Shakespeare’s Juliet put names in perspective as she made the case for a forbidden romance with Romeo from a house with a rival name.
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet,” Juliet pleaded.
That which we know as baseball remains a game, whether it self-identifies as a controversial fried food, recreational pot or a nondescript vibe.
Three days before Thanksgiving, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers joined much of the community in giving thanks for the new name of the city’s minor league baseball team.
Suthers applauded the name — the Vibes — but mostly expressed relief the team had not chosen the Rocky Mountain Oysters. The oysters, which refers to deep-fried bull testicles, became a leading contender in a process that invited the public to suggest names. Vibes was not on the list.
Suthers had so much concern over the embarrassing prospect of “oysters” that he told the team’s owner he would not participate in the reveal if that name were chosen.
The Vibes has a ring and will likely grow on people. Our only concern is the difficulty in hearing this name over the airwaves, with a “v” and “b” that sound like other letters. One editorial board member and a carload of teenagers heard the radio announcement and thought it was “the Fives” or “the Wives.” Familiarity will quickly resolve that concern.
The new mascot provides the best aspect of Monday’s announcement, despite the lack of an obvious nexus to the name. The mascot, a cartoon s’more, came about as the team considered the public’s suggestion of “Happy Campers.”
The team scrapped “Happy Campers” after discovering The Happy Camper Cannabis Club, more than 100 miles away.
“MiLB (minor league baseball), with its focus on family entertainment and looking to distance itself from any perceived endorsement of legalized marijuana, provided a roadblock to that name or at least enough discouragement that the team — not yet completely sold on the name — opted go with a more broad riff on what it feels makes people in this region happy campers,” explained a Gazette news article by Brent Briggeman.
That’s great, but the adorable mascot’s pothead moniker undermines the effort to create distance from pot. “Toasty” will generate endless marijuana jokes and fodder for late-night comedians who stereotype Colorado as the place to get toasted.
“In naming the s’more mascot Toasty, the team still found a double-entendre approach to the marijuana issue,” Briggeman explains.
Overall, the name and mascot should work well for our city’s baseball club. And it’s not too late to change the unfortunate name of the s’more. Maybe … “Crunchy.” Avoid “Munchie.”
By any name, this is baseball. Let the games begin, and let’s support the new team.