W13 Poll: Best nicknames

01/01/2005

Week 13 poll: Best nickname

Nearly all of the league's 31 teams have an interesting story behind their nicknames. Some of them are common lore … others may not be. Which club has the best team nickname? Use our criteria below as well as your own to judge, then place your vote on the main page. | Results from Weeks 1-12 | Complete team nickname origins

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Baltimore Ravens

On March 29, 1996, Baltimore’s NFL team became the Ravens. The nickname was selected from among three finalists in a poll conducted by the Baltimore Sun. Baltimore fans selected the name in honor of Edgar Allan Poe, the American poet who penned his famous poem, “The Raven” while living in Baltimore. 

Chicago Bears

When this team became a charter member of the American Professional Football Association (APFA) in 1920, the team was located in Decatur, IL, and was named after team sponsor, the Staley Starch Company. The team moved to Chicago in 1921 and became the Chicago Staleys. In 1922, after team founder-manager and star end George Halas purchased the team, he changed the name to the Bears. Halas reasoned that because football players were generally bigger than baseball players, and the city’s baseball team was the Cubs, then logically the football team should be the Bears.

Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland All-America Football Conference franchise conducted a fan contest in 1945 to name the team. The most popular submission was “Browns” in recognition of the team’s first coach and general manager Paul Brown, who was already a popular figure in Ohio sports. Brown at first vetoed the choice and the team selected from the contest entries the name “Panthers.” However, after an area businessman informed the team that he owned the rights to the name Cleveland Panthers, from an earlier failed football team, Brown rescinded his objection and agreed to the use of his name. 

Green Bay Packers

The name was a natural since the team was sponsored first by the Indian Packing Company and later the Acme Packing Company. Although both companies went out of business, the team prospered under the name Packers.

Philadelphia Eagles

When Bert Bell established his NFL franchise in Philadelphia in 1933, the country was struggling to recover from the Great Depression. New president Franklin D. Roosevelt had introduced his “New Deal” program through the National Recovery Administration, which had the Eagle as its symbol. Since Bell hoped his franchise also was headed for a new deal, he picked Eagles as the team name.

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GET RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLLS

Note: Photos courtesy of the Associated Press.

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