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By wombles222
April 22 2018

One could be forgiven that this article has nothing to do with rugby. After all it is a fallow week for those of us not involved in European competition. Yet this direct plagiarism of The Wizard of Oz, the wonderful 1939 cinema hit, with the beautiful Judy Garland leading the way as Dorothy resonates rather well as I shall shortly reveal.

               So, no game for us this weekend is a great opportunity for the most amateurish amateur hack such as myself to write about something important in the game in general. Thoughts and ideas abounded, what should I put finger to keyboard for? What could I pen that has not already been typed? TMO’s and their impact, or lack of, in the game? I Could, but it has already been covered in the mass media. How about injuries, ringfencing? again written and discussed ad infinitum. I know, how about lack of ‘A’ league games being played?…… wait, also available in the printed/online press. New Premiership sponsorship? even the thought of talking about an insurance giants financial input is enough to resolve the most stubborn persons insomnia. Then inspiration!!! You could call it a ‘lightbulb’ moment, however it is simple mere coincidence that the idea came to me just as I turned the kitchen light on, that was more a reflection of my sight not being what it used to be and I wanted to be able to see what I was doing when making my coffee. Pouring boiling water into a mug held by my hand and its exposed skin is not a “in the dark” activity.

               So here it is, this week’s article, sports teams names. With the news that Gloucester may be adding the name Lions and Bristol becoming hence forth known as the Bears. Now of course we know that names such as Wasps can be attributed to the Victorian preference to naming teams after insects or animals. But I wondered what other team names existed out there? not the boring ones of course, but ones that that will be sung and cheered and proudly adorned by those that play and support the team so unfortunately named, yet at the same time raises giggles and smiles from those of us not afflicted by it. So here it is, a short trip around the world and a brief visit to a few teams that have names that even a chairman’s mother could struggle to love.   

               Let us open with a trip in the UK. Now I have to admit our names are all rather tradtional, Old Cateronians this, Old Guildfordians that. However in my brief trip around the rugby pyramid one team did make me smile, and that is the amateur team of…


London Irish, The Wild Geese

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Now on its own, the amateur club, formed in 1999 and currently playing in National League 2 South is a club to be proud of, name aside. However why they chose to use a picture of a “roided up” duck that seems to be the cartoon coming together of Ed the Duck, BA Baracus and Hannibal Smith with a tattoo that would make any merchantman in Portsmouth proud is anyones guess. However this is the palest of the pale in our journey.


               Next we travel to the distant lands of China, that’s right, the home of the Kung Pao Chicken. Yet full of people that aren’t against roasting a pigeon for dinner. Yet strange culinary tastes aside, their enjoyment and creativity for Rugby team names is also impressive!


Shanghai Hairy Crabs

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The first ‘contact’ rugby team in Shanghai (what they were doing before that is anyone’s guess) and formed in 1996, it is impressive that using a term well known for a certain intimate infection in a usually hairy area was chosen. Hardly likely to strike fear into the souls of the opposition, more likely to cause a psychological response and mental process that probably ends with the thought “I wonder how long it is until I can see my GP?”. But to be fair the badge shows they know what is important in Rugby, Drink It down you Shanghai Warrior!


Beijing Aardvarks

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Started by a group of students and their Chinese friends in 1985, why they chose to pick an animal native to Africa is anyone’s guess. Expats? Possibly, but I could not find out myself. The only link I could find is that they travel long distances at night for food. Which one of us Rugby players/supporters have not done that in a drunken stagger looking for a kebab shop.


So where next? Well not far to be fair, to Japan, Land of the rising sun and home of the grilled corn, miso, camembert, baked potato or soy sauce Kit Kat.

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NEC Green Rockets

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So in keeping with the green Kit Kat, meet the NEC Green Rockets, a “Top League” team. Now the reason I put this in is this, the Badge! Possibly the greatest artistic club badge I have seen (Plus I was also desperate to share my piece on the Kit Kat).


