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Posted 2003 March 17, updated 2003 May 7
Trivia question: How many of the Rochester Americans are?
Answer: Six out of twenty-two. There are more than twice as many Canadians (fourteen). There are half as many Czechs (the Czechs are not in the mail...considering what the climate is like in Rochester, the Czechs are probably in the blizzard). And there's one Slovakian. The team is barely one-quarter American.
If you're thinking that this is a subtle way of saying that "Americans" is a stupid name, you're right. The players aren't, and the team is hardly unique in being located in America. If Rochester had the only team in the United States, the name might be reasonable. They're not, so it isn't.
Furthermore, what does it say about a team's originality when it takes the league's name and uses it as its own? American Hockey League, Rochester Americans. What originality. Even stealing the league name isn't original. It has been done two other times. Once by the Jackson All-Americans of the All-American Hockey League, and once -- this is no joke -- by the Havana (yes, that Havana!) Tropicals of the Tropical Hockey League. That last one was back in the 1930s, by the way. Imagine being paid to play hockey in pre-Castro Cuba. I ask you: how cool is that?
Back to Rochester (better grab a heavy coat)...
The Americans' logo is basically a U.S. Highway shield tilted at a 45° angle and painted to look like Wonder Woman's outfit, with the word "Americans" written in baseball script in front of it. Nothing special, but trust me when I say you could do a lot worse. Imagine a cartoony eagle playing hockey. Imagine the Statue of Liberty in a hockey jersey. Imagine...on second thought, don't imagine any of this. Especially if you work for the Americans. I don't want to see any of these jokes turn into reality.
A note on the scoring: There is no way in hell I'm giving these guys the "local" bonus, even if it does technically apply.
UPDATE: I received a note from Steve Chariamonte informing me that the Rochester Americans went with that name because their first affiliate was the Montreal Canadiens. It was also a bit of an homage to the New York Americans, an NHL team best remembered today for making the curse that kept the Rangers from winning the Stanley Cup for 54 years. This information does, I suppose, redeem the name just a little bit in my eyes. But only a little bit. I mean, it's not like "Montreal Canadiens" is a good name either, right? And while I'm on the subject, am I the only person who wonders if one of the reasons that Quebecois independence referenda keep failing is because hockey fans don't want to have the change the Habs' name?
That being said, I do wish to sincerely thank Steve for the information.
Final Score: 9 points.
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