Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
April 30, 2004
FOOTBALL: The Arizona Rangers?

One more thought on the Pat Tillman story: the Arizona Cardinals, Tillman's former team, have announced plans to name a plaza outside their new stadium in his honor, which is a nice gesture. Some have gone further, suggesting that the whole place be named after him. Of course, the Cardinals are a for-profit business, and the rights to name a stadium is one of their major assets, so it's unsurprising that this idea will go nowhere.

But here's an idea that makes a lot more sense: rename the team. And not in honor only of Tillman, who after all went out of his way to avoid an excess of publicity about his decision. Call them the Arizona Rangers, in honor of Tillman's unit in the Army and their sacrifices over many generations, most famously in scaling the cliffs at Normandy on D-Day but in many other deadly engagements.

This makes sense, of course, in part because the Cards could use a name change anyway; their current name is too tied both to the Midwestern (Chicago/St. Louis) roots they left behind and to one of the most abysmal franchise histories in all of sport. Why not give the franchise an honorable excuse for a fresh start?

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:55 AM | Football | Comments (7) | TrackBack (1)

As a traditionalist, I find myself oddly in favor of the name change. The "Cardinals" name has never *really* become associated with Arizona, and perhaps a new name and uniform would refesh the franchise, particularly after the bitch-slapping it took at the draft. New quarterback, new name, new game. Naming the "Rangers" would just notch it up even higher.

I say do it.

Posted by: spd rdr at April 30, 2004 7:07 AM

Actually, it even makes economic sense. Teams change their uniforms frequently, or create multiple uniforms beyond just the home/away uniforms, in order to drive up sales of hats, T-shirts, etc. This would be the ultimate way to drive up sales of the paraphernalia. And, in order to avoid charges that they're making a profit off of him, they should give a sizable portions to disabled veterans and families who lost loved ones in the war.

In fact, it could even serve to expand their fan base. There would be a part of many people that would feel an emotional pull towards the team.

Posted by: Kiner's Korner at April 30, 2004 9:52 AM

An excellent suggestion, one that should be forwarded onto the Arizona Cardinal front office. Our armed forces deserve more recognition than they receive and this would be an great opportunity for that.

I can only see upside for this argument.

Posted by: Mike at April 30, 2004 11:01 AM

I agree with spd rdr completely. I am a traditionalist and never agree with these ideas. I even get hives at uniform changes (except when the Astros lost their technocolor unis).

But I absolutely love this idea. It makes sense economically. It makes sense geographically; another change I would like is if the Jazz changed their name. There's no Jazz in Utah! But I digress...

They would get a TON of free publicity out of this, while also giving honor to both their own particular fallen hero, as well as all of the Rangers.

Being the Cardinals, they'll never consider it.

Posted by: Gerry at May 1, 2004 7:46 AM

Com' on Crank. Do something with this.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 2, 2004 12:00 AM

The cardinals need something. changing the name is a start. But lets not forget the original 'Arizona Rangers'. The mounted lawmen of Arizona who were a big factor in bringing law and order to Arizona after the civil war to after the turn of the century. Maybe that could somehow be incorporated in the team logo.

Posted by: lane at June 22, 2004 5:43 PM

Um....wouldn't certain teams in New York and Texas complain?

Posted by: RMc at July 10, 2004 10:56 AM
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