Hockey Headlines

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Iowa's New Team Stinks

There are certain stereotypes about animals that simply have a little exaggeration to them. Cockroaches being able to withstand a nuclear blast? Not completely true. Cockroaches can withstand a lot, but the truth is that a nuclear blast will still kill some of the little insects. Maybe not all, but some is better than none, right? In the case of pigs, it's a common assumption that they are dirty, smelly animals due to their living conditions. Again, somewhat untrue. They are actually one of the cleanest animals on the planet. However, the announcement made by Kirby Schlegel, CEO of Schlegel Sports who owns the Iowa AHL franchise, absolutely stinks.

"We really feel this name perfectly represents our vision of the new team," team owner Kirby Schlegel said in a statement. "It illustrates Iowa’s agricultural heritage while also playing into the definition of chops, having nerve, resilience and staying power.

"The word chops can mean continually defeating someone, and that is the reputation we expect Iowa’s new team to gain in the league."

Is this the best they could come up with? A pig? Representing pork chops? Who was in charge of this logo and team-naming project?

Firstly, the word "chops" does not mean "to have nerve" or "to continually defeat someone". The idiom is "busting one's chops", which means "to scold or insult someone" or "to disappoint or defeat someone". I'm not sure if people in Iowa speak English, but I was under the assumption that they did. Stretching the team name to reach an idiom would be like saying the NBA's Utah Jazz are called as such because they are "all that jazz". It's stupid, and it doesn't work.

How does the team name represent the "vision of the new team"? The word "chops" presents nothing visionary. Unless you're envisioning dinner, the Pork Chops have zero visionary aspects.

"A secondary logo located on the shoulders of the players' jerseys will be an outline of the state of Iowa with the letter "I" in the center", showing that the team that designed this idiotic logo has zero creativity. The team has decided to go with a new colour scheme of "crimson, grey and black, designed to depict the tougher style of hockey coming to Iowa". How do colours make the team tougher? Personally, when I think of the new colour scheme, I think of a certain rival NCAA school.

Look, I'm all for unique names and stuff. However, the Rockford IceHogs were the first pig-related team in the AHL, and we really didn't need any others.

"We wanted a name that would catch people’s attention and spark discussion, not just in Iowa but nationally as well," team president Steve Nitzel said in a statement. "There is no doubt the name is unique. We’re confident that the team will continue to gain respect in this community and in the league for years to come."

It's sparking discussion, for sure. It's sparked a number of words in me - stupid, idiotic, moronic, atrocious, ridiculous. And those are just the G-rated words. I'm telling you right now that I'll like this name and logo when pigs fly. No offence, Iowa citizens, but the owners of this franchise belong on a funny farm.

I will never have respect for this team as long as they call themselves the "Chops". This is grounds for immediate removal of the AHL membership in my opinion. I'm sure a lot of people in Iowa will be looking forward to cheering for the Chops this season if they can find enough paper bags for their heads. Personally, I can't wait to bust their chops on the look of their new uniforms.

This name is an embarrassment to hockey, the people of Iowa, and the AHL franchise based in Des Moines. Nice job, "Chops".

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

15 comments:

Finny said...

I'm floored. I don't get it. It's ugly and lame and dumb.

I was talking to CKim, and I was just like SERIOUSLY, what are the players going to say? "I'm a Chopper"???

I can't imagine a crowd cheering, "Let's go CHO-OPS!"

it's so lameee... GO CHOPS GO, as CKim suggested to me, just sounds like I'm chasing my still-live dinner around with a knife and fork.

WTF.

Anonymous said...

So, you don't like the name, congrats for being able to make an opinion. Thier are a lot of stupid team names out thier, just look at the OHL, QMJHL and WHL as any of the team names are stupid.

Know to the response by "finny" Let's go CHO-OPS, how is that any different for any other team.....Lets go Leafs is pretty lame in my opinion aas well.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Des Moines and I'm sick about this. What an embarassment. Not only does this make Iowans look like hicks, the colors are Ohio States and the logo is terrible. I guess an angry pig is appropriate though-I'm sure all the pigs in those factory hog confinements (that have ruined my state's environment) are angry-living in filth before being slaughtered.

Teebz said...

To the first anonymous, what significance does this name have, besides telling everyone that Iowans love pork chops? The majority of junior team names have significance to the community they are found in.

To the second anonymous, I feel your pain. Again, I have no idea why they would pick such a ridiculous name. If this was the best they could come up with, I'd hate to see the rest.

Anonymous said...

I'm as dumbfounded by the new team as anyone else. Why a pig? Why the name "The Chops?" I had to drive to Minnesota today from Des Moines and I was laughing all the way after I heard about the new team on a morning radio show. The only conclusion I can come up with is that the Iowa Pork Industry gave millions to the team if they would name it something to do with Pork. That's the ONLY reason someone would logically even THINK about naming a team "The Chops." Then I can see having a few logos to pick from and as far as team logos that are pigs, this one isn't all THAT bad. I hate the name, I hate the logo, and someone should get fired for even bringing this option to the table. All I can say is this team better be pretty f'ing amazing because otherwise no one in the world will take them seriously and they'll be in Iowa even shorter than the Stars were.

Charlie @ Sabres Not Slugs said...

It's going to be a minor phenomenon just like the Sabres...most people hate it, everyone is talking about it, and people outside of Iowa will buy it for comedic value alone...$$$.

It truly is a page out of the Sabres' marketing playbook. Trust me on that one.

Sorry Iowa. I know you are more than pork chops and farming. It is a poor representation for your state and city.

Chops Fan said...

