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   Bernardino

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Bowie Baysox 103

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 2018 August 1

Okay, first things first: "Bowie" does not rhyme with "Joey". Nor does it rhyme with "Maui". It rhymes with "Louie". That's the proper pronunciation of the Scottish name, and the city of Bowie, Maryland is named after Maryland governor Oden Bowie, whose father had built the railroad to which the town owed its existence.

"But wait," some of you are thinking. "What about Jim Bowie, of the Alamo and Bowie knife fame? He pronounced it to rhyme with 'Joey'." No, he didn't. He rhymed it with "Louie".

"But the 'Bowie' in 'Bowie knife' rhymes with 'Joey'." No, it...well, it does and it doesn't. So many people pronounce it to rhyme with "Joey" that I'm not willing to say that's not a correct pronunciation. (This is basically how language change occurs: once enough people are doing something "wrong" it becomes right.) But the original pronunciation of "Bowie knife" had "Bowie" rhyming with "Louie", and that's also still a correct pronunciation, even if most people aren't aware of it.

"But David—" Oh, dear lord, where to begin? David Bowie wasn't sure how his name was pronounced. I'm not being flippant or insulting the man or anything like that. There is literally a video of him saying "I don't even know how to pronounce it anymore; I've lost track." When he first chose the name (you did know his real name was Jones, right?), he thought it rhymed with "Joey", but he later found out the proper Scottish pronunciation rhymed with "Louie", and of course by that time millions of his fans were pronouncing it to rhyme with "Maui". He once said he was fine with any of those pronunciations, so pronounce that one however you want.

But the city's name definitely rhymes with "Louie".

Incidentally, if you look at a map of Bowie, you'll notice something fairly odd. Streets that are near each other tend to start with the same letter. This apparently goes back to the 1950s, when a large parcel of land just outside the then-tiny town of Bowie was made into what essentially is a massive subdivision. That subdivision just outside Bowie quickly became a subdivision just inside Bowie, and probably accounts for over 90% of the land in the city. For some reason, whoever developed that land thought it would be amusing to create 24 little areas where the street names start with the same letter (there's no X or Z). Some of the letters have fairly small areas (the U section is only seven streets, with four of them being cul-de-sacs only a block or so long) and some of the areas have to come up with some fairly bizarre names to fit the pattern (the Q's give us Quoting Poet Court, Quantum Leap Lane, and Quarum Place, and yes that last one is Quarum not Quorum). The baseball team, incidentally, are just outside the city limits, so they manage to avoid this particular silliness.

Which is not to say they are devoid of silliness. There's the name, for example. The team is called the Baysox because Bowie is not located on the Chesapeake Bay. Yeah, sure, it's near the Bay. So is two thirds of the state of Maryland. Bowie isn't particularly close to the Bay, as the county it's in doesn't border the Bay. So trying to associate the city with the Chesapeake is a bit of a reach. I'm going to be nice and give them the "Local" bonus, but that's mostly out of pity because the team's score is still in triple digits even with that bonus and the logo, while not great, isn't that bad. That said, the way I see it the water in the team's logo must be the Patuxent River or something.

Then, of course, there's the whole idea of bay sox. As with my review several weeks back for Colorado Springs, I'm left wondering precisely what a "bay sock" is supposed to be. A strange word for a swim fin? Maybe a flotation device worn on the feet? I love that mental image. I love it primarily because I know that if you put a flotation device on your feet, then your feet are going to be bobbing on the top of the water while your head is a few feet underwater. You'll drown, but the authorities will have an easy time finding your body.

But no, the name really makes no sense. Which is fine, I suppose. When the team's geographic name is guaranteed to be mispronounced by 95% of the people who see it, they may as well distract you from that fact somehow. And this team name will have people puzzling over it so much that they'll forget all about the knife, the frontiersman, and the singer.

Final Score: 103 points.
Penalties: Sox (egregious), 41 pts; Alliteration, 5 pts; Scenery, 12 pts; Obvious, 17 pts; Letter, 24 pts, Name, 10 pts.
Bonuses: Local, -6 pts.


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