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Vermont Lake Monsters 28

Notice: All logos on this page are included within the parameters of 17 U.S.C. § 107, which states that the reproduction of a copyrighted work for purposes of criticism and/or comment is not an infringement of copyright. No challenge to the copyrights of these logos is intended by their inclusion here.
Posted 2012 August 27

The number of lakes which are reported to have lake monsters is staggering. Everybody has heard of the Loch Ness Monster, and Champ (the monster in Lake Champlain, which straddles the New York-Vermont-Québec border and thus serves as the inspiration for this team's name) is fairly well-known as well. These, however, are only the tip of the iceberg. Muskrat Lake in Ontario has Mussie. Okanagan Lake in British Columbia has Ogopogo. There's the Lake Tianchi Monster on the China-North Korea border. There's Ooly in Lake Oologah in Oklahoma. Rivers in Africa have the Mokèlé-mbèbé. Lake (and river) monsters are everywhere, it seems. And the number is growing.

I know the number is growing because I recently got to watch it increase by one. My wife decided recently that Jordan Lake, near our home in Raleigh, needs a lake monster. Jordan Lake, for those of you who don't know (which is most of you), is a man-made lake created by damming up the Haw River in 1974. When I pointed out the obvious problem of how such a lake could have a huge monster in it, she simply responded that he (she has decided that the monster is male, and also that he is named "Jordie") is still small because he's so young, so he could just swim up the river. I considered pointing out the obvious issue with getting over the dam, but thought better of it. Anyway, she has mentioned the need for a lake monster on Facebook, and now our friends know about it. Knowing them, they will begin to spread the word. It's only a matter of time before the first sighting, and before too long we will see a special about this on some cable channel.

I'm not sure why Jordan Lake needs a lake monster in the first place. It's a perfectly nice lake without it. Some people will no doubt feel that no lake is complete without a monster, but I regard this as nothing more than pleiosaur envy. Besides, Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant is on the shore of nearby Harris Lake. If any lake in North Carolina is going to get a lake monster, it's that one. If there is a lake monster there, I'm sure his name must be Harry, and I'm guessing he's a five-eyed, forty-foot, fluorescent flounder.

But regardless of whether Jordie (or Harry) becomes well-known, Champ already is. And when the then-Vermont Expos needed to change their name (since their parent team had morphed from the Montréal Expos to the Washington Senators), they settled on the Vermont Lake Monsters. They had actually already been using a lake monster named "Champ" as their mascot for several years (which is understandable, since it would be impossible to use an Expo as a mascot), so this may be a rare instance of picking a team name based on a mascot, rather than the other way around.

Personally, I think it's a great name. Team names are supposed to be awe-inspiring, and few things inspire as much awe as a lake monster. At the time they picked it, it was a unique name. And even though there are lake monsters all over the place, Champ's status as one of the most well-known gives the team name a strong sense of place. The logo is great, too. I could do without the baseball bat in the monster's mouth, but generally speaking this logo is very well done.

Incidentally, the reason I said the name was unique "at the time they picked it" is because a couple of years later, a new hockey team in Cleveland decided to go with the name "Lake Erie Monsters". You may ask, is there a legend about a lake monster in Lake Erie? Of course there is. The monster's name is "Bessie", sometimes called "South Bay Bessie". And while the legend about Bessie is old (the first reported sighting was in 1793), Champ is nearly two centuries older just if you count reported sightings by Europeans. So in some ways Bessie is derivative of Champ just as the Lake Erie Monsters are derivative of the Vermont Lake Monsters. Does Cleveland get all of its ideas from Vermont? Does anything happen in Cleveland that didn't happen in Vermont first?

Well, no river in Vermont has ever caught fire. On that front, Cleveland seems to be an original. Congratulations, Cleveland. Really.

Final Score: 28 points.
Penalties: Region (egregious), 17 pts; Equipment (egregious), 27 pts.
Bonuses: Name, -10 pts; Local, -6 pts.


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