Monday, November 22, 2004

# Posted 3:38 PM by Patrick Belton  

GRUMBLE: Washington's new franchise has been officially, and stupidly, dubbed the Nationals. Not only is this a remarkably tone-deaf rendering of tradition in a sport for which tradition is its lifeblood - come on, everyone knows that the baseball team that plays in Washington is supposed to be the Senators - but the only thing more regrettable than the bland, distinctive-as-soap name is the justification put forward for it. Thus Mayor Anthony Williams (who, like most American politicians, wise and otherwise, was educated in New Haven rather than that dumb jocks school slightly to the north): by choosing a sucky name for Washington's ball team, so the argument goes, the actual Senators will be embarassed into granting the District representation in Congress. Jesus, where did he learn about politics? As sports misnomers go, this one is up there with moving the Jazz from New Orleans to that second city of jazz, Salt Lake City, Utah (or the Brooklyn Dodgers to that precious borough's geometric opposite, though a substantial contingent of our readers will write back saying 'wait, they're not still the Brooklyn Dodgers?')

On the other hand, 'Nationals' has one thing going for it: at least it boasts several interesting anagrams - A Slain Ton, A Latin Son, A Loan Isn't, A Tonal Sin, a Stalin No, A Nina Lost, A Last In On, A Ann I Lost, Annal It So (that's two n's, people), Ana Sin Lot, Anna I Lost, Satan Olin (a well-known, malevolent philanthropist), Santa Loin, Snail Nato, Satin Loan, Tina Salon, Tan As Lion, Salt An Ion (several of these sound like good band names, incidentally...unlike the Nationals....). I'll be rooting for the Santa Loin, myself.
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