This is not a natural disaster...this is a self-inflicted disaster that the Royals organization just implemented. The reaction was swift and nearly unanimous. A horrible name, a horrible mascot. No matter where you look, it's a dud: Omaha World-Herald, KETV-Channel 7, Revolution 21, eOmahaForums... no matter where you look, you find people shaking their heads in disbelief. It's all over Facebook, whether it's the Omaha Royals page or the KOZN Unsportsmanlike Conduct page. It's even gone national: the Royal Review , the Kansas City Star, and even Deadspin.
leave the Royals name alone. Freshen the logo, change the colors if you will...but without a better alternative, leave well enough alone.
Listening to comments from the Royals management, you can almost hear the desperation in their voices as they try to justify the change, talking about being able to go into schools and talk about weather to kids.
"The team name recognizes the importance of weather in the metro area and across the state," said Martie Cordaro, the vice president and general manager.
Yes...that's right. The baseball team wants to honor our weather. Got that? Exactly. That explanation pretty much says it all. It's like listening to a Bill Callahan press conference; words are coming out in complete sentences, but make absolutely no sense.
What does this mean for the future of AAA baseball in the Omaha area? Hard to say, as this name seems to have soured a lot of people on the metro area's AAA baseball team. Maybe they'll get over it, or maybe they'll just ignore it. When the Lancers left town and changed their name, attendance dropped like a rock until they changed their name back and moved back to town. Now you've got a team that moved out of town with a new name that seems universally panned; some people will simply shake their heads and think twice about attending. Or worse, just not think about attending, assuming that if the name is that bad, the rest of the product might not be worth it either.
And it's not like coming up with a good name wasn't difficult. Certainly Omaha's UFL team hit a home run by calling on the ties with Offutt Air Force Base to come up with the Nighthawks name. Alan Stein and Martie Cordaro just left a huge opening for an independent league team to come into town with a better nickname that doesn't insult fans and presents a positive image of the metro area. (Look up Nighthawks, Omaha) It's been said that minor league baseball is not about the game, but rather the experience. Bad logo, awful mascots (it's been suggested that this thing is the evil spawn of the Philly Phanatic and Q*Bert, the 1982 video game character), bad name.
Just another epic failure in the sad saga of the Royals leaving Omaha.