Last week, the NFL's Washington [name retracted]s were forced to ditch their long-controversial moniker. Soon the team will announce a new, less racially insensitive mascot, thanks to a final push from big-money sponsors who no longer wanted to be associated with the former name. Rumor has it the team might go by "Red Wolves."
What a mess. Luckily, here in South Florida, we don't have such problems. Nobody will be canceling any of our team names anytime soon. Not unless Mother Nature rises up and takes over. Which, let's be honest: In 2020, anything is possible.
So just in case, we've taken a deeper dive into each team's name and ranked them by cancelability.
Florida Panthers/Florida International University Panthers. Nobody wants to cancel a Florida panther. If anything, we'd all like there to be more of them. Not, like, so many that they're running around Broward County like the iguanas, but wherever it is they live.
The Florida Panthers and FIU Panthers are safe. No one is coming for them, ever. It's a harmless name.
Miami Dolphins. Listen, as long as we're not talking Sea World dolphins, nobody is complaining about dolphins. They've been on Miami's football helmets since 1966, and you can bet that as long as there is actual football in 2066, the Dolphins will be our NFL team's mascot.
A dolphin is possibly the weakest mascot imaginable for an NFL team to have. Nobody is scared of or offended by a dolphin. If anything, dolphins are known for saving lives. Uncancelable.
The Miami Marlins. This would require some mental gymnastics, but the way marlins are wrestled into boats in man-versus-fish battles could theoretically become a problem. Follow that up with the fact that some people hang them up in their homes after murdering them, and yeah, this could one day be a topic PETA wins on.
For now, though, America has bigger fish to fry.
Florida Atlantic University Owls. Imagine being mad at, or in defense of, an owl. Who does that? Who — get it?
So why are owls not at the bottom of this list? Because owls are sort of a mysterious, creepy creature. They just sit in a tree and stare. Remember when people were dressing as clowns, standing in the woods staring at everyone?
That's basically what an owl does, just dressed as an owl. Negative points for the creepy factor.
Miami Heat. It's unlikely anyone will ever be so incredibly mad at the sun that the Miami Heat has to cancel its name. When placed on a list with owls, fish, and endangered species, though, you have to consider it becoming a reality.
Is it possible one day the usual temperature in South Florida will be 105 degrees on an overcast day? If you've lived in Miami for a good amount of time, you'd almost have to expect that to transpire. Will people be annoyed in 2055 about the Heat being named after one of the worst things in their lives? Could be. More likely than creepy owls pissing them off, that's for sure!
Inter Miami's great white heron. Inter Miami has a beautiful crest. (Doesn't it feel good to say crest?) It displays two great white herons with interlocking legs forming a letter M. It's like two big-ass birds are standing on a beach making a TikTok.
So why did we not rank them lower on the list? Because "great heron" sounds a lot like "great again," and why they gotta be white, man? Is that last sentence a ridiculous argument as to why someone should be offended by a soccer crest? Yes. Are you completely positive someone won't make the case one day? No.
Miami Hurricanes. Of all the sports team names in South Florida, the Miami Hurricanes are most cancelable. In fact, the subject has come up in the past.
Actual hurricanes are second to rising ocean levels in the pecking order of Miami's arch-nemeses. They're one of the few things that can bring the city to its knees. With climate change helping fuel stronger hurricanes, it's not unimaginable that a massive Category 5 storm that crushes South Florida would make the name seem insensitive.
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