Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Reading list: Craswell on sports team nicknames

Craswell is an excellent writer with an engaging topic even for a non-sports fan like me. Treat yourself to this short monograph.  Excerpt:
Here is the Washington Times. . .:
“The Redskins are a private business enterprise, and the owner has the right to call his team whatever he likes.”
What few people realize is that this idea – the idea that nicknames should be controlled by a team’s owner – is a relatively recent invention. As we have seen, nicknames in the early days of spectator sports were almost never chosen by owners or by college officials. Instead, nicknames were chosen by the decentrralized process of the crowd. Anyone could come up with a new nickname, but the nicknames that survived were those that fans and journalists liked well enough to repeat. And in those days, whatever the crowd gaveth, the crowd could also taketh away.

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