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Best Sports Team Nicknames
Here's a list to consider to get the one name that fits your team best.
21. Broad Street Bullies
Repeating as Stanley Cup Champions is hard enough. Doing so with a memorable style that perfectly fits a team s city is nearly impossible. But that s just what the Philadelphia Flyers did in the 1970s. An expansion team only a few years prior, the nickname was coined in a 1973 newspaper article titled, Broad Street Bullies Muscle Atlanta, and came with the famous line, The image of the fightin Flyers spreading gradually around the NHL, and people are dreaming up wild nicknames. They re the Mean Machine, the Bullies of Broad Street and Freddy s Philistines. Immediately, it connected with their tough, blue collar fans. Known for their intimidating style and constant willingness to fight, the Flyers wrote two championships, multiple MVP awards and an all time nickname into the history books forever.
22. The Dream Team
Very few nicknames have been as apt as the Dream Team. Professional athletes had long been barred from appearing on the US Olympic basketball team, but when that ruling was finally lifted for the 1992 Barcelona games, America did it right. Putting together the greatest team ever assembled, the team had 11 Hall of Famers, including Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Traveling like rock stars all over Spain, the team changed international basketball forever, popularizing the game in all corners of the world. And on the court, they didn t disappoint. Winning by an average margin of 40 points per game, the team stampeded its way to gold, forever cementing its place in history.
23. Big Red Machine
From 1970 1976, the Cincinnati Reds dominated the baseball world. Winning five National League West Division titles, four pennants and two World Series championships, the team averaged 98 wins a season and was a true dynasty. Led by baseball s all time hit leader in Pete Rose, the team also featured Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez and manager Sparky Anderson. Collectively, they won six MVP awards, four home run titles, three batting crowns, 25 Gold Gloves, and 63 All Star Game inclusions. A team like that deserves a great nickname, and the Big Red Machine was it.
24. Fab Five
To be a truly great nickname, you not only need success and memorability, but cultural significance as well. The Fab Five had it all. The 1991 Michigan basketball recruiting class of Jimmy King, Jalen Rose, Chris Webber, Ray Jackson and Juwan Howard took the world by storm from the first time they stepped on the court. Blowing past opponents while wearing baggy shorts and black socks, and blasting rap music, the team became instantly popular with young fans around the country. They reached the 1992 and 1993 NCAA Finals as freshman and sophomores, and though they didn t win it all, the team is celebrated as one of the greatest and most influential in college basketball history.
25. Steel Curtain
The defensive lineman of the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers were the backbone of their dynasty, bullying teams to four Super Bowl titles and a place in the annals of NFL history. In the final nine games of the 1976 season, the defense held teams to an unbelievable average of 3.1 points per game, winning by a margin of 22. The Steel Curtain consisted of Mean Joe Greene, LC Greenwood, Ernie Holmes, and Dwight White, and eight of the defense s starting 11 players were elected to the Hall of Fame. It set the standard for an identity and style of play the Steelers would employ for decades to come.
26. Purple People Eaters
Reaching the Super Bowl four times from the late 1960s through the 1970s is no easy feat. Doing so with a true identity and one of the best football units of all time is incredibly rare. Based on a popular song from 1958, the Purple People Eaters hit hard and took no prisoners. Consisting of Hall of Famers Alan Page and Carl Eller, and rounded out by Jim Marshall and Gary Larsen, this Minnesota Vikings group is one of the most famous lines in the history of the NFL. Dominating offenses like no team had done before, the team s motto was Meet at the quarterback. And that they did for a generation, mixing in countless memorable moments along the way.
The best nicknames not only capture a team, but an entire city. And if it is so perfect that it totally encapsulates a style of play one that had never been seen before, to boot then it becomes the stuff of legend. When Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss bought the team in 1979, he not only wanted to win, but the games also had to be entertaining. With the drafting of Magic Johnson and the hiring of Pat Riley, Buss accomplished just that. Employing a run and gun, free flowing style of play that brought fans out of their seats, the Showtime Lakers became a national story. Winning four NBA championships in the 1980s, the team s celebrity fanbase, purple and gold uniforms and star studded roster screamed Fun and perfectly captured the Hollywood life. No nickname has ever been more tailored to its team.
28. The Broadway Blueshirts
This vintage nickname started with the New York Rangers early success in New York City s Roaring 20s. As local celebrities, The Broadway Blueshirts frequented establishments nearby Madison Square Garden and Times Square. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist keeps the glamor alive and remains a fixture in Manhattan night life.
29. The Boys of Summer
The Boys of Summer is a 1972 non fiction baseball book by Roger Kahn. After recounting his childhood in Brooklyn and his life as a young reporter on the New York Herald Tribune, the author relates some history of the Brooklyn Dodgers up to their victory in the 1955 World Series. He then tracks the lives of the players (Clem Labine, George Shuba, Carl Erskine, Andy Pafko, Joe Black, Preacher Roe, Pee Wee Reese, Carl Furillo, Gil Hodges, Roy Campanella, Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson and Billy Cox) over the subsequent years as they aged. The title of the book is taken from a Dylan Thomas poem that describes the boys of summer in their ruin .
30. Whiz Kids
The Whiz Kids was a nickname given to the 1950 Philadelphia Phillies in Major League Baseball. This team, averaging only 26.4 years of age, won the National League pennant during that season.
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