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Ontario Reign 22

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Posted 2016 April 17

As far as I can tell, this team isn't doing anything right.

Let's start with the geographic moniker. "Ontario". On some level it makes sense, since they play in the city of Ontario, California. But of course every hockey fan associates hockey with Canada, so when they hear "Ontario" they think of the Canadian province, not the Californian city. (The fact that the AHL has a team in the Canadian province doesn't exactly lessen the potential for confusion.) Granted, the team doesn't have any better options. "California Reign" wouldn't work because there it's one of five teams in California. "Southern California Reign" wouldn't work any better, partly because there are still two other AHL teams in Southern California but mostly because it never Reigns in Southern California. "San Bernadino County Reign" would be too long; "Inland Empire Reign" makes no sense to anyone outside of the area (I'm not even convinced it would make sense to anyone inside the area; does anyone actually call that area "Inland Empire"?). If the team had access to a time machine, they could fix the matter by going back in time and convincing the founder of the city to give it a different name. Well, maybe. I'm sure that if you landed in 1882 and explained to the Chaffey brothers that they shouldn't name the town they were founding after the province they were born in because in 130 years the town would have a team in a hockey league that also had a team in Toronto, they'd have looked at you like you were insane.

Next mistake: The nickname. The team is owned by the Los Angeles Kings, who have already established that every single freaking team they own has to have a name related to kings and should alliterate with the geographic name (previous examples: Manchester Monarchs, Reading Royals). Of course, this is just one more way the use of "Ontario" screws them over. Can you name a word for royalty that begins with an "O"? I had to use a thesaurus to find one, and the closest thing I could find was "overlord". It's only partially correct (it means a lord to whom other lords owe fealty, which means kings are overlords but so are earls, duke, etc.), and furthermore it's not a word most people are familiar with. In fact, I would go so far as to say that there are more people who know that "Operation Overlord" was the code name for the D-Day operation in World War II than know what the word "overlord" actually means. But barring the ability to use an alliterative name meaning king, they could have either gone with a non-alliterative word meaning king or an alliterative name meaning something that relates to royalty. Instead, they went with a non-alliterative name meaning something that relates to royalty. On some level, I shouldn't complain too much, since I'm not really that big a fan of alliterative team names in the first place. But still..."reign"? Did we really need to go the soccer-esque abstract noun route? Why not Ontario Emperors, Ontario Khans, or Ontario Tsars? Or maybe they could have gone with Ontario Dukes, since a Duke ranks just below a King in terms of nobility. Or, hell, they could have just abandoned the whole royalty theme and gone with a name that relates to the city of Ontario. I'm not certain what (a quick perusal of the Wikipedia article for Ontario doesn't give me much to work with other than farming and mills), but presumably someone who actually lives in the area could come up with something.

Finally, there's the logo. If you've been a hockey fan for a long time, that should look familiar to you. That's the logo the Los Angeles Kings used back in the 90s, with the obvious changes of replacing "Los Angeles" with "Ontario" and "Kings" with "Reign". (There are a couple of other subtle differences — the crown is different, for example — but you basically have to be looking at the two logos side by side to notice the other differences.) There's no excuse for that. I know I spent most of my review for the Stockton Heat droning on and on about how that team should find a way to resurrect a logo from the 1970s, but that was a good logo and the 90s Los Angeles Kings logo was a clunker. This gets back to what I was saying in the Memphis RiverKings review a few weeks back: There's really not a lot you can do to make a logo for a team called the Kings (another reason they should have gone with a different theme for their name). But they could certainly have tried more than they did.

Final Score: 22 points.
Penalties: Singular, 6 pts; Name-Logo (quadruply-egregious), 7 pts; Offspring, 5 pts; Yucky-Name, 4 pts.
Bonuses: None.

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