Tag Archives: Jerseys

Gone Commando in Two Years

Greetings readers,

Wow, that football team in Cincinnati is doing quite well. This team has two championships in their history, only one loss in two seasons, and an owner that isn’t constantly asked to leave their post. Someone pinch this Cincinnati¬† fan, it must be a dream! Oh wait, I’m not talking about the Cincinnati Bengals this year (minus the owner thing), I’m talking about the Cincinnati Commandos.

The Commandos have been around for two seasons, with only one loss in their history. Cincinnati has been apart of the CIFL (the Continental Indoor Football League) until recently, when they switched to the Ultimate Indoor Football League for 2012.

With the switch, the Commandos no longer have a rival in the Dayton Silverbacks (since Dayton has stayed put in the CIFL.) Cincinnati now has a rival just across the rival in the Kentucky Monsters playing in the Bank of Kentucky Center, where Northern Kentucky University plays. The team was called the Northern Kentucky Monsters for awhile. Also joining the UIFL with Cincinnati is the Marion Blue Racers, just a drive north of Columbus.

Cincinnati has seven home games coming up, including two each hosting Marion and Kentucky. All home games are scheduled to play in the Cincinnati Gardens, about fifteen minutes of Downtown Cincinnati. The season starts March 3rd with the Commandos hosting the Marion Blue Racers. Tickets range from $10 to $22.

I haven’t had a chance to catch a game yet, but I have followed along with how the team has done. I will say that only one loss and two titles to the belt should get the football fanatics of Cincinnati flocking to the Gardens. Another thing that is a big plus for the community is the roster is made of mainly of Cincinnati locals (My guess is about 90% Cincy locals.) The roster link is accurate from October 2011.

So if you’re looking for some football to catch, check out the Cincinnati Commandos!

Photo from cincinnati.com. Sources of information from the Ultimate Indoor Football League and the Cincinnati Commandos website.

Until next time,

-Lee

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Creative Names – The Vancouver/West Michigan Whitecaps

Greetings readers,

Today’s Creative Names will deal with two teams that share a nickname. Enter the Whitecaps.

One team is part of the Detroit Tigers’ farm system (and has been since 1997.) The other plays in the MLS. One has been around since 1994, while the other is just starting up. One is known for having a gigantic burger worth 4,800 calories on their menu and shares a corporation name in their ballpark name with the Toledo Mud Hens and fellow Midwest League foe Dayton.

The West Michigan Whitecaps started playing in 1994, after the Madison Muskies moved in 1993. The team has been in the same ballpark since the team’s birth. Once called the Old Kent Park, the stadium name was changed in 2002 to Fifth Third Ballpark when the company bought the Old Kent Bank. Fifth Third also owns two other baseball parks in Toledo and Dayton, as well as a college basketball arena in Cincinnati. There is also the Fifth Third Burger, which weighs in at four pounds and 4,800 calories. It was featured on an episode of “Man vs. Food.”

The actual name comes from two sources: one from the history of baseball within the Grand Rapids area and the other from the proximity of the Grand River and Lake Michigan. The actual history of baseball for the area actually started in 1980 when a columnist questioned why can’t baseball work there where it does in Evansville, Indiana (Detroit’s Triple-A franchise was there at the time.) The history is very interesting, so give it a look-through here.

Over the northern border lies the Vancouver Whitecaps. Looking at their logo, you can see the top part being the mountains and the bottom part (which kind of looks like a W) being the blue waves of the Pacific Ocean. With this logo, it’s easy to identify the tops of the mountains as being white caps. The history with this team begins in 1974, as the Whitecaps played their first game. They won the championship in 1979, defeating the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Skipping all the way to 2008, the Whitecaps were announced to be the 17th team in the MLS. They will soon play in the newly-renovated BC Place. Give the history a look-through here.

I remember watching the Columbus Crew game in Vancouver on ONN, and I just remember the mountains hanging over the stadium. It was a beautiful site to see. Columbus won that game 1-0 over Vancouver.

So there you have it, two professional teams with the same nickname but different history. One deals with the actual baseball hats whereas the other deals with the mountains.

Also, the logo posted of West Michigan is the old one. The new one can be found on WM’s history site, with a wave inhaling a baseball. The old logo kind of reminds me of Miamisburg’s old city logo. I’m not sure when they switched logos, but it might be around 2003 from a picture I seen with the current uniform setup, which dates from 2003-present. You can see the old logo on some old programs, which are hanging up in the hallway of Fifth Third Field in Dayton. It’s pretty neat to see.

Source of information from West Michigan’s website, Vancouver’s website, and miamisburg.org (for the old logo comparison.)

Until next time,

-Lee

 

Creative Names – The Clinton LumberKings

Greetings readers,

Today begins a new series in my blog, called Creative Names. It’s where I take a team with a creative nickname and write about the team, the history, and whatever interesting comes afloat. That said, what better way to kick off a series than to focus on the sport being played right now: baseball. As an employee of the Dayton Dragons, I get to see Midwest League baseball teams day in and day out. There’s some creative names in the league (some that I will be writing about), but none that are more creative than the Clinton (Iowa) LumberKings.

While Clinton has had a baseball team since 1937 as the Owls, the LumberKings name was born in 1994. Before then, Clinton mostly had teams based on the name of their MLB parent. The one exception is when the team was named the Pilots, which started with the affiliation with the Pittsburgh Pirates (they were affiliated with the Seattle Pilots eventually.) Clinton held on to the Pilots name tag until teaming up with the Los Angeles Dodgers in ’77 and San Francisco in 1980. In the last year of San Fran’s alliance, the LumberKings were born. Since then, Clinton has partnered up with San Diego, Cincinnati, Montreal, Texas, and back to Seattle with the Mariners. The records can be found here.

Clinton, Iowa’s claim to fame was being the “Sawmill Capital of the World” around the 1850’s. Some of the millionaires of Clinton were lumberjacks. The city and county is named after DeWitt Clinton, who was the governor of New York State. More history about the city itself can be found here.

The mascot is called Louie the LumberKing, the self-titled “King of Midwest League Mascots since 1994.” Measuring up to 6’4′ (with the crown, of course) and as heavy as the Mighty Oak, Louie bats and throws with his right hand but can chop and saw switch-handed. More about the mascot can be found here.

The LumberKings have had two sets of logos. The first one lasted ten years and had a lumberjack wearing a silver crown, holding a piece of lumber with a nail in it. The color scheme was green, silver, and white. After 2004, the LumberKings had a new logo, with possibly the same lumberjack wearing a gold crown and holding an actual bat. Also notice that it took Louie ten years to grow a full set of facial hair rather than just a mustache. The Crown C logo and the LumberKings script went through the same change from a silver to a gold crown.

The LumberKings have been playing ball at the same field since it opened in 1937. It was renamed to Alliant Energy Stadium in 2002, to help with the renovations of the park. More info and pictures can be found here.

Currently (as of 8-4-11) Clinton sits in last place overall in the Western Division with a 43-65 record, but is in line to make the playoffs with a 2nd Half record of 19-19 (if you are in first or second place in one of two halves, you go to the playoffs. If it’s the second half and there’s teams that are above a team that already clinched a spot, the next two go in.)

So there you have it, a little history on Iowa’s monarch lumberjacks in Clinton County. The team is currently celebrating 75 years in Clinton, here’s hoping to at least 75 more!

Sources of information from the Clinton LumberKings website, Clinton, Iowa’s website, SportsLogos.net, and littleballparks.com. Picture from littleballparks.com.

Until next time,

-Lee

Ohio’s Working Machines

Greetings readers,

Lacrosse is coming back to Columbus, Ohio in 2012. Named the Ohio Machine for the spirit, history, and future of the state, the team will play in the Major League Lacrosse.

