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April 17, 2006 7:07 PM   Subscribe

Which sports-team names are references to drugs or alcohol?

I already thought of the Durham Bulls, Milwaukee Brewers, Purdue Boilermakers and Philadelphia Phillies. I'm interested both in teams like the Bulls, which were named after a tobacco company, and the Phillies, where the name only became a drug reference after the team had been around for years. What other examples are out there?
posted by box to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total)
 
The Blue Jays were kinda sorta partially named after Labatt's Blue beer, as the beer company had a stake in the team at the time.
posted by loquax at 7:37 PM on April 17, 2006


"Boilermakers" wasn't originally a reference to the drink. They made railroad engines in that part of Indiana.

The Houston Astros used to be the Colt. 45s, which became the name of malt liquor (but not because of the sports team).

You can get a fairly extensive list of nicknames here. There apparently were several iterations of the "Rochester Seagrams" in the early part of the century, but it's not clear if there's a named relation.
posted by frogan at 7:52 PM on April 17, 2006


Chicago or Durham Bulls, Houston Colt .45's, Brooklyn Cyclones, Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Hurricanes, Kentucky Wildcats, Montreal Canadiens, SMU Mustangs, Carolina Panthers, New York Red Bulls... and those are just the malt liquor references. Pour one out!
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:53 PM on April 17, 2006


(And to turn things around, the beer is partially named after the Winnipeg Blue Bombers!)

The Milwaukee Brewers is the only other major-league team I can think of, but that's not saying much.

Finding names that look like liquor references now will be easy, but that doesn't mean that that was the origin of the name!
posted by mendel at 7:56 PM on April 17, 2006


Names that look like liquor references now are okay too--take the Phillies were founded in 1883, more than a hundred years before the Phillie blunt became one of the most popular cigars for stuffing-with-marijuana purposes. Heck, tobacco names are okay too, for that matter.
posted by box at 8:10 PM on April 17, 2006


Names that look like liquor references now are okay too

Well, in that case...

The Seattle Steelheads were a Negro Leagues team. The original name is for steelhead salmon, but now there's a Steelhead Brewery.

Same idea -- Pittsburgh Keystones were a Negro Leagues team, and Keystone beer.

The Negro Leagues had plenty of "Cuban" names -- Cuban Giants, New York Cubans -- because "Cuban" was more acceptable than black or Negro back then. Cuban is now pretty much slang for that type of cigar, regardless of the actual manufacturer.

The Tacoma Rainiers are a Seattle minor league affiliate. Rainier beer was a local fave.

This is kind of a reach -- the Havana Sugar Kings were a minor-league team in the 50s. Cuban sugar is well-known as the primary ingredient for dark rum.
posted by frogan at 8:24 PM on April 17, 2006


The Negro League Pittsburgh Crawfords were named after a bar.
posted by octothorpe at 8:29 PM on April 17, 2006


The major leaggu socccer teaam for ny/nj is goingg to be called the Red Bulls - arguably a drug of some sort.....
posted by narebuc at 10:25 PM on April 17, 2006


Well it's not quite the same thing but the Tasmanian Tigers have the same logo as the beer company that sponsors them (that being the head of a Tasmanian Tiger).
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 10:39 PM on April 17, 2006


The Tacoma Rainiers are a Seattle minor league affiliate. Rainier beer was a local fave.

Actually, the Tacoma Rainiers take their name from the Seattle Rainiers of the original PCL, and that team was named for the owner's brewery... Rainier Brewing Company.
posted by dw at 10:42 PM on April 17, 2006


Although the brewery does have a stake in the club, the Montreal Canadiens are not named after the beer -- the club is older than the beer and "Canadiens" refers to the early french-speaking peasants of New France. Plus it's very hard to get a bottle of "Canadian" in Quebec -- for fairly obvious reasons.
posted by docgonzo at 4:44 AM on April 18, 2006


"Canadiens" refers to the early french-speaking peasants of New France

No, "Canadiens" refers to Canadians. You're thinking of les Habs -- those early French settlers were habitants.
posted by mendel at 9:22 AM on April 18, 2006


Vassar College's teams are also the Brewers, after the founder, Matthew Vassar's real job which funded the joint.
posted by annoyance at 12:45 PM on April 18, 2006


There's the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL (Quebec major junior hockey league).
posted by philfromhavelock at 7:12 PM on April 18, 2006


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