In the interests of full disclosure, I’m not a particularly big sports fan. I tend to shy away from things that encourage any form of us vs. them (now more than ever). But when I heard that my old home town of Jacksonville, Florida was changing the name of its minor league baseball team to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, even I had to cringe.
What the hell were they thinking? As if there weren’t enough things to laugh at about that city. Its politics. Its backward hyper-conservatism. The fact that despite its enormous size is feels more like a truck stop that got out of control. But now they’ll have the Jumbo Shrimp to root for! Uh… how does one root for a shrimp, exactly?
Predictably, the fan base of the Jacksonville Suns, a team which has been around since the 60’s, seems to be outraged. Jacksonvillians have never been very open to change. If it were up to them, every year would be 1950. Poodle skirts would be back in style. But they do have a point. What was wrong with the Suns?
Here’s what they don’t seem to understand. It’s a done deal. They’re going to have to get over it. And eventually they will. Just like they got over the tearing down of the old stadium, once they settled into the gorgeous new one.
And even though this name change seems to fly in the face of long-standing tradition, it also seems to be a tradition that minor baseball teams have silly names. Here are a few: