Give Thanks -- You Almost Got Stuck Rooting for the Florida Flamingos

All team names are far from created equal. Some basic math: Celtics > Raptors; Red Sox > Devil Rays; Colts > Texans; and everyone on a field, rink, or pitch outside of Anaheim laughed their asses off at the Mighty Ducks until they wised up and lost the Disney adjective a few years ago.

In South Florida, we've been blessed with a fairly inoffensive batch of pro franchises (especially since Tampa Bay exorcised Satan from its name last year). But that doesn't mean there weren't some close calls.

The Wall Street Journal put together a list this week of the ten worst names almost picked for pro teams, and some near-disasters in Florida made the list.

Topping the local list: the Florida Flamingos. According to the Journal, former Marlins owner, trash magnate, and fire-sale specialist Wayne Huizenga wanted to name the Fish after the fear-inspiring pink bird.

Have you watched the Marlins this year? They're three games under .500 after getting spanked by the Cardinals last night -- and they're lucky their record isn't worse.

Now imagine them prancing around in hot-pink flamingo-embroidered uniforms at a stadium named for a rip-off Jimmy Buffett beer. Could there be a more ridiculous Major League franchise? Things could be worse, Fish fans.

Orlando Magic fans should also be happy for more than just winning their first ever Finals game on Tuesday. Their franchise was inches away from being named the Juice.

The Orlando Juice would have been a ridiculous enough name. But imagine that franchise with all the connotations it would carry today.

Could you really watch a Juice game without imagining O.J. rocketing down the freeway in his Bronco, or Jose Canseco popping some roids into A-Rod's ass?

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink

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