I live in Des Moines and I'm a big hockey fan, I already bought my Chops shirt. I know you're up in the great white north so maybe it's hard for you to understand that Iowa is the #1 pork producing state in the US. Maybe you also don't realize that many Iowans are proud of the agricultural heritage Iowa comes from and remains.

Maple Leafs, Canucks, Canadiens, Senators (real creative) are all similarly uncreative names but they absolutely work!

It's your opinion and this is mine, the name works.

Finally, if you're such a hockey fan maybe you should stop nay-saying the name and focus on what matters, they're "chopping" ticket prices by 38% and Iowa is NOT a hockey market so they need all the support the can to expand the great sport of hockey into Iowa. Minnesota is the self-proclaimed "state of hockey" but once you cross the southern border into Iowa it's almost non-existent. So get off your high horse and support the game we all love, god knows hockey needs some TLC in the USA.

Anonymous said...

What kind of blog is this that a comment isn't posted until blog owner approval? That makes me seriously doubt the credibility of this blog, are you filtering what gets published to propel your agenda? It should be anything goes and then take it down if it's innapropriate!

Broodwich said...

I live north of Des Moines and I am a Iowa AHL Season Ticket Holder.

I grew up in Colorado watching NHL Rockies games, I have a college degree and have never milked a cow. I love Iowa and I am confident that I am not a hick and the name of this team will not change that.

I am not thrilled about the new name, but then again I've been watching teams play with lame names like ScareCrows, Wheat Kings and Oak Leafs and the Wild. I am pleased to have AHL quality hockey in Iowa and will support big time hockey in Iowa even in regards to what is a slight bummer of of a name.

Teebz said...

"What kind of blog is this that a comment isn't posted until blog owner approval? That makes me seriously doubt the credibility of this blog, are you filtering what gets published to propel your agenda? It should be anything goes and then take it down if it's innapropriate!"

Let me get this straight. You call into question my credibility for filtering comments, and then you tell me to filter my comments for inappropriate comments?

Are you serious?

Teebz said...

"Finally, if you're such a hockey fan maybe you should stop nay-saying the name and focus on what matters, they're "chopping" ticket prices by 38% and Iowa is NOT a hockey market so they need all the support the can to expand the great sport of hockey into Iowa. Minnesota is the self-proclaimed "state of hockey" but once you cross the southern border into Iowa it's almost non-existent. So get off your high horse and support the game we all love, god knows hockey needs some TLC in the USA."

I fail to see how choosing a resoundingly stupid name for a hockey team equates to me not promoting the game of hockey. If I wasn't passionate, why would I be writing?

If you went to the Iowa Stars' games, I commend you for your passion. It is that passion that will keep hockey growing in Iowa, not some AHL team's ridiculous name. That's why Minnesota is such a hockey hotbed - they have passionate, hockey-loving people in that state who support hockey from peewee right up to the pros.

Iowa is a great state, and the people there are phenomenal. But I really think that you're missing the entire point in that as a team representing your entire state, the Iowa AHL franchise could have done a much better job in choosing a team name to represent your state as a whole.

Not everyone in Iowa is a pig farmer or works in the pork industry.

Teebz said...

"I am not thrilled about the new name, but then again I've been watching teams play with lame names like ScareCrows, Wheat Kings and Oak Leafs and the Wild. I am pleased to have AHL quality hockey in Iowa and will support big time hockey in Iowa even in regards to what is a slight bummer of of a name."

These are the words of a true fan.

Broodwich, I'm disappointed in the name as well, but it's not like I'm going to stop watching AHL hockey either. I'll watch the Chops play the Bulldogs, Marlies, and Moose, and I'll enjoy the hockey as well.

Support the Iowa franchise, and keep hockey growing in the state. Despite the bad name, you'll get to see great hockey, and that's all you can ask for at the end of the day.

Thanks for the excellent comment, Broodwich. Enjoy your season tickets!

By the way, there is a reason for the name "Wheat Kings", and I'll be discussing this soon.

Teebz said...

Charlie, I agree that this might be some sort of viral marketing campaign, but I can't see anyone outside of Iowa proudly wearing a "Chops" jersey. If they are going to make a killing on merchandise sales, I can't see them conquering any market outside of Des Moines.

I've seen Buffalo jerseys in other cities across North America, but who will want to be a walking billboard for the Iowa Pork Producers?

Great blog, by the way. I linked you up on my drop-down list.

Charlie @ Sabres Not Slugs said...

Thanks Teebz and I will be sure to do the same!

I love Yahoo! answer to the Chops and the Brett Favre thing...What a cheap attention grabber.

"There's a grand tradition in minor league sports where teams use ridiculous publicity stunts to divert attention from unmitigated disasters. So if you've named your hockey team after a cut of meat and the majority ruled that it's an embarrassment, there's only one way to go: Offering Brett Favre a contract to play hockey."

Dominik said...

--"Firstly, the word "chops" does not mean "to have nerve" or "to continually defeat someone". The idiom is "busting one's chops", which means "to scold or insult someone" or "to disappoint or defeat someone". I'm not sure if people in Iowa speak English,"

I have no dog (or pig) in this fight, but one admittedly pedantic clarification: The idiom you reference derives from the meaning of "chops" as one's jaw or teeth, as in to "bust" (or punch) you in the teeth/face/jaw (even though by now the idiom means to insult, rather than literally hit, someone.

Alternatively, to say someone's "got chops" is indeed a compliment (particularly in jazz/blues music, but also elsewhere) which means someone has skill, attitude, a healthy dose of courage.

Not sure if that meaning carries much recognition in Iowa or if they only dug it up to defend their ode to pig farming, but there you go.