It is fairly uncommon for professional teams to change their nicknames. Typically changes in names are associated with geographic moves, and the last high-profile change was probably the whole Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets-New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans swap, which was ultimately caused by a franchise moving between the cities. The most notable change before that was probably the Washington Bullets/Wizards.
The city of Washington, D.C. is undergoing yet another change, and this is a pretty big one. The reasons around the change are well-documented and will not be discussed here, but it did get us thinking about what we would change our team’s name to if there was ever a need to (which seems pretty unlikely).
Today’s Question of the Day is:
What nickname would you choose instead of the Lions?
My answer: Obviously the Lions name has a ton of history, but I do think there could be some cool alternatives if the name had to change. Right away I am going to eliminate “Spartans” since that name is already occupied by a nearby organization and has not been used by the team in almost 100 years (and is also a dumb name).
I think the Pistons have a great name for representing Detroit and also the persona of the team: hard-working and powerful. While the Lions do not have any a strong mantra right now, maybe there is another name that could both tie into the city and also the mission of the team. I would probably move away from an animal unless it had a direct tie to the city, or was mythical and more abstract. It is hard to draw a clear parallel between Lions and Michigan.
Honestly, I do not have a good answer for this question; I will leave that to the creative types out there. I do think there is room for improvement, though, and if history was not such a strong anchor, perhaps a rebrand could be exciting. However, barring something crazy happening, the Lions name is probably going to outlast all of us.