This morning as I was ruminating on the wrong football team names that appear to be proliferating these days, I paused when I got to the RIGHT name for the team from Arizona. Now, it’s obvious that if you’re going to name your Arizona-based NFL franchise after a bird, it needs to be a bird that’s associated with the state of Arizona. And the only bird that’s associated in the public consciousness with Arizona is the roadrunner.
Now that I’ve solved the problem of correcting the name of Arizona’s NFL franchise, let’s move on to more pressing issues.
Roadrunners have almost certainly been around in the Arizona desert for longer than there have been any roads to speak of (in Arizona). So, what did the early settlers in, say, Tombstone, Purgatory, and Globe call these critters? What did Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday cal them as they watched the birds that skittered in front of them on their way to the OK Corral?
And when DID they start getting called roadrunners?