Top 10 Sports Teams Named After Bugs
Last week the sports world was shocked to hear that the New Orleans Hornets will be changing their name to the New Orleans Pelicans. The name, logo, and mascot change will be official when the NBA kicks off season. This name change also means that there are no more professional sports teams left with an insect as their name, logo, or mascot. Sad day!
This name change by the New Orleans hornets got me thinking… What other sports teams are named after insects or pests? Here is my top ten list; from ten to one:
10. University of Richmond Spiders
University of Richmond Logo
The University of Richmond adopted the name “Spiders” in 1894, after an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch used the term to refer to pitcher Puss Ellyson’s lanky arms and stretching kick. To this day, Richmond is the only university in the United States with the spider as its official nickname.
The Richmond Spiders play in the Atlantic 10 Conference, and their men’s basketball team recently made the sweet 16 in 2011.
9. Salt Lake Bees
Bees have long been a symbol of the state of Utah. In fact, a beehive appears on the Utah state flag; the state motto is “Industry” (for which bees are known); and Utah is widely known as the “Beehive State.” It makes sense that the State’s only minor league baseball team be named the Bees. The Salt Lake Bees are currently an affiliate for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
8. Greensboro Grasshoppers
The Greensboro Grasshoppers, who play in Greensboro, North Carolina, changed their name to the Grasshoppers from the Bats in 2005. The Grasshoppers are a minor league Class A baseball team, who play in NewBridge Bank Park. They are the farm team for the Miami Marlins.
7. Sugar Land Skeeters
The Sugar Land “Skeeters” play professional baseball (not MLB) in Sugar Land, TX. The name “Skeeter was given to the team after the results of a fan poll. The name Skeeter is southern slang for mosquito. Mosquitoes are very common during the warm, muggy summer nights in Texas.
6. Fort Wayne Mad Ants
The Fort Wayne Mad Ants are an NBA D-League team located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The term “Mad,” as in Mad Ants, was used to describe General “Mad” Anthony Wayne who the city was named after. The Mad Ants are a developmental team for the Pistons, Bobcats, Bucks and Pacers of the NBA.
5. University of Arkansas at Monticello Boll Weevils
Some Universities opt for a ferocious jungle cat for their mascot in the hopes of provoking fear in their opponents. Other universities choose a powerful symbol of power and status, like a king or knight. Not the University of Arkansas Monticello… They chose a Boll Weevil, an irritating insect known for damaging gardens and crops.
According to the school’s athletic website, the mascot was chosen because the pest was admired for its toughness and the terror it could strike to the farmers. Maybe the Boll Weevils are not such an easy opponent after all.
4. San Antonio Scorpions
The San Antonio Scorpions are a professional soccer team that joined the North American Soccer league in 2012. The Scorpions are excited to kick off their 2013 season at Toyota Field in San Antonio, TX on April 13th.
3. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are probably the most high profile team left, that’s named after an insect, now that the New Orleans Hornets have changed their name. The football team is one of the top 20 winningest Division I-A programs of all time.
2. University of South Carolina Sumter Fire Ants
University of South Carolina Sumter sponsors four collegiate teams; baseball men’s and women’s soccer, and softball. They are known as the Fire Ants, the most diabolical of all ant pests found in The United States. Sting victims rarely receive a single sting; instead, a person typically receives many hundred stings simultaneously.
1. UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs
The Banana Slugs of UCSC are given my #1 ranking because their mascot is local to the University, unique, and of course a bug. A banana slug is a slimy yellow mollusk that slides across the ground, leaving an oily residue wherever it goes. They are native to the forest floors along North America’s Pacific coastal states, stretching from Southeastern Alaska to Santa Cruz, California. In February 2008, ESPN Sports named the UCSC Banana Slug as one of the ten best nicknames in college basketball; as have Reader’s Digest and Sport’s Illustrated.
California Banana Slug
Did I Miss Any?