More Like "Awesome Rans", If You Ask Me

seminar.gifHello, Vast Cadre of Loyal Readers!

It’s been nearly a week since I’ve been able to update this esteemed blog, as I was in the city of Austin, TX in order to cover the Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminar. The city’s motto is “Keep Austin Weird”, and us assembled Minor League folks did just that! I mean, what’s weirder than spending nearly all your waking hours at an antiseptic hotel 12 miles away from downtown? That’s some high-grade eccentricity right there!

Fortunately, I was able to experience the city in a more meaningful fashion over the weekend, and if this was “Ben’s Personal Blog” I’d regale you with stories regarding the many adventures that were had. But, alas, it is not. “All Biz, All the Time” is how it goes ’round these parts, so let’s keep things moving in a crisp and orderly fashion.

First off, regarding the seminar, my coverage can be found here, here, here and here. Therekaw.gif truly were many interesting and innovative ideas bandied about, and I hope to follow up on many of them as we head toward ’09. And, of course, it was great making personal connections with many whom I had previously only known through email or the telephone. There are few things more gratifying than being able to put a face to the name. And vice versa!

While I was gone, I did not have time to stay up to date with Minor League press releases, those precious vessels of communication which provide me with so much but ask for so little. I got myself back up to speed throughout the course of this afternoon, fortunately, and I shall now share with you my favorite press release that came through the pike over the past week:

Wizards Logo.jpgIn their last act as the “Wizards” before announcing their new team
name and logo, Fort Wayne unveiled the most interesting “also-rans” from their recently-concluded “Name the Team Contest”:

“General Manager Mike Nutter explained, ‘Among the over 2,500
suggestions received, there were many great suggestions. There were
also candidates of questionable relevance, questionable taste and those
we just didn’t get. The humorous offerings from the community were much
appreciated. In addition to demonstrating some tremendous creativity,
they really helped keep the process fun for us as we waded through well
over 2,000 serious selections.'”

As a public service to their loyal fan base, the club concluded the press release by listing 10 of the most amusing names that were submitted:

10. Fort Wayne Newtons
9. Fort Wayne Dudes
8. Fort Wayne Weiner Dogs
7. Fort Knocks
6. Fort Wayne Fashizzle
5. iWiz
4. Fort Wayne Mighty Gherkins
3. Fort Wayne.ComPadres
2. Harrison SquarePants
1. Hoosier Daddies

The press release includes several other rejected names, and my favorite of these is undoubtedly the “Fort Wayne Whacker Smackers.” But the undisputed highlight is this line, about some of the family-unfriendly nicknames that were submitted:

“[There were] numerous names derived from that of former Mayor Harold Baals, names
referencing the numbers adorning the nearest highways and other
inappropriate uses of bats and balls.”

Since this blog is itself family-friendly, I will refrain from speculating on what these names might have been. Besides, I believe the Mayor Baals is an upstanding public servant who needs to be treated with respect.

Those who blasphemously find their Minor League biz news from other sources will be aware that Fort Wayne has already announced their new name and logo. I’ll “reveal” that information tomorrow, but for now I would just like to compliment the club for taking the time to share some of the names that were rejected. Here’s hoping that this becomes a standard component of future “Name the Team” contests.

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