The Rankings, followed by the analysis:
- Peyton the Town Orange
- Harbaugh’s Diabolicals
- Yo Soy Fiesta
- NOLA Bountyful Spirit
- Football Avengers
- The Fightin’ Suh … literally
- Undefendable or Defenseless?
- Manning the Waiver Wire
- WhoDoYouThinkYouAre?I AM!
NOLA Bountyful Spirit – An NFL-related name that has multiple references. First, and hopefully most obvious, is the Saints’ bounty scandal. One of the dominant storylines of the offseason, the scandal has teamed up with the resulting suspensions of Sean Payton, Jonathan Vilma, and a number of other players to change the fortunes of the Saints (and possibly the entire league) in 2012. I anticipated that misspelling “bountiful” as I did would point to this reference. As to the rest of the name, “New Orleans Spirit” is one of the leaders in the clubhouse for new owner Tom Benson(who also owns the Saints)’s anticipated rebranding of the Hornets. So this name brings together the two proud(?) franchises which Mr. Benson has united through common ownership in real life. And for some reason everyone loves to abbreviate New Orleans as “NOLA”. I guess it works because you can say it like a word – kind of in the way that “SoCal” has caught on for that area. I can’t think of any other city where this would work very well, though. NYNY? Sounds like a Chinese insult. SLMO is pretty good if you vocalize an ‘o’ after the SL. You almost need a two-word city name and for at least one word to start with a vowel, otherwise it’ll be nigh unpronounceable. E.g., SFCA, KCMO, GBWI, TBFL, DC…America? You can get some results that sort of work if you open it up by taking the first to letters of a one-word city, but even these are mostly bad. ChIL is pronounceable but weird. Isn’t OaCA a Mexican liquor? BoMA is too much like MoMA. MiMN? DeCO is not terrible; it conjures up images of 40s–Modern style (not so much this). PiPA is MASSIVELY disappointing when you realize it’s this instead of THIS. SeWA is humorously apropos more often than not. BaMD is rather good – it looks like the Batman sound effect-graphic for when Ray Lewis hits somebody. MiFL is really close to milf, and that’s probably all we need to say on this subject. How did we get here?
Anyway, back to the subject at hand: scoring this name. It gets points for being NFL related and for referencing current events. It gets dinged for also referencing the NBA (though this is mitigated because the same person owns the NBA and NFL franchises). Also, scoring this name somehow led to me googling Pippa Middleton’s butt and talking about milfs, so a bonus point is awarded. My biggest regret is that I couldn’t find the version of my team icon that had a Mario coin edited in above Warner’s head when he gets hit.
Yo Soy Fiesta – What’s not to love about this guy? A solid name, NFL-related, topical, whimsical, and best of all it led me HERE as I was looking for the “Yo soy fiesta” video. Turn down your speakers (or if you’re reading at work, you may want to put on headphones – you’ll want sound) and head over there. I’ll wait.
Now that you’ve composed yourself after being exposed to the wonder of Grönk Natiön, we can move on to properly rating this name. We’ve seen the positives, and the only negative is the fact that Andy doesn’t own this incredible piece of man-flesh. (Yes, those are pictures behind those links. No, I wouldn’t click on them at work)
Harbaugh’s Diabolicals – A reference to Harbaugh West’s response to the backlash from his attempted explanation of his assertion that the 9rs weren’t “pursuing” Peyton this offseason. I like it. Anytime someone related to the League correctly uses a word like ‘diabolical’, you have to commemorate it. Bonus point for rostering (and overpaying for) a 9r.
Josh – Probably the deepest team name we’ve had in the PFFL, “Josh” is a meta-reference, capturing the profound absurdity of our little world and juxtaposing it with the single-minded focus we expect from those whose performances we use. Josh has managed to pack direct or indirect references to all 32 teams in the league inside this comically short phrase.
…Or, it’s exactly the same name as I gave the team when I set up the league. And it’s just Josh’s name because he hasn’t ever won the league (so I had no championship name to give him). This may be even worse than Dan’s team name.
Undefendable or Defenseless? – Will tells me that this name captures how he feels about both the Pack and the Huskers. Will anticipates that each team will end up subject to one of the following narratives: 1) The offense looks great and the team performs well, the team is hailed as an undefendable Juggernaut; 2) The defense looks awful and the team performs poorly, the team is castigated as being “defenseless”. I’ll give him credit for referencing the NFL with the Pack, and I’ll only subtract half of the penalty for a college-football-related name because, if there’s one thing the Huskers are going to be this season, “undefendable” is NOT it.
The Fightin’ Suh … literally – Clearly Ndamukong has been getting in trouble again. Points for the NFL reference and rostering a Lion. I also really enjoy the loose homophone (Suh/Sioux) – a staple of the creative team name. This is a solid team name with high creativity and no subtractions.
Peyton the Town Orange – My favorite of the names related to Elder Manning. It has a lot to like – Peyton/Painting homophones (admittedly, a bit of a stretch), a play on a famous phrase – substituting a team-appropriate color, and Jason owns the player referenced.
