There’s no reason why a team name has to be some sort of violent animal or action. That’s a relatively new development. A nickname was merely a way of referring to the team.
For me, a good team nickname is one that is appropriate and which is unique. It’s even better if the name doesn’t stand for anything real. Detroit Red Wings is a perfect example – unique, and what exactly is a red wing?
Some good ones include:
Southern Illinois Salukis (don’t get many named for dogs).
Toledo Mud Hens (of course).
Miami Hurricaines (nice to be named after a natural disaster)
Buffalo Bills (the only case where the city is the nickname – i.e., they have buffaloes on their helmets, not bills)
Defunct teams with great names:
Chicago Chifeds (and later Whales)
Trenton Tip Tops (named after a bread company)
Spirits of St. Louis (first to put the nickname first)
Long Island Ducks
“East is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.” – Marx
Read “Sundials” in the new issue of Aboriginal Science Fiction. www.sff.net/people/rothman