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Kannapolis Cannon Ballers 159

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 2022 July 1

Kannapolis has long struck me as an odd name. Having lived as a kid in Maryland, I of course knew that the capital of Maryland is Annapolis, and that the name means "city of Anne". So Kannapolis must mean "city of Kanne", right? I mean, that's just logic. I have no idea who Kanne is, but but she (he?) must be important to get a city named after her (him?), even if it's not a state capital.

It turns out that the name actually means "city of Cannon", referring either to Cannon Mills (a textile mill that Kannapolis was founded around) or James William Cannon (the founder of Cannon Mills). Apparently in its early years the area was also known as Cannonopolis, Cannapolis, and Cannon City. How exactly the C became a K is unclear. It's apparently a common belief in the area that kanna (or more accurately, καννα) is Greek for loom and thus Kannapolis means "city of looms", but καννα isn't the Greek word for loom and even if it was that's not where the name comes from.

It should come as little surprise to you, after reading that last paragraph, that Cannon Ballers is intended as a reference to Cannon Mills, among other things (it's also a racing reference, but I don't feel like getting into that right now). So they basically named the team after the same thing they named the town after. I suppose you can't blame them, because what else is there in Kannapolis to name a team after?

Oh, right: there's the thing the team was named after for nearly twenty years before it was called the Cannon Ballers. From 2001 to 2019, the team was the Kannapolis Intimidators, after NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt, Sr. Earnhardt became a part owner for the team a few months before he died, and the team named itself after his nickname almost immediately after he joined the ownership group. So why did the team change its name recently? Because in 2018 it was sold to new owners, and the Earnhardt family still owns the trademark on the Intimidator name. From what I could find the Earnhardt family didn't make the new owners choose a new name, but it seems that marketing the team without owning the trademark was going to be...complicated. Thus the new name. Not that the team has totally gotten away from the association with Dale Earnhardt. The outfit that the stuntman in the Cannon Ballers logo is wearing is reminiscent of Earnhardt's racing uniform, and the stuntman's moustache looks sort of like Earnhardt's moustache, too. I'm not entirely certain how the team is getting away with this, but I figure either they got permission or they were careful to make things just different enough to have plausible deniability.

The stuntman character has a name, incidentally. His name is Boomer Baller. Had I written this review two or three years ago that would almost certainly have resulted in me trying to shoehorn an "Okay boomer" joke in here, but it's a bit late for that now. And had I written this review about thirty-five years ago when I was a teenager it would almost certainly have led to a much more immature joke, because how does a name like "Boomer Baller" not lead to really immature jokes from teenagers? I'm not entirely certain how I'm resisting the urge to make such a joke now. But I'll just point out that "Boomer Baller" is a ridiculous sounding name and leave it at that. It sounds like a name from a really stupid comedy movie. In fact if you told me there was a minor character in Talladega Nights named Boomer Baller I'd probably believe you. They really should have come up with a better name.

Maybe they could have named him Kanne.

Final Score: 159 points.
Penalties: Reference, 10 pts; Alliteration, 5 pts; Script, 7 pts; Equipment, 13 pts; Humanoid (egregious), 61 pts; Cartoon, 47 pts; Name, 10 pts; Logo, 12 pts.
Bonuses: Local, -6 pts.

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