Frontpaged (and slightly edited) via the Fanposts -- Scott
As you all may know the NBA’s development league has recently announced that it will open up a team in Springfield, MA for the upcoming season. Much like the Maine Red Claws, it recently engaged in a fan based voting campaign in order to name the teams mascot.
Why the names currently up for vote fall short:
Armor - "honoring the historic Springfield Armory". Really? REALLY?!? A team opens up in the Mecca of the basketball world, a city literally oozing with basketball history, and they want to name it after the local armory? I can just see the game day promotions now, "So is it during the first or second time out that we toss AK-47s into the hands of every Jack and Jill in the stands?" With all due respect to the "Reese Family" (responsible for the reopening of this historic landmark in 1974), I think even they would find such a nickname falls short of this teams potential ridiculous nickname upside.
Colonials - "paying tribute to Massachusetts being one of the original 13 British colonies that formed the United States". Aside from the fact that the team would have to compete with the illustrious George Washington Men’s basketball program for merchandise sales, the name Colonials doesn’t exactly single out Massachusetts, or more specifically Springfield. I won’t waste everyone’s time by naming the other 12, that’s what middle school history teachers are for, but again, with all of the basketball history in Springfield, how are we even considering names that have nothing to do with basketball? Also "13 British colonies", this sounds like the work of 2006 NBA draftee Joel Freeland, someone find out if he recently accepted a job working for the D-league.
Founders – "recognizing Springfield as the place where basketball was invented". Hey why didn’t I think of that? Right idea, wrong terminology. How did they get this far, use this explanation, and not hit on Pioneers?
Spirit – "celebrating the great history and civic pride embodied by Springfield, which was founded in 1635". We get it, Springfield is old. But it’s not even the OLDEST city in Massachusetts (that honor goes to Plymouth, MA). Also, I appreciate Springfield’s civic pride, I really do, but the National Basketball Hall of Fame isn’t in Springfield because of its civic importance.
Write-in candidate – "enabling the community to weigh in with original ideas". Here is where you, the reader, come in.
Why the Springfield D-league team should be nicknamed the "Pioneers".
Pioneer [pahy-uh-neer] - one who is first or among the earliest in any field of inquiry, enterprise, or progress: example: James Naismith is the pioneer of basketball.
Let’s start with the obvious; Springfield is the birth place of basketball. Its one thing to be a founder, but its another thing to be a pioneer. Being a pioneer requires courage, strength, and often taking the road less traveled by. When the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth rock, they had over come years of oppression and months of adversity at sea. From the efforts of these pioneers, comes the opportunity America offers today. When other colonies were perfectly comfortable taking a back seat to the whims of the infamous King George, it took the pioneers of Massachusetts to lead the charge towards independence. When James Naismith was inventing a new indoor game at the Springfield YMCA, he could have taken the easy way out and forced his students to play tunnel tag. However, greatness doesn’t come from those who settle for less, and neither will this team in Springfield. Whatever professional team Springfield is affiliated with can be assured that when a player is developed by the Pioneers, they will not only learn to play basketball at a high level, but they will be surrounded by an aura of historical greatness. This can’t help but push players closer to their potential.
End Soap Box.
In all seriousness Pioneers just makes sense. Executives can, understandably, sometimes get too wrapped up in all their duties, and over think even the simplest of tasks. As fans it is our job, no, our duty, to fill this glaring hole made by the omission of Pioneers on this list. Take up arms with me in this fight and go ahead and contribute to the write in campaign, and be a pioneer in the fight for senseical team mascots in the NBA Development League.
And in order to make your life easier I have inserted the link to the voting website at the bottom of the page. Don’t forget this when you are writing in "Pioneers" on the ballot. Vote Here.