"The Knick game," "The Yankee game," but not "the Giant game" ...why?

My dad always talks about “the Knick game” or “the Yankee game”. But I have never, ever heard him or anyone else refer to the Giants in the singular. Is it because “Giant” is an adjective as well as a noun? I also generally don’t hear anyone speak in this singular form about other teams, just the Knicks and the Yankees.

Also, an unrelated question, but why is it that numerous basketball teams are named for singluar, rather abstract things like “Heat,” “Jazz” and “Magic,” but there are no baseball or football teams with these type of names?

That may just be an idiosyncrasy of your dad’s - I’ve never heard the singular used in that context.

It’s a seventies thing.

Seconding Manduck on the first question. I have never heard anyone use team names in the singular unless they’re referring to a single player (e.g. “So-and-so is the highest paid Yankee in history”).

Strangely enough, the “abstract” team names are singular. But, Manduck, you can’t explain away the Orlando Magic and the Miami Heat as seventies things. They were created in the late 80s.

I almost always hear the singular whether it’s “Giant” ," Met" , “Ranger”, “National”. Maybe it’s a regional thing.

Numerous NHL teams were named like that in the 90s and 2000, and there are some MLS teams just as recent—including the Philadelphia Union, formed in 2008. It may have originated in the 70s, but it’s still going on. And then there’s Sox—which is, in my experience, always singular (if a bastardization of “socks” can be considered to be singular).

As for the thread topic, I don’t generally hear, say, “the Cub game”, but you do hear phrases along the lines of “Cub culture”, “Cub fans”, etc., usually without an article. I’m not sure there’s much of a pattern to this—I hear those phrases with the plural just as frequently, so it’s up to the speaker. Personally, if I was referring to the Knicks, Yankees, or any other team, it would be plural. “Yankees game” sounds a lot better to “Yankee game” to my ears.

This may be Jim Romething. He says things like “Yankee fan needs to get his head out of his ass if he thinks Luis Ayala is as good as Luis Tiant” or “Cub fan needs to stop eating hot dogs and watch the game”.

Running through it in my head I find I would mostly use the singular in that construction:

The Yankee game is on. The Blazer game is on. The Colt game is on.

But there are exceptions and I think it does have to do with whether the name as a singular would be confused as an adjective.

The Giant game is on vs. The giant game is on. The Athletic game is on vs. The athletic game is on. The Warrior game is on vs. The warrior game is on (but I’d still say “the Raider game is on”).

So, just anecdotal, but that’s the way it seems to rattle around in my brain. Born in the Pacific northwest to family originating in Kansas, and lived in the Bay Area for the last 12 years.

I would say that they are non-count nouns (“some heat”, but never “a heat”; contrast with “a giant”).

Moving to The Game Room.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator