CLEVELAND — We’ve reached the point where pretty much everyone dislikes all the options that have been floated for the Indians new team name – Spiders, Guardians, Buckeyes, Blues, Rocks … Midges, whatever, etc. I’m here to offer a solution – an admittedly impossible and hopelessly complicated solution, but I promise you it will be more entertaining than reading 700 words on why the Cleveland Blues are a name we as a baseball-loving region should all get really excited about.
It is tremendously stupid that there is a basketball team named the Utah Jazz. I have been to Utah. It’s a nice state with nice people and impressive rock formations. But it has as much jazz as Mitt Romney’s sock drawer. If I’m making a list of the 50 jazziest states, Utah is No. 49. (Sorry, Idaho.) America’s great jazz city is New Orleans, and that’s why the renaming of the Cleveland Indians begins with the Utah Jazz releasing the rights to its team name to the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans.
In one stroke, New Orleans becomes a perfectly named sports city. They have the New Orleans Saints for football. They have the New Orleans Jazz for basketball. If they had a baseball team, they’d be the Beads, but the world is an imperfect place.
OK, so now there are no more Pelicans in New Orleans. Should we get rid of Pelicans altogether? No way. If the worst bird in North America – the Blue Jay – gets a team name, then the majestic Pelican is certainly deserving. This is a bird that can trick fish to swim into shallow water to be eaten, works well with other birds (the underrated cormorant) and grows a seasonal horn. If I’m looking at all the bird species for my team mascot, I’m going with the bird that can grow and lose a horn and not act like it's a big deal every single time.
We’re sending the Pelicans to Florida, and because the Miami Heat is a perfect team name, they’re going to Orlando. That’s a franchise in need of a shakeup. Two playoff wins since the 2012-2013 season. No championships ever. No reason to hang onto all that bad luck. Orlando, there was never any magic. Let the Magic go. There is only one team in the country that deserves to be called the Magic, and you know who that is.
The second-stupidest name in pro sports is the Los Angeles Lakers. I have been to Los Angeles. There is a great big ocean. There is no lake. And before you say, “What about Echo Park Lake?” I’m talking about a real lake, traversed by freighters and international cargo ships, not swan paddle boats. Show lakes some respect. From now on, no more Lakers in Los Angeles. The best point guard in NBA history is Magic Johnson, and his Showtime team birthed the modern NBA. The Los Angeles Magic is a team name whose time has come.
And now all the pieces have fallen into place. There is a baseball team on a major, actual, non-joke of a lake that needs a name because all of the other options are regrettable. (Spiders? Come on. No one else has named their team after a passive arachnid that extrudes silk in predictable geometric patterns for a reason.) The name Lakers, in this convoluted and unrealistic scenario, is available. It makes sense. It fits. It’s satisfying. The Cleveland Lakers. Shhh. Listen. You can actually hear Clevelanders chanting, “Let’s go Lakers!” clap-clap-clapclapclap “Let’s go Lakers!” in October at Progressive Field. We deserve the Lakers, if for no other reason than the other options are meh and we have a lake.
All that remains, then, is to name Utah’s NBA team, and frankly, it doesn’t matter. Utah’s so nice, so pleasant, they won’t object to anything. The Pioneers. The Mountains. The Snow. One of those. It’s Utah. They’re polite. Not like us. We’ll hate whatever the team is named, but I hate the Lakers the least.
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Joe Donatelli is the digital director at News 5 Cleveland. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.