In June of 2020, the team formerly known as the Washington Redskins began the process to change their name, eventually landing on the “Football Team.” One month later, Cleveland Indians Manager Terry Francona announced the same thing may be in store for his team, but here we are in 2021 and still no change has been made. So, the DC sports section has taken it upon itself to do so, and in this roundtable we’ll pitch our ideas on how the Indians should rebrand. Let’s get into it:
For Cleveland, you can really take its name change in many different directions. But, a great name for this franchise would be the Cleveland Rockers. This name would give direct ties to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which has sat in Cleveland since 1983. While the Rockers was the name of Cleveland’s previous WNBA team from 1997 until 2003, it would be a shame not to bring back such a great name. This would give the team a very unique identity that would certainly be a hit with fans as they enter a new age in Cleveland sports history.
I just want to make one thing clear, the name change will not come until next season so we are in no rush. However, I believe that the Cleveland Indians will be renamed the Cleveland Spiders. This name is the best fit for them and it brings back a moniker from the past, just like the Charlotte Hornets did after nine years as the Bobcats in 2014. The Spiders would have a Spiderman jersey as their alternate jersey because it would look cool on the playing field. I have no other jersey suggestions like last time, but I think that it would be incredible if the Spiders’ home run song was the Spiderman theme song just because it keeps with the theme. I hope this name can stick in a city looking for more championships.
While in my opinion the Cleveland Spiders is a great choice, I am here to suggest another less obvious choice: the Cleveland Rapids. Not only was franchise-great Bob Feller nicknamed “Rapid Robert” but there is a train station in the city called Rapid Station. Is it the perfect name? No. But there’s no controversy attached to it and it’s an homage to Cleveland’s greatest player. Also, I am so here for a cool light blue hat with a train logo on it — could be a game changer.
I’m here to suggest the obligatory Cleveland Baseball Team. When the Washington Redskins rebranded to the Washington Football Team — supposedly as a placeholder — I hated it. I thought it was unimaginative and lazy as hell. However, as the season went on and I heard broadcasters continue to say it, it really grew on me. I now don’t want it to change. It’s so ridiculous and awkward that it works. You can now say, “The Eagles are playing the Football Team today,” and everyone knows what you’re talking about. That would have been a preposterous statement a year ago. I need that same energy in baseball. I need to hear Matt Vasgersian introduce Sunday Night Baseball with, “We have a great divisional matchup tonight between the Royals and the Baseball Team.” Generic renames need to be a new trend in sports because it’s damn funny. Now we just need to arrange a matchup between the Football Team and the Baseball Team. Either sport is acceptable.