On Monday afternoon the Tigers Class-A Short Season affiliate Connecticut Tigers announced they were opening voting for a new team name. The team had originally launched a search for options back in April, letting fans make suggestions (so certainly Connecticut Tiger McTigerfaces was brought up), and on October 7th they announced the five finalists.
The team will be switching from Connecticut to Norwich for a more localized name (Norwich, CT being where the team plays), and so the new names reflect the city rather than the state.
Let’s look at the names, though I think you’ll agree it’s a moot point, since there is truly only one option.
Norwich Golden Roses
Norwich, CT is apparently “The Rose City” so this name is meant to pay homage to that nickname. While pretty enough, and could lead to some interesting uniforms, the Golden Roses just isn’t an exciting or fun name.
Norwich Mill Mules
This one is about the city’s textile history, as Norwich and some surrounding towns were mill towns. The mascot opportunities here are good, but could be better. Next.
Norwich Salty Dogs
Okay, now we’re getting somewhere interesting. This one is in reference to old sea captains, and as Norwich is a harbor town, the connection to surly sailors isn’t a stretch. Plus the idea of an old-timey sea captain like the one from The Simpons on some smart navy blue uniforms definitely has appeal. Or they could go the Rays approach and have the mascot be a literal sea dog. Plenty to work with here.
Norwich Sea Unicorns
I’ll be honest, this is the one I voted for. It’s in reference to mythical creatures seen by the aforementioned salty sea captains. Who doesn’t love a little cryptozoology with their baseball? The merchandising opportunities are incredible. Just look at the Rocket City Trash Pandas who are selling hats and tees without ever having played a game. The Sea Unicorns is the kind of charming and absurd name that draws outside attention. It’s weird, it’s cute, it’s excellent. But it’s also not the winner.
Here we have it. A clear cut name to top all other names. Yes, the Sea Unicorns is fun, but the Narwhals has it all. A satisfying alliteration that rolls off the tongue. Also, what is a sea unicorn? It’s a narwhal. Easy enough to play up the exact same merchandising options here. Plus using animals is a natural choice for minor league teams, and no one else is using a giant sea mammal to my knowledge (come at me in the comments if there is a Blue Whales or Whale Sharks or something).
This one is just so perfect it’s hard to imagine anything else winning.
If you agree with our take (or have your own frontrunner) you can head over to the Connecticut Tigers page to vote between now and October 17th.