WhoDoYouThinkYouAre?I AM! – I have absolutely no idea what’s going on here. Is that a picture of bowling?
Ok, so apparently it’s this. That’s a pretty incredible celebration. Not at all football related, but definitely a thing.
Manning the Waiver Wire – This is a solid player-related name. However, the player referenced is not on Cole’s team. I’ll give Cole a bit of a pass because he’s understandably excited that his football team just got an all-time great at QB. Of course, the name is also a description of what Cole must do to fix his team after the draft. I kid, I kid (but just kinda).
In summary, it gains points for being clearly player and NFL related, loses a half-point because Cole doesn’t own Peyton, loses a good-natured-draft-ribbing half-point, and loses a half point because I think somebody made this pun last year (but I’m too lazy to go look).
Football Avengers – Dan’s team icon makes it clear that he’s talking about the movie version of the Avengers, but what is less clear is how that relates to the NFL is less clear than the subtle racism in Dan’s photoshop. The ONLY black person in the picture just happened to get his face covered up by the football you so expertly edited in, Dan? The football Dan inserted may be an NFL football, as it lacks the NCAA football’s iconic white stripes, but it is too low a resolution to be certain. And while we’re talking about the Avengers, didn’t Thor break the Rainbow Bridge at the end of Thor? Wasn’t there a big ado about how much he missed Natalie Portman and how he couldn’t see her again? Wait, how did he get to Earth? And once he was here he couldn’t be bothered to fly over and see her? Of course Thor can’t stoop to using a telephone. I mean, sure she looks really insecure sometimes, but that’s endearing, right? It’s like she didn’t even exist – or he arrived and immediately got completely distract…oh.
So, Dan’s team is the Football Avengers, which raises the question: which player is which Avenger?
Captain America: If the Avengers had a quarterback, Captain America would be it. Obviously. I mean, did you see him calling plays and audibling at the line during that giant fight scene? So, we’re choosing between Vick and Schaub for this one. I’m going Vick, because Dan will need him to play near his potential to be great this year.
Thor: Big guy, unclear motivations, swings a big hammer. A single-track mind, easily distracted. The villain is his estranged brother. A big fan of fighting. Was a polarizing choice to lead his people. Fuck it. Vick is Thor. Gore will have to be Captain America. He’s an underrated workhorse who doesn’t mind doing the dirty work.
Iron Man: The oldest guy on the team. Was older than most when he started as a superhero. Most famous in his Red/Yellow outfit. Dan is irrationally attached to him. Clearly, this one’s Uncle Tony.
Hulk: The biggest guy on the team, and should be more interesting than he is. Powerful, but disappears for stretches at a time. At times he seems unstoppable. Has a reputation for poor hands. Not much to look at. That’s right, Dwayne Bowe is the Hulk.
Hawkeye: The team’s only deep threat. Has never had a movie of his own. Mentally weak. It’s Jennings.
…And I’m out of Avengers. But Dan still has a bunch of guys on his team I haven’t named! Let’s keep going down the character list until we’ve filled out Dan’s team.
Loki: Thor/Vick’s estranged brother has to be Schaub. His game relies on deception (the Texans secretly don’t throw very much) and letting others do the work for him (ditto). Started his career in Thor/Vick’s shadow; was not recognized as a talent until he left to lead a rival group.
Nick Fury: Might have some problems with depth perception. Willing to use the tragedy of others to his own advantage. Most useful as a behind-the-scenes guy. It’s Ben Tate!
Agent Coulson: Speaking of tragedy, who has to die for Dan’s team to rally together and pull off a winning season? Toby Gerhart is the ill-fated agent, just as his fantasy relevance will suffer untimely demise as soon as the Viking doctors clear AD to play.
The girl from How I Met Your Mother: One of a largely indistinguishable group. Performs essentially the same functions as a number of other soldiers, but we know her name for some reason. Replaces a more well-known, departed comrade. That’s clearly Stevan Ridley, who is supposedly going to step into the Law Firm’s role in the New England backfield. Good luck telling them apart.
Orlando Bloom’s dad from the Pirates of the Carribean(rhymes with amphibian) sequels: An older gentleman who specializes in finding ways to transport things from one place to another, far away place without moving. Rob Bironas.
The Other: We barely saw him in the film, he’s largely a mystery. Will he be outrageously powerful? Laughably impotent? Who knows! Also, his followers like to dress in spikey armor. Denarius Moore.
That leaves the Detroit D? Um…they’re the giant space caterpillar. Yeah. They look fearsome, and the front four are really quite scary. I wouldn’t want to run into them in a dark alley. But the back end is weak and they’re vulnerable to a ranged attack. Hell, even Matt Flynn threw for almost 500 yards and 6 tds against them, and he can’t even beat a rookie for a starting job.
To sum up: the name isn’t really NFL related, or even related to the game except that Dan put the word ‘football’ as a descriptive noun at the front. It’s not a clever phrase, but it does have an amateurish photoshop. But…I had a LOT of fun comparing this team to Avengers (and it made me google pictures of Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman), so I’m giving it a bunch of bonus fun points.