Currently in the MLL are the Boston Cannons, the Long Island Lizards, the Denver Outlaws, the Hamilton Nationals, the Rochester Rattlers, and the Chesapeake Bayhawks. There is also supposed to be a team in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2012 called the Hounds.

The MLL has an interesting history, starting play in 2001 (and the groundwork/inspiration begin in the Summer of 1998.) Through a partnership between Jake “Body by Jake” Steinfeld, President and Owner of Warrior Lacrosse Dave Morrow, and Chairman of Bay Shore Enterprises Tim Robertson, the league was formed in 1999.

The first international team landed in Toronto in 2009 and moved to Hamilton, Ontario shortly after. Denver’s team was born in 2006, and the Bayhawks called Baltimore and Washington home before moving to Chesapeake.

Lacrosse is receiving more and more attention as the years go by. If we take a look, high school lacrosse programs are starting to pop up by the dozens. The University of Detroit Mercy has added both Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse to their varsity programs. Wright State has a club lacrosse team who try to recruit every fall and spring. There’s tons of other programs out there.

While the Machine don’t know where they will play yet, a possible good venue is the Columbus Crew Stadium. I’m not sure if Ohio State’s fields are being considered, since it’s closer to downtown.

With a new lacrosse team coming to Ohio, hopefully the boom continues to grow in the state. It is a interesting sport to watch with some rich history. We’ll see how well it goes in 2012.

Sources of information from the Major League Lacrosse website.

Until next time,

-Lee

Tough Love

Greetings readers,

Fans are an important staple in sports. Basically, no fans equals no money. No revenue; no team. The fans are the ones who buy the jerseys and merchandise, who pay the cable company for Pay-Per-View, and who pay to have a seat.

So let’s ask something, what does a fan do when that team isn’t easy to follow? What if their team is consistently losing?

Today’s topic is going to be covered by two articles. We have ESPN‘s list of the best-ran professional teams and we also have Puget Sound’s Business Journal with their list of the toughest MLB teams to watch (here’s a little guide into how this list was created.)

From the ESPN list, we have a team close to the Miami Valley that is 15th overall in the nation…and one dead last. That’s right, the Reds are 15th and the Bengals are dead last (122nd, if you wondered.) The rankings are based on a few categories, such as players’ effort, ownership honesty, strength of the coaching staff, and values that effect fans. This list took the NHL, NBA, MLB, and the NFL into account.

For the Bengals, the ownership (which, if you ask the majority of the fans and Who Dey Revolution, that’s the problem) is 120th overall. Only the Maloof family of the Sacramento Kings and the Atlanta Spirit of the former Thrashers scored worse. For the Reds, ownership was ranked 17th.

For a look up north near the lake, the Cleveland Indians were the top team in town, ranking 53rd. The Cavs were 65th, followed by the Browns at 91st. For one last stop, the Columbus Blue Jackets were 87th. Out of the ESPN list, the Green Bay Packers were 1st, followed by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

With the Biz Journal, the Reds are the 11th toughest team to root for, with the Indians 9th. The Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs are the top two teams in the list. The easiest teams to root for are the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

Stats aside: when a team consistently loses, it becomes difficult to continue alliances with that team. While it might become frustrating to continue seeing that team lose, it also affects the social part of lives. For example, Person A is a fan of a team that continues to lose. Person B is a fan of a team with a 24-game winning streak. Person B could rag on Person A for liking that team. That’s just part of the Circle of Sports.

From what I’ve seen, the media seems to cover teams that keep on winning. That’s why you keep seeing the same teams on national broadcasts. The more your team wins, the more you win.

I know this article has mostly been reciting stats and saying obvious things, but it does matter how much people¬† invest in their team. For the fans, they feel like they’re part of the team and have become family. For the front office, the more they invest usually results in more fans. When the players/coaches invest in the team, that usually brings fans in, as well. It’s the Circle of Sports, if that exists.

