would anyone go to the trouble of setting up a website dedicated to team
nicknames? Well, jokes about needing to get myself a life aside, it's a
topic that I've had an interest in for some years.
life long supporter of the Richmond Football Club, my father took me to my first
game at the MCG at the age of four. I've been a member of the club every
season since about 1971 (when I was seven) and I've long had an abiding interest
in its history, now 118 years old.
interest in the 'Tiger's'
rich past evolved further into an interest in sporting history in general, team
nicknames in particular.
nickname experiences stand out in my memory. (Yes, anyone who can
refer to "nickname experiences" definitely does need to get a life!)
would have been about twelve when I first saw my name in print in a national
publication. I wrote a letter to "Inside Football" asking what
the nicknames of the teams in the West Australian Football League (WAFL)
were. They printed it!
university in 1983, I started playing senior football in the Victorian Amateur
Football Association (VAFA). I played for the mighty
Monash 'Whites' and I
remember prior to joining the club that I thought it was a rather wimpy
nickname. But it was reasonably unique and over my ten years there I grew
proud of our name as I grew to love that great club.
the mid-1980's I commenced a subscription to "Sports
Illustrated". I recall a wonderful article by one of my favourite of
their journalists, I think his name was Rick Reilly. It was short, but it
gave me a good laugh. It was about US team nicknames and it covered the
good and the appocriating. From memory Rick ended with a little boy turning to his
parents and saying something like "When I grow up I want to be a Heat".
Rick didn't think it made much sense and neither did I. Which leads me on
to a point.
can't say that I care much for the stories behind the modern team monikers, born
out of the corporatised expansion of professional sporting teams around the
world. I find the story behind the naming of the Brooklyn 'Trolley
Dodgers' much more interesting than the story of the Miami 'Heat'. The
naming of the 'Toffees' of Everton has a bit more to it than the naming on the
'Storm' of Melbourne. There are exceptions, but the newly-created teams of
the modern era tend to have an eye on little other than marketability, whereas
the teams of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries had often had
names that evolved out of circumstance and personality.
said, once I start on a league I'll do my best to find out the story behind the
epithets of all teams in it. That's where your help may prove
invaluable. Any assistance that you provide will not only be greatly
appreciated, but fully attributed, of course.
there's a league that you'd like me to cover, please drop me a line. If
you can fill in any of the gaps, please let me know - even directing me to the
appropriate website(s) may be of benefit. The one thing I would ask is, if
providing any stories, that you also provide verifiable sources wherever
possible as I'm only going to "go to print" when I'm confident that
the story is true.
you help? Please e-mail me
September 2003 (updated November 2007).
Dedicated to the players,
officials and members
of the Richmond Football Club
from 20th February 1885 to today.
Amongst these ...
My recently deceased father, Nicolai, and my brother, Chris
My daughter, Laura, and my son, Mitchell.
C'arn the Mighty Tiges!