However no round the world trip is complete without a visit to the good old U.S of A. The home of the oddly named sports teams! Now there were many, and to put all of them in would take days, so here are my favourite two.



New Orleans Baby Cakes

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A minor League baseball team, but why babycakes, and more to the point why is George Doors forming their badge, coincidence? I will leave that to you to answer.


apr 7.jpg



St Louis Billekini


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Now on its own the University collegiate teams name is rather unremarkable, if not mildly curious. And historically naming the teams after John Bender, their 1911 football coach is rather nice. Yet when you see the character he is supposed to of looked like! And even the fact this terrifying figure was a “charm doll” makes its choice even more astounding! I am not sure I would of slept in the same house as it, most likely I would be calling in the local vicar to carry out an exorcism! But not the St Louis University. For them here was their perfect team mascot.


But before we leave the land of the free, for me one cannot but doff a hat to the team naming wordsmiths of the ever so fun “sport” of Dodgeball. I have to admit to liking the film, and also enjoying the dodgeball leagues that it created. Many will argue that it is not a sport, and divisions can be drawn through friends and families regarding this. However for me I put it down as a sport, as it gets the heart pumping, the players and supporters juices flowing, and it has that ever so enjoyable physical side, plus who cannot but smile seeing someone take a bright orange ball in the face, here are some select choices

Duck, Duck, Chuck

The Under dodge

In the Dodge House.


And my personal favourite;

Aim for the fat kid

I even found the mascot

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Thus to all of those not so sure about adding Lions or Bears to their clubs name, or even an adjustment of the badge. Be thankful, it could be worse!




Once a Wasp ALWAYS a Wasp.


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Discussion started by , 22/04/2018 12:58
22/04/2018 12:58
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Old Geezer
22/04/2018 18:04
There was an amusing letter in The Times referring to the existing "Bears" club in Bristol where apparently some men like to dress in leather or PVC. The writer was wondering what the Bristol Bears kit would look like next season!!!

By the way, each to his own is my creed.

22/04/2018 18:13
I noted on the rugby club tweet line a few hours after the announcement a tweet that said the "Bears" club thanked the rugby club for more exposure and advertising than they had ever had whilst reminding them that they had been around for a long time with that name. Chuckle.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:04:22:18:32:58 by neils.

Ken I L Worth
22/04/2018 18:30
If you go down to the woods today....

22/04/2018 19:37
As always thanks for penning this Chris ! .... some light relief during the break smiling smiley

23/04/2018 10:27
Very nice. Good one. I prefer Wasabi Kit Kat. I just received a supply from a mate who's brother married a Japanese girl and keeps bringing back food parcels. I did bring back a lot from a trip to Japan.


23/04/2018 12:24
FYJ: New Orleans King Cakes.

Starting on Epiphany on January 6, residents begin holding parties especially dedicated to King Cake. King Cake parties bring families and community members together to celebrate the season of Mardi Gras, with its krewe parades and festivals. King Cake is so symbolic of the Mardi Gras celebration for residents it is believed that consuming King Cake outside of the Carnival season will result in rain on Mardi Gras day. The dessertís ďsearch for the baby,Ē the small figurine located inside the cake, is a fun way for residents of New Orleans to celebrate their Christian faith.

The dessertís significance to the city was evident in the first Mardi Gras season (2006) after Hurricane Katrina: thousands of King Cake orders flooded bakeries both inside and outside of Louisiana, an example of how significant the dessertís tradition is both inside and outside of the region.

Some sports teams around the area have also infused the tradition of the king cake baby into their teams. The Miami Marlins AAA minor league baseball affiliate, formerly known as the New Orleans Zephyrs, changed their name to the New Orleans Baby Cakes, starting in the 2017 season. The New Orleans Pelicans introduced the King Cake Baby as a second mascot during games around Mardi Gras, to accompany their main mascot, Pelican Pierre.

Laissez Les Bons Temps Roulez.

23/04/2018 12:59
Amusing read - well done again.

!'ve also had Green Tea Kit Kats brought back from Japan - they're not as tasty as the Wasabi variety from my experience.

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