3-syllable team names: unacceptable?

Has anybody ever noticed that when a pro sports team has a 3-syllable name, that name gets abbreviated by the fans/sports media?

I’ve come to the conclusion that the general public prefers just one- or two-syllable names.

Some examples:

Major League Baseball
Mariners --> M’s
Athletics --> A’s
Orioles --> O’s
Indians --> The Tribe (less common)
Diamondbacks --> D-Backs
Devil Rays --> D-Rays

National Football League
Forty-Niners --> 'Niners
Buccaneers --> Bucs
Cardinals --> Cards
Patriots --> Pats

National Basketball Association
Timberwolves --> T-Wolves
Trailblazers - --> Blazers
Supersonics --> Sonics


Any ideas as to the reasons behind this?

I’ll agree, but I’ve never heard the Mariners called the M’s.

Well, the NHL has the Columbus BlueJackets. I have never heard of them being referred to in any shorthand way.

“M’s” may be a regional thing - I live near Seattle, and the radio and TV announcers, as well as locals, use the abbreviation all the time. But I’ve heard it on ESPN, too.

Nope, I’ve heard the Mariners referenced as the M’s. I do it sometimes. I think we just like to shorten things or make up nicknames. The Yankees are frequently referred to as Yanks (or variations on the theme), the Red Sox or White Sox are called just the Sox, the nickname for the Cubs (the Cubbies) is longer than their name, the Orioles are called the O’s or the Birds, the Astros were nicknamed the 'Stros by some retard (that has to be the lamest nickname for a team ever), the Mets are sometimes referred to as the Amazin’s, the Phillies are just the Phils, the Angels are the Halos, etc.

We just like making up nicknames.

The Eagles are the Iggles.


I’d have to agree with Neurotik. . .people just like nicknames. The baseball Cardinals are also called the Cards, or “The Redbirds” (also three syllables), but not usually any more often than they are referred to as the Cardinals (of course, this 3-syllable word itself often ends up shortened to Card’nals, 2 syllables, but nevermind that :slight_smile: ).

I’ve never heard the Cleveland Indians called anything but the Indiands…or the 49er’s, for that matter.

Nevermind, the niners…you said that in the OP. :smack:

That’s because calling the the B.J.s could be… er… misinterpreted.

And the Tribe! Gah. I’m going back to bed.

the Mets are referred to as the “amazin’” Mets, true enough… most people don’t even know their REAL name is the “Metropolitans”… the shortened name became so popular NOBODY uses the real name… then they made up a nickname to make the short name LONGER… Crazy world we live in…

Ooh, wait (if this one magically appears in the thread after I’ve posted it after being certain it wasn’t there, I’m going to scream really loudly) there’s the 76ers, shortened to the 6ers.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are also called the Bucs.

Shorter names makes the sports headline writers’ jobs easier.

Actually, I think the original name of the Mets was something like “The New York Metropolitan Baseball Club”

I’d guess that one-syllable or two-syllable team names make for a more rythmic cheer-chant, as in, “Let’s go, ____!”