One last thing: you might wonder why I used a Seattle Mariner as the picture. Well, while looking at the Puget Sound article, I got the idea to type this article. The Mariners were picked seventh, and that was originally going to be the article. However, I remembered the ESPN list and thought it would add more to the post. That wraps up the closest thing to director’s commentary you’ll see on this blog.

Sources of information from ESPN and Business Journal.

Until next time,

-Lee

How to Train Your Streak

Greetings readers,

It takes a good while to start a streak. For the Dayton Dragons, it started around 2000.

Let me explain what streak I’m talking about. I’m talking about the consecutive sell-out streak that the Portland Trail Blazers have had since 1995, with 814. The Dayton Dragons, the lower-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, have tied it up on the recent series finale against the Bowling Green (KY) Hot Rods. After their trip to Indiana to play South Bend and Fort Wayne, the Dragons will be back at home, looking for Number 815.

It’s a very unique story, especially if you ask some of the workers that’s been there since the beginning. Not only do you have a broadcaster celebrating 3,000 games on air, but you have a sell out streak by a minor league team. On the top five list, you have three NBA teams in the Trail Blazers, Chicago Bulls, and the Boston Celtics, followed by the Boston Red Sox in the MLB.

Currently, Dayton’s tied with the Blazers with 814, followed by the Red Sox, and cap it all off with the Celtics and Bulls.

What makes Dayton so successful? To me, the environment is a lot different then some of the other places I’ve went to see a game. It’s aimed more towards a family-friendly environment, and it’s for a good price too. While there’s at least an eight year wait for season tickets, there’s always the Lawn Seats for $7.

The crowd is a different flavor compared to others as well. While some fanbases jump ship as soon as their team sinks, disappointment is rarely uttered in Fifth Third Field. Out of the last eight seasons, only one has been a winning season. The Dragons have also never captured a Midwest League title. While the actual team itself hasn’t been winning championship after championship, the fans still love their team nonetheless.

As an employee of the Dayton Dragons, I have to say it’s a rather laid-back place to work. Families love coming to Fifth Third Field, as well as baseball fans and dates.

The Dragons look to break Portland’s streak this Saturday, July 9th against the South Bend Silver Hawks. Hopefully the Dragons can keep it rolling past 815. The sky’s the limit for this ball club.

Source of information from the Dayton Daily News and Minor League Baseball.

Until next time,

-Lee

Flight of the Thrashers

Greetings readers,

It’s official. The Atlanta Thrashers have been sold to True North Sports and Entertainment. Pending a decision by the NHL Board of Governor’s approval, the city of Winnipeg will have a NHL team for the first time since 1996. They will play in the MTS Centre, and the Manitoba Moose will move to another location in Canada, quite possibly Saint John.

This marks the second time in history that Atlanta has lost a NHL franchise to the North. The Calgary Flames once called the southern city home for eight years, going to the playoffs in six of those.

There was an interview on NPR with national hockey writer Scott Burnside, explaining why the Thrashers franchise didn’t work.

So what’s new with the moving franchise? Are they picking a new name? Are they drawing up new logos?

Nope. True North is selling season tickets. The goal is 13,000. There’s also a FAQ for existing Moose season ticket holders, people looking to be the first people to see the new generation of NHL Hockey in Winnipeg, and other tidbits.

There is another interesting article from SB Nation Atlanta, saying that True North will retire the old Jets numbers (9, 25) but not the Thrashers sets. The article does mention that Dan Snyder’s number might be retired since he was killed in a car accident, and it wasn’t an official retired number. However, you could say that the retiring of those two numbers could point in some positive light for the fans of the old Jets.

The selling is official, now we just play the waiting game. It’s already an exciting offseason for the Nation Hockey League.

Sources of information from the Global BC, NPR, driveto13.com (NHL), and SB Nation Atlanta. Picture from SB Nation Atlanta.

Until next time,

-Lee