot had somehow heard of bearcats but never bothered to research what they were, and in fact, based on their press release, labored under the misapprehension that bearcats are mythical, like griffins, or hippogriffs. So the logo looks something like a pissed-off bear rather than a cuddly, musk-emitting rodent.
It seems Binghamton just has trouble with sporting names, because this latest committee seems to have developed a strange fixation on Binghamton’s connection to carousels. Which, okay, be proud of the carousel thing, I guess, but Binghamton has so many other historical connections that seem a bit more vigorous and manly than carnival rides. For example, the famous shoe people Endicott-Johnson started there (technically in the suburbs of Endicott and Johnson City, I guess). Why not call them the Binghamton Booters, or Ass-kickers? And of course, IBM was big in Binghamton once. How about the Binghamton Business Machines? There’d have to be some awesome logos for that. The flight simulator was invented there – how about the Binghamton Fake Flyers? Or the team could be named after the local delicacy – the Binghamton Spiedies sounds athletic, right?
All that said, “Timber Jockeys” works